Monday’s Grandaddy of Them All marks quarterback Sean Clifford’s final collegiate start, and the opportunity for Penn State Football to officially pass the baton to former five-star recruit and dynamic freshman quarterback Drew Allar.
Likewise, freshman standouts Nick Singleton, Kaytron Allen, Abdul Carter, and others, figure to play vital roles in Penn State Football’s chances of upsetting the Utes.
Here are our staff predictions for Penn State Football vs. Utah in the 2023 Rose Bowl:
Patrick Sweda, Football Writer
Utah came really close to getting their first Rose Bowl victory last season before falling late to Ohio State and will certainly be trying to get a statement bowl win for their program.
Meanwhile, Penn State Football looks to return to finish in the Top-10 for the first time since the 2019 season, that was capped off with a Cotton Bowl victory over Memphis. This game is an opportunity to test Penn State against a Top 10 opponent that isn’t a playoff team.
Take the Nittany Lions and the points, if the line gets up to 3 points or higher.
I would take the moneyline on anything less to get the best value.
With the direction that the Rose Bowl has gone in recent years I would also take the over 52.5 as there will most likely be a lot of points scored in this one. Penn State has the more talented team, but Utah has made a habit in recent years of taking down the more talented teams in their conference. The Nittany Lions will pull this one out in a thriller.
Prediction: Penn State 38 Utah 35
Derek Brynildsen, Football Writer
The 109th “Granddaddy Of Them All” is perhaps the most anticipated non-CFP matchup of bowl season.
It’ll feature two teams that are almost identical to each other.
Utah loves to feature their tight ends in the passing game, but star tight end Dalton Kincaid, who has nearly 900 yards receiving this season, will not play in the Rose Bowl due to injury. Utah will also be without stud corner Clark Phillips III, whom some project will be a first-round pick in April.
The Nittany Lions will also be without their leading receiver Parker Washington, as well as their best corner Joey Porter Jr. Who does this benefit the most? The answer is Penn State.
The Nittany Lions are loaded with NFL talented in the secondary, and while the loss of Parker Washington will sting, I believe Penn State can create enough explosive plays in the running game to keep the Utah defense off-balance. This, in turn, will lead to passing lanes being open for Sean Clifford down the field.
I expect an absolute classic matchup under the San Gabriel Mountains in Pasadena on Monday night.
Prediction: Penn State 27, Utah 24.
Robert Casturo, Football writer
Both Utah and Penn State Football can put up points on offense, but the Lions’ defense is plenty capable of getting a stop when it needs one.
Penn State’s offense with the freshman two headed monster backfield should give Utah headaches and open up passes across the middle in play action. Meanwhile, Penn State’s defense gets 2+ turnovers and takes advantage of Manny Diaz’s aggressive scheme. Defense gets a stop late to keep the Nittany Lions ahead.
Prediction: Penn State 38, Utah 34
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