Ohio State returns to the Rose Bowl for the first time since the 1996 season and Oregon makes its first appearance since the 1994 season.
The 96th Rose Bowl game marks Ohio State's fifth straight BCS contest. The Buckeyes are making their 14th appearance in the Rose Bowl game, second-most in history behind rival Michigan (20). Ohio State (10-2, 7-1 Big Ten) is the only school to play in eight BCS games in the 12-year history of the system, one ahead of the 7 BCS bowl appearances for Oklahoma and Southern California.
Ohio State has an overall bowl record of 18-22, including 6-7 in Rose Bowls, and is on a 3-bowl losing streak.
Oregon (10-2, 8-1 PAC-10) is making its 5th Rose Bowl appearance and is looking for its first victory in this game in 93 years. Oregon's only Rose Bowl win came on January 1, 1917 (1916 season) when it defeated the Penn Quakers 14-0.
Oregon has an overall bowl record of 9-13 and is on a 2-bowl winning streak.
Jim Tressel is 93-21 in his 9th season at Columbus, and is 228-78-2 overall in his 23rd season.
Oregon's Chip Kelly is 10-2 at Oregon and overall in his 1st season as head coach.
Ohio State is 7-0 vs. Oregon with the last meeting taking place at Columbus in 1987. Their first meeting occurred at the Rose Bowl at the end of the 1957 season. The Buckeyes have won each of the last five meetings by at least 10 points.
The 2009 Buckeyes are a run-oriented team, as they have been for the past three seasons. Ohio State ranks 19th nationally in rushing, but 106th in passing. QB Terrelle Pryor is the leading ground-gainer (707 yards, 7 TD's), followed closely by RB Brandon Saine ( 694 yards, 4 TD's). RB Daniel Herron has 7 scores and 558 with 193 of that total coming in the last two games. Herron only had a total of 8 carries between the Illinois game on September 26 through the Minnesota contest on October 24 after suffering an ankle injury against the Illini and reinjuring it in the Wisconsin game.
Pryor has completed 143-of-257 passes (55.6%) for 1,821 yards with 16 TD's and 10 INT's. He threw for just 160 yards total in the last two games against Iowa and Michigan, attempting only 17 passes in each contest. His passer rating of 127.93 ranks 67th nationally and 9th (out of 11 teams) in the Big Ten.
DeVier Posey (52 catches, 7 TD's) and Dane Sanzenbacher (26 catches, 6 TD's) account for 13 of Ohio State's 17 touchdown receptions.
Ohio State has the nation's 5th-stingiest defense in scoring at 12.2 points per game, and yards allowed. LB Ross Homan has 96 tackles, including 49 solo. LB Thaddeus Gibson has recorded 11 tackles for loss and DL Cameron Heyward has 5.5 sacks. Kurt Coleman has a team-best 5 INT's and the Buckeyes are 2nd nationally with 23 INT's as a team.
Oregon is No. 6 nationally in rushing and 7th in scoring, but ranks just 92nd in passing offense. QB Jeremiah Masoli is 168-of-285 (59.1%) for 2,066 yards with 15 TD's and 5 INT's. Redshirt Freshman RB LaMichael James took over the load when LeGarrette Blount for punching a Boise State player in the season opener. James completed the regular season with the nation's 8th-highest average in yards per game (123) and 7th-highest rushing total (1,476 yards).
WR Jeff Maehle has 52 catches for 686 yards and 6 TD's. TE Ed Dickson also has 6 TD's on 42 receptions for 551 yards.
Oregon ranks 51st in scoring defense and 32nd in total defense. Four different players recorded over 70 tackles, but the top two in solo tackles (52 each) are defensive backs John Boyett and Javes Lewis. LB Kenny Rowe has 11 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks.