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The Rose Bowl is one of college football's most storied bowl games. The first game occurred in 1902 before a 14-year hiatus and returned in 1916. Since then, there has never been a year without it.
This year, we have Penn State and Utah taking on one another. With so many opt-outs across many bowl games, Utah and Penn State are relatively unscathed.
There are several per team, but each comes away with only one significant loss.
The Nittany Lions are without cornerback Joey Porter Jr., one of the best cornerbacks in all of college football. He was targeted 30 times this year and gave up 15 catches.
For Utah, they’re without star tight end Dalton Kincaid. He caught 70 passes on 93 targets this year for 890 yards and eight touchdowns.
How will these absences impact the Rose Bowl? Let’s find out by examining the best bets below.
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Without Kincaid, Utah and quarterback Cam Rising are losing their most valuable receiving threat. However, Rising, who had 2,935 passing yards and 25 touchdowns this year, still has weapons like running back Micah Bernard and wide receivers Devaughn Vele, Money Parks, and Jaylen Dixon to work with.
On the ground, Utah has a solid committee even without Tavion Thompson who has opted out. After him, Utah has Bernard, Jaylon Glover, and Ja’Quinden Jackson who all have 66 snaps or more at the position this year. Together, those three backs combined for nearly 1,300 rushing yards and 16 rushing touchdowns.
Remember, Penn State is without Porter Jr. here, so this opens up a whole other side of the field for Rising to work with.
The Utah defense hasn’t given up more than 24 points in a game since October 15 when they allowed 42 to a potent USC offense.
Penn State has a great running game with Kaytron Allen and Nicholas Singleton, but I’m not as confident in a Sean Clifford passing offense.
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Without Porter Jr. in the lineup, Utah’s offense can operate a bit more freely, even without Kincaid.
As for Utah, they’re not allowing many points, but they did allow 24 in early December to USC, 21 to Colorado, and 20 to Oregon.
If Penn State can manage to cross that 20 mark or higher here with their run game, that sets this game up nicely.
Utah’s offense should be OK without Kincaid here, as Rising will be able to utilize his receivers more against a Porter Jr.-less secondary.
Also, we must mention this—this game is taking place in California so the weather will be excellent.
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After graduating from the University of New Hampshire with a BA in Journalism, Richard Janvrin has been covering iGaming and sports betting since December 2018. Richard has covered betting at Bleacher Report, Gambling.com, The Game Day, Forbes, and more.More info on Richard Janvrin
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