Rose Bowl: Penn State vs. Utah Preview and Insights

Get your best ball shined up, those slippy shoes on, and your wrist brace dusted off because we’re going bowling! Bowl season is here, and we are getting you ready by previewing every single game. Here we head to California for the 109th annual Rose Bowl as the Utah Utes face the Penn State Nittany Lions in the oldest actively running bowl game.

Rose Bowl Game Information

Date: Monday, January 2, 2022 | Game Time: 5:00 pm ET
Venue: Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA | How To Watch: ESPN
Record: #11 PSU (10-2) | #8 UTA (10-3)                                                                                        

Spread:  UTA -1.5 | Moneyline: PSU -102 – UTA -118 | Total: 52.5 

In one of the most evenly matched games of bowl season, the Penn State Nittany Lions meet the Utah Utes. Utah is no stranger to the stadium below the San Gabriel Mountains as they played in their first Rose Bowl last season, in a heartbreaker against the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Despite last year’s setback, Utah has won 11 of their past 15 bowl games and will look to improve on a successful 10-win season against Penn. The Utes come in winners of six of their past seven, including a beatdown of Southern California in the Pac-12 Championship game.

While the Nittany Lions have lost three of their past four bowl games, they come into “the Granddaddy of Them All” on an up note. Penn State won the final four games of their season and only dropped games to CFP semifinalists No. 2 Michigan and No. 4 Ohio State.

The Lions will be without talented corner Joey Porter Jr., who opted out and declared for the draft. Receiver Parker Washington also announced for the draft but will miss the game regardless with a leg injury.

Utah covered in four of their final five games and just missed covering at Oregon, where they lost by a field goal. Penn State covered in six straight down the stretch, routinely going well above their lines.

The Utes went over in their last two games, which followed a four-game stretch of unders. Penn went over five of their previous seven, including a streak of four straight. 

Penn State Nittany Lions Insights:

  • #11 Penn State is 9-1 (.900) when allowing less than 5 yards per rush — tied for 7th-best in FBS; Average: .578
  • #11 Penn State is 8-1 (.800) when rushing at least 4 yards in a play 10 or more times — 3rd-best among Power 5 Teams; Average: .441
  • #11 Penn State is 6-1 (.750) when making 7 or more explosive plays — 4th-best among Power 5 Teams; Average: .451
  • #11 Penn State is 8-2 (.727) when forcing at least one fumble since the 2021 season– 14th-best among Power 5 Teams; Average: .572
  • #11 Penn State is undefeated (6-0) when making 3 or more explosive runs in a game — 2nd-best among Power 5 Teams; Average: .470

Utah Utes Insights:

  • #8 Utah is 15-4 (.789) when allowing less than 50% of third down conversion opportunities since the 2021 season– tied for 12th-best in FBS; Average: .562
  • #8 Utah is 11-2 (.733) when not throwing an interception since the 2021 season– tied for 7th-best among Power 5 Teams; Average: .506
  • #8 Utah is 15-5 (.625) when converting 55% or more of its red zone chances into touchdowns since the 2021 season– 9th-best among Power 5 Teams; Average: .443
  • #8 Utah is 15-2 (.882) when allowing less than 5 yards per rush since the 2021 season– 5th-best in FBS; Average: .590
  • #8 Utah is 7-3 (.583) when rushing at least 4 yards in a play 10 or more times — 14th-best among Power 5 Teams; Average: .441

Rose Bowl Matchup Insights:

  • Penn State is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS win.
  • Utah is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
  • Penn State is 5-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
  • Utah is 1-4 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
  • Over is 4-0 in Penn State’s last 4 vs. Pac-12.
  • Over is 5-1 in Utah’s last 6 games on grass.