Rose Bowl Prediction: #6 Ohio State vs. #11 Utah

Unfortunately, that game lost some of its shine when No. 6 Ohio State (10-2) lost four of its best players a week before the game. It wasn’t about injury, it was about them deciding the Rose Bowl wasn’t important enough for them to play now that they have the NFL in their sights.

Despite these personnel losses, the game between the Buckeyes and Pac 12 champion Utah Utes (10-3) should still be a good one.

Here are the predictions from the Irish Breakdown staff.

BRYAN DRISKELL, EDITOR

Prediction: Utah 30, Ohio State 27

I’m not really buying all the transitive property, but I can’t help but think about how Oregon convincingly beat Ohio State in September and how Utah completely destroyed Utah in two games. It certainly piqued my interest in this game.

Utah finished the season as one of the hottest teams in the nation, beating Oregon by scores of 38-7 and 38-10 in three of their final games. Outside of Oregon, the Utes didn’t face any teams down the stretch, so was it just a bad game for the Ducks or was Utah so good?

The Utes have rushed for 261.5 yards per game in the last six games and they are a very physical game of football. Ohio State allowed 269 yards in its loss to Oregon in September and 297 yards in the regular season-ending loss to Michigan. If Utah can get their ground game going, they’ll control the clock, keep Ohio State’s offense off the field, and win the game.

With the stars of Ohio State Garrett Wilson and Chris Olaveand offensive tackle Nicolas Little Brother by withdrawing from the game, the passing game lost a lot of explosiveness. Expect Buckeyes to rely on star freshman a lot more Tre Veyon Henderson.

The Buckeyes have rushed for at least 200 yards in six games this season, but they’ve also gone two games under 100 yards and scored just 128 against Oregon. Utah’s leading defense has been excellent in the second half of the season (88.8 YPG in the last six games), but it has given up at least 204 yards in three of its first seven games. So which unit appears?

I think Utah is running it on the Buckeyes and hitting a few shots on the field. A key turnover will also get the Utes points and will play a big role in the outcome.

VINCE DEDARIO, FOOTBALL ANALYST

Prediction: Ohio State 38, Utah 31

If this was a 12-team tournament style championship, Utah would be a VERY dangerous team. They beat Oregon twice and just beat them physically. The problem with this game is that they are going against a very powerful passing attack that can score in a hurry. I would probably take Utah in most games against most opponents, but not Ohio State.

The Utes can and will move the ball against the Ohio State defense and will eat a lot of clock in the meantime. The problem is, Ohio State will score early and often on the Utah defense. It will be something of a shootout as both teams score on most of their possessions and Utah will likely win time in the possession battle. Ohio State wins the battle that matters; on the dashboard.

RYAN ROBERTS, IB RECRUITMENT

Prediction: Utah 31, Ohio State 24

Utah has things rolling down the stretch. They play with supreme confidence. Ohio State finds itself at the finish with almost no momentum. I guess a team is much more excited to be in this game – and the game will show that.

Be sure to check out the Irish Breakdown message board, the Champions Lounge

Content of the Irish distribution

Notre Dame List 2021
Schedule Notre-Dame 2021

Ranking of signatories 2022 – Attack
Ranking of signatories 2022 – Defense

Notre Dame 2023 Class Big Board

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