A Total Play In The Penn State-Utah Rose Bowl

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Penn State vs. Utah, 5 ET

Not much will be able to happen in order to top the great set of games we got on December 31st, but today we should have a nice slate that keeps us entertained. We see the always fun Rose Bowl between Penn State and Utah. Penn State is the last chance the Big Ten has to make a splash in the Bowl Games after Michigan was a no-show against TCU, and Ohio State blew their chance on an embarrassing field goal attempt.

Penn State comes into this matchup with a 10-2 season behind them. Their losses were to the aforementioned Michigan and Ohio State. Neither one of those games were particularly close, but outside of those two teams – both of which ended up as top 4 teams in the nation – they beat everyone. They didn’t have another team on their schedule that was a ranked opponent though. So, most of their schedule was against average or bad teams. I don’t think there is really anything that Penn State does that is far better than what Utah does with maybe the exception of their rushing defense. I do think it is possible we see Utah struggle to get anything going on the ground, but most of their offense is focused on passing the ball anyway so it might not matter.

Utah is back in the Rose Bowl for the second consecutive year. Last year was a track meet, but this seems like it will be lower-paced. That isn’t to say Utah can’t put up points on Penn State – I think they can – but a slower game does help Penn State so I expect the Nittany Lions to try and slow the game down a bit to keep Cam Rising off the field. On Utah’s side, they will be missing three tight ends so that hurts their running (and passing) game a bit more than I’d like here. It was already going to be a struggle to run the ball but if they are missing key blockers it will be even worse. The good news for Utah is their defense should be able to at least contain a Penn State team that has a pretty average offense overall.

This is a bit of a coinflip matchup, so I can’t take a side in this. I’d probably play Utah if I had to pick a side, but I’m taking the over in this game. 53 points is a little too low here. Penn State should be able to put up at least 21 points, and I think we can see at least 28 points from Utah. If that’s the final score, this play is a loser, but we aren’t asking for a ton in addition. It seems easy to see a 31-28 game or something similar.

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Written by David Troy

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