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Rose Bowl Presented By Capital One Venture X Preview

The Rose Bowl is always a classic game that everybody watches on New Year’s Day. This year we have a very exciting bowl matchup, which is one I wouldn’t have expected to see in the beginning of the season. The matchup is between Utah (10-3) and Ohio State (10-2). Utah won the Pac 12 title and Ohio State hasn’t played since getting beaten by their rival Michigan. These two teams will look to end the year on a good note and what better way to do it then to win the Rose Bowl. With that being said here is my preview for the Rose Bowl which is presented by Capital One Venture X.

 

Utah 

The Utes were the surprise in the Pac 12 this season. They won the Pac 12 and at the beginning of the season I thought they would just be bowl eligible. Here we are though as the Utes are getting ready for their big matchup against Ohio State. Utah averages 216.1 rushing yards per game and averages 35.5 points per game. The Utes running game is led by running back Tavion Thomas. Thomas has 1,041 rushing yards on the season and adds 20 rushing touchdowns as well as 5.6 yards per carry.

Utah has won their last six games and in those games Thomas has at least a touchdown in each of those wins. If Utah wants to win, they need to make sure that Thomas has a great game against an Ohio State defense that they last time we saw them, they let Hassan Haskins from Michigan run all over their defense. Defensively, the Utes give up just over 20 points per game. They are very good against the pass as well as they give up only 195.3 passing yards per game. This Utah defense will need to step up as they face an offense that on average has put up the most points in the nation.

 

Ohio State

The Ohio State Buckeyes finally lost to Michigan and now see themselves playing in the Rose Bowl instead of the College Football playoff. This Ohio State offense is led by quarterback C.J. Stroud. Stroud has thrown for 3,862 passing yards to go along with 38 passing touchdowns and five interceptions. One bad thing is that Stroud will be without two of his top targets in this matchup. As Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave prepare for the NFL Draft, Stroud’s number one target is Jaxon Smith-Njigba will get the majority of the focus from the Utes defense. This Buckeye offense averages 45.5 points per game and 562.2 total yards of offense per game. It is tough to imagine Ohio State’s offense struggling at any point this season. However, without the top two receivers what will C.J. Stroud give us for a performance in this one.

Defensively, the Buckeyes will look to better themselves after their embarrassing showing against Michigan. Ohio State gives up 20.9 points per game and allows 119.7 rushing yards per game this season. This rushing defense will need to be atop of the game in this one if they want to give Utah their first loss in a very long time.

 

Prediction: 

Ohio State is a 4 point favorite with the over/under set at 64. I lean the over here as both offenses can score, but Ohio State has the number one scoring offense in the country. I would be surprised if this over doesn’t hit, but it is not my official play in this one. My official play is Ohio State -4, as I am going with the better quarterback in this one. There is no way Ohio State doesn’t come out guns blazing after the way they looked in their last game of the season.

 

-Chris Jones (@cjoneswho1212)

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