That did not appear to be a meaningless bowl sport.
The Rose Bowl Sport – the “Granddaddy of Them All” – supplied a reminder that it does not matter how the groups bought there. No. 7 Ohio State beat No. 10 Utah 48-45 in one of many most-entertaining bowl video games of all time.
Positive, it comes within the Faculty Soccer Playoff period in an age the place the worth of New Yr’s Day Six Bowl video games is being questioned due to opt-outs. Ohio State had a number of key gamers out, together with receivers Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave. The Utes, who have been within the Rocky Mountain Athletic Convention when the Buckeyes made their first Rose Bowl look in 1920, have been first-time members in Pasadena, Calif.
Each groups performed like they wished to be there. This version of the Rose Bowl had all the things, very like the 52-49 shootout between Penn State and USC in 2017.
Ohio State receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba turned in arguably the best Rose Bowl efficiency of all time. He completed with 15 receptions for 347 yards and three TDs. Smith-Njigba had six catches of 30 yards or extra and submitted his identify into the early 2022 Heisman Trophy dialog. USC’s Keyshawn Johnson beforehand held the report with 216 yards.
Until, in fact, quarterback C.J. Stroud is that participant. Stroud shook off the loss to Michigan within the regular-season finale with a Rose Bowl-record 573 passing yards and 6 TDs. That broke the report of 473 yards by USC’s Sam Darnold.
You’ll be able to’t say they did not need to be there. Stroud and Smith-Njigba used the chance to extend their worth, and they’ll reap in advantages from NIL to the NFL.
These information have been a product of a outstanding comeback, too. Utah got here to play. The Utes matched Ohio State with 324 complete yards within the first half and constructed a 35-21 lead at halftime. Micah Bernard made a ridiculous catch at the back of the top zone for a landing. Britain Covey had a 97-yard kickoff return for a TD. Cameron Rising took a fourth-and-1 sneak for a 62-yard TD.
Ohio State’s much-maligned protection tightened up within the second half, nevertheless. Freshman Marvin Harrison’s third TD reception tied the sport at 38 with 10:12 remaining, and Smith-Njigba scored a go-ahead TD with 4:22 left. With Rising out with a concussion, it seemed like this sport was over.
That is when Utah quarterback Bryson Barnes, who had 0 profession completions, led a game-tying drive capped with a TD cross to Dalton Kincaid. The sport did finish in anticlimactic vogue with a Noah Ruggles’ 19-yard area aim, however the level was made.
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The Rose Bowl delivered someday after each Faculty Soccer Playoff semifinals have been duds. Utah misplaced the sport, however this system will construct on its first Pac-12 championship beneath Kyle Whittingham. Ohio State completed 11-2 beneath third-year coach Ryan Day and shall be proper again within the high 5 of the 2022 preseason rankings. Had Ohio State misplaced its bowl sport after dropping to Michigan, one thing that hasn’t occurred since 2011, there would have been greater than sufficient exasperation on Columbus radio Sunday.
Each teaching staffs will level to this sport as a launch level for nevertheless subsequent season seems, too.
Say what you need in regards to the Rose Bowl’s place within the faculty soccer bowl construction. The devotion to custom stays a stumbling block in Faculty Soccer Playoff growth given the Jan. 1 date. The best answer is perhaps to make the hallowed venue a part of the championship sport rotation, however that is still an ongoing dialog. At minimal, this was a reminder of what a great quartefinal matchup may appear to be when the playoff expands.
It was leisure on the highest stage, and Ohio State and Utah delivered a matchup that shall be on the quick listing of all-time nice bowl video games. Typically you do not have to seek for which means when the competitors speaks for itself.
Does not that sound like one thing your Granddaddy would say?