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The Rose Bowl Game Presented By Prudential: No. 11 Penn State Vs No. 8 Utah Preview


Jan 1, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Utah Utes coach Kyle Whittingham (left) and Penn State Nittany Lions coach James Franklin pose with the Leishman Trophy during the Rose Bowl coaches press conference at the Sheraton Grand Los Angeles.
The Big Ten’s last hope at a New Year’s Six win rests at the hands of James Franklin
Kirby Lee-USAA TODAY Sports

The Rose Bowl Game Presented By Prudential

No. 8 Utah Utes vs No. 11 Penn State Nittany Lions

5 PM Eastern | ESPN | Utah -1.5 | OU 53

This is it folks!

The Penn State Nittany Lions take on the Utah Utes in the Rose Bowl Game Presented by Prudential, in the last bowl game of the 2022 season. Both teams share a similar philosophy, where running the ball is paramount, strong defense is essential, and doing enough in the passing game to keep opposing defenses honest is the cherry on top that keeps the engine going.

What’s the opt-out situation?

On the Penn State side, Joey Porter, Jr. and Parker Washington will be unavailable, the former to prepare for the NFL draft, the latter due to his season-ending injury. While several other players have expressed their plans to declare for the draft, they all elected to come back one more time to hel the Nittany Lions get a Rose Bowl (Game Presented by Prudential) win.

Utah loses tight end Dalton Kincaid, cornerback Clark Phillips III, and running back Tavion Thomas have all decided to skip the game. Unlike the Nittany Lions, who were already playing without both Porter, Jr. and Washington due to injury, the Utes do lose two guys who played through the Pac-12 Championship game (although Kincaid did play through injury in the game).

What’s the watching situation?

What better way to close bowl season than to watch the most prestigious bowl game of them all? If the game turns out to be anything like last year’s, expect plenty of fireworks from both squads. Both teams will have plenty of motivation to end the season on the right now, and hopefully springboard their way into a strong(er) 2023.

Guys like Sean Clifford, Brenton Strange, and P.J. Mustipher will look to go out on a high note, with a win giving Penn State its fourth 11-win seasons in James Franklin’s tenure.

There’s also the whole “Penn State is the Big Ten East’s last hope at a .500 record in bowl games,” and sure let’s pretend that Georgia and Kentucky are exactly the same team for a second, but if the Lions were to lose this one, our brethren from the West will never let the “Big 3” hear the end of it.

And because of that, I’m predicting a 42-35 barn burner, where Sean Clifford leads a Purdue-like game clinching drive to seal the win.



This poll is closed

  • 89%
    Penn State
    (61 votes)
  • 10%
    (7 votes)
68 votes total Vote Now

As the season comes to a close, I’d like to give a heartfelt thanks to the staff who has welcomed me with open arms, and to the readers, who, outside of that one article, have been gracious in accepting me into the ranks. Thanks for a fun season!