The 2021 Rose Bowl features the 10-2 Ohio State Buckeyes against the 10-3 Utah Utes. Here is the 2022 Rose Bowl Preview.
Ohio State Buckeyes (10-2)
Ohio State had College Football Playoff hopes, but lost to Michigan in the last game of the season to ruin their chances. They also lost to Oregon, meaning both of their losses were to bowl-eligible teams this season. The Buckeyes defeated six bowl-eligible teams this season (not including Rutgers who is filling in for Texas A&M in the Gator Bowl).
The offense has put up a lot of points this season, averaging 45.5 points per game, ranking first in the country. They rush for 186.5 yards (ranked 41st) and pass for 364.9 yards per game (ranked fifth).
C.J. Stroud was a Heisman Finalist in his first year as a starter for the Buckeyes. He has passed for 3,862 yards, 38 touchdowns and five interceptions on 70.9 percent completion. Ohio State has a lot of talented pass-catchers, with five of them having over 200 receiving yards this season. They have a dynamic trio of wide receivers who have played well this season. Jaxon Smith-Njigba has 80 catches for 1,259 yards and six touchdowns. Garrett Wilson has also had a great season with 70 receptions for 1,058 yards and 12 touchdowns. Chris Olave leads the team in touchdown catches with 13 and also has 936 yards on the season.
Freshman sensation TreVeyon Henderson has completely taken over the Buckeyes’ backfield. He has 1,165 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns on the ground this year. There is talent behind him in the backfield as well. Miyan Williams has 490 rushing yards and three touchdowns, while Master Teague has 355 yards and four touchdowns.
Their defense allows 20.9 points per game, tying them for 23rd in the country. They give up 118.5 rushing yards (ranked 19th) and 246.9 passing yards (ranked 98th). Safety Ronnie Hickman has had an impressive season, leading the team in tackles with 95. Defensive tackle Haskell Garrett leads the team with 5.5 sacks. Freshman corner Denzel Burke had a fantastic debut season with 11 passes defended and one interception.
*Wilson, Olave and Garrett have opted out of the Rose Bowl.
Utah Utes (10-3)
Utah lost two of their first three games, but rebounded well to win 10 games and win the Pac-12. They won five games against teams who qualified for bowl games. All three of their losses came to bowl-eligible teams.
The Utes score 35.6 points per game, ranking 19th in the country. They rush for 120.1 yards (ranked 20th) and pass for 212.5 yards per game (ranked 87th).
Charlie Brewer started the season at quarterback, but Cameron Rising soon took over. He has passed for 2,279 yards, 18 touchdowns and five interceptions on 62.8 percent completion. Six pass-catchers have over 200 receiving yards on the season. Tight end Brant Kuithe has been a matchup problem with 44 receptions for 534 yards and six touchdowns. Wide receiver Britain Covey and tight end Dalton Kincaid each have helped out with over 400 receiving yards this season. Kincaid leads the team with seven touchdown catches.
Several players contribute in the running game, but the leader is Tavion Thomas. Thomas has 1,041 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns on the season. T.J. Pledger has 671 rushing yards and six touchdowns, while Micah Bernard has 492 yards and two touchdowns. Rising has rushed for 407 yards and five touchdowns from the quarterback position.
The Utes allow 20.6 points per game, which ranks 22nd in the country. They concede 120.1 rushing yards (ranked 20th) and 195.3 passing yards per game (ranked 24th). Linebacker Devin Lloyd has been one of the best in the country with 107 total tackles and eight sacks. He leads the team in interceptions with four. Defensive lineman Mika Tafua paces the team with 9.5 sacks.
Ohio State’s offense will be too much for Utah to keep up with. They will spread the ball out to their three talented receivers and win by a decent margin.
Ohio State Buckeyes 41 Utah Utes 28
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