It has been six seasons since PSU’s last Rose Bowl appearance. This squad brings an offense that averages 432 yards of offense and 35.8 points per game. The “Dynamic Duo” of true freshman running backs, Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen, led a rushing attack that has gained over 150 yards in all but 3 games. Two of those games, however, resulted in Penn State losses.
Sean Clifford makes his 46th and final start as QB. He has thrown for 2453 yards and 22 TDs against 7 INT’s. He spreads the ball around to a bevy of different receivers, as 12 different Lions have hauled in touchdown receptions. However, he will be missing his most favorite target in Parker Washington, who was ruled out for the season and missed the final three games.
The defense comes in giving up an average of 18 points per game, good enough for 10th in the country. They’ll have their work cut out for them, as Utah’s offense is the 8th highest scoring team in the country, averaging 472 yards of total offense and 40 ppg. Penn State Rose Bowl history has not been kind to the Nittany Lion’s secondary, as they have averaged allowing 453 yards through the air. This year’s edition has only allowed 300 twice, winning against Purdue and losing against Ohio State.
As New Year’s Day falls on a Sunday, this year’s Rose Bowl will be played on Jan. 2. Utah is currently a two-and-a-half-point favorite with the total sitting at 52, showing that oddsmakers think this could be a potential shootout. Penn State must establish the Duo’s ground game to take some of the pressure off of Clifford. Our defense, which has 39 sacks on the year, hopefully will be able to pressure and 24 takeaways this season.
Whatever the outcome may be, history shows that Penn State’s Rose Bowl games are usually entertaining.