Well, friends, today’s the day. For better or for worse, this afternoon in the shadow of the San Gabriel Mountains, the Ohio State Buckeyes will end their 2021 football season in the Granddaddy of Them All. Ryan Day’s squad will take on the Pac-12 champion Utah Utes in the 2022 Rose Bowl presented by Capital One Venture X Card (what’s in your wallet?).
The Utes are 10-3 on the season and finished 8-1 in the Pac-12. Kyle Whittingham’s squad has built a reputation for being a tough, physical team on both sides of the ball led by dominant lines. Their defensive attack ranks sixth in the country with 3.23 sacks per game and ninth nationally with 7.46 tackles for loss.
Their offense boasts a four-headed rushing attack that features quarterback Cameron Rising and running backs T.J. Pledger, Micah Bernard, and Dayton native Tavion Thomas. The Utes’ 216.54 yards per game ranks 13th nationally while they only allow 318.0 ypg on the ground, which is the 12th best in the country.
If Ohio State wants to avoid its first three-loss season since 2011, the Buckeyes will need to make adjustments to the very things that led to their defeats at the hands of their rivals and the Oregon Ducks. In both of those games, they were beaten by tougher teams who imposed their will and forced OSU into situations on both sides of the ball that they were not comfortable in.
After opening as a seven-point favorite, the line has dropped three points so that the Buckeyes are now favored by just four according to DraftKings Sportsbook. Currently, the over/under for the game is set at 64 points. I’m on recording saying that if I lived in a state with legalized sports gambling that I would avoid the spread and bet on the over. But, I’ve only ever placed one sports bet in my life (a regular season Reds’ game), so what do I know?
When is the game and how can I watch?
Game Date/Time: Saturday, Jan. 1, 5 p.m. ET
Location: Pasadena, Cali.
Radio: 97.1 FM/1460 AM
Official LGHL Prediction: Ohio State 34, Utah 27
Matt’s Prediction: Ohio State 38, Utah 31
Join the conversation
Below is your Ohio State vs. Utah Rose Bowl GameThread. Be respectful, be kind and — as always — keep it classy, BuckeyeNation. If you like GIFs, lay ‘em on us. In all, be good fans, cheer for your teams, be cool to each other (even if somebody else isn’t) and everyone wins. Let’s finish the season strong!