LOS ANGELES, C.A.— Here are our staff’s predictions for the 109th Rose Bowl Game between Penn State and Utah.
Mike Asti: This game has the makings of being a classic Rose Bowl. It’s a great offense against a great defense. Utah, one of the most underrated programs in all of college football year in and year out, will not be easy for Penn State. While it will be a test for Penn State to hang with the Utes, Utah hasn’t faced a defense like what the Nittany Lions offer, either. It may all come down to if Penn State can force turnovers or not. When Utah did lose this season, it was mostly due to turning the ball over. They won’t in this game and Kyle Whittingham earns another trophy.
Utah 30, PSU 23
Jarrod Prugar: For once, it seems like Penn State is the deeper team on both sides of the football.
Expect Sean Clifford to play like it’s his last time on the field for the Nittany Lions.
Penn State 38, Utah 17
Brandon Walker: Penn State and Utah is the most even matchup of the New Years Six bowls. Both teams virtually mirror each other in style of play.
When it comes to a game that is evenly matched I look at who are the best players on the field and those players are Penn State freshman sensations Nick Singleton and Abdul Carter. I see Singleton breaking a big run similar to what Saquon Barkley did in the 2017 Rose Bowl. I also see Carter creating a turnover at some point that flips momentum for Penn State. This will be close but Penn State’s high-end talent will be the difference.
Penn State 31, Utah 24
Logan Carney: This is a tough one to predict for me. You look at these two teams resumes and what all is that different? Surely Utah’s two wins over USC are the best wins either team has on the year, but they have only beaten one ranked team besides the Trojans. As for Penn State, who’s its best win over? Purdue? At this game’s core, though, you have the No. 7 scoring offense (Utah) against the No. 13 total defense (Penn State) so really, whoever you pick will determine if you prefer offense or defense. Growing up in Western P.A., I like hard-nose and gritty defense. Give me Penn State in what will be a very exciting Rose Bowl.
Penn State 28, Utah 21
Joe Smeltzer: Both teams are quite similar, and in a game where both teams are pretty much the same stylistically, a slight edge has to go to the more talented squad. I believe that’s Penn State.
Penn State’s run defense has come a long way since getting embarrassed at Michigan, and I think it will neutralize Utah just enough. On the other side, I expect true freshmen backs Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen to do what they’ve been doing all year; produce. Penn State wins a close one and ends what’s been a successful 2022 season in style.
Some predictions I have for Penn State-Utah are that Sean Clifford doesn’t throw a pick, Abdul Carter forces a fumble and Singleton breaks 100 yards.
Penn State 23, Utah 20