Penn State’s fifth trip to the Rose Bowl is finally here as the new year continues to be broken in. The traditional New Year’s Day Rose Bowl will be played today, January 2, after the NFL took the spotlight on Sunday, and Penn State will play in its fifth Rose Bowl Game and fourth since joining the Big Ten. The Nittany Lions face a formidable opponent with Utah winning its second-straight Pac-12 championship and entering the game as a favorite in Pasadena.
Despite both teams missing some key players on each side of the ball, the ingredients are still there for a good physical matchup with some smashmouth football to wrap up the season for each. Penn State and Utah are each searching for its 11th win of the season, and what better way to get it than celebrating in a shower of rose petals?
Here is how to watch the Rose Bowl on Monday evening.
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Live Stream: fuboTV (watch here)
Sep 18, 2021; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions cornerback Joey Porter Jr. (9) hypes of the fans during the fourth quarter against the Auburn Tigers at Beaver Stadium. Penn State defeated Auburn 28-20. Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports
Both Penn State and Utah will be without a few high-profile players who have opted out of the bowl season to focus on their NFL futures. Penn State will be without cornerback Joey Porter Jr., who announced he was opting out of the bowl season before it was confirmed Penn State would be in the Rose Bowl. The Nittany Lions will also be without leading wide receiver Parker Washington, who declared for the NFL draft and suffered a season-ending injury late in the regular season.
Utah also saw its top defensive back, Clark Phillips III, opt out of the bowl game. Utah will also be without its leading receiver and rusher from the regular season after tight end Dalton Kincaid and running back Tavion Thomas each opted out for the bowl season to focus on healing up and preparing for the NFL draft process.
Sep 17, 2022; Auburn, Alabama, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions running back Nicholas Singleton (10) celebrates with offensive lineman Olumuyiwa Fashanu (74) after scoring a touchdown against the Auburn Tigers during the third quarter at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports
In addition to the opting out of certain players, both teams have some players that are a bit banged up at the end of the season. Penn State has more players who could be missing time in the Rose Bowl due to the injury report though.
The most notable injury may be running back [autotag]Keyvone Lee[/autotag], who has been out with an undisclosed injury for some time. Lee has not appeared in a game since a mid-October loss to Michigan but he was seen practicing with the team in California leading up to the game. His status is unconfirmed, although Penn State’s running game is firmly in the hands of its freshman duo of [autotag]Nick Singleton[/autotag] and [autotag]Kaytron Allen[/autotag] if Lee is once again absent.
Penn State could have Olumuyiwa Fashanu back on the offensive line after the rising draft prospect announced he looked forward to playing in the Rose Bowl and returning for another year while putting the NFL on hold. Fashanu may be a game-time decision.
Pregame reading material
Big Ten enters January 2 bowl schedule with 4-2 record
Dec 31, 2022; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes wide receiver Nico Ragaini (89) makes a catch for a first down during the second half against the Kentucky Wildcats in the 2022 Music City Bowl at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Will the Big Ten end the day with a winning bow record? The Big Ten was a clean 4-0 until the College Football Playoff games were played. Michigan was upset in a wild Fiesta Bowl and Ohio State couldn’t hold off the defending national champions from Georgia in the Peach Bowl. It will be up to Penn State to make sure the Big Ten doesn’t go without a single win in the New Year’s Six bowls this season, and a winning record for the conference could potentially come down to Penn State’s result in the Rose Bowl.
Illinois will face Mississippi State in the ReliaQuest Bowl at noon eastern and Purdue will face LSU in the Citrus Bowl at 1:00 p.m. ET. Illinois and Purdue are each underdogs in their respective bowl games and losses in each would drop the Big Ten record to 4-4 heading into the Rose Bowl.
Check out the full Big Ten bowl result tracker for a complete breakdown of this year’s bowl record and results.