It’s billed the “Granddaddy of them All,” and the latest edition of the Rose Bowl certainly lived up to that as Ohio State and Utah faced off in one of the most exciting games of the college football season.
The Buckeyes (11-2) won 48-45 on a field goal by Noah Ruggles with nine seconds left in a contest that saw multiple records come crashing down.
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Saturday’s game featured loads of offense, very little defense and some good special teams play, which made it one of the more historic games in recent memory.
Sporting News dives into the numbers to show just how wild the 2022 Rose Bowl was:
OSU has record offensive showing
Ohio State was without its two top wide receivers — Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson — for the game as both opted out to prepare for the NFL Draft. That meant Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Marvin Harrison Jr., among others, would have to step up.
And, oh boy, did they.
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Smith-Njigba hauled in 15 catches for 347 yards and three touchdowns, breaking Ohio State and Rose Bowl records in the process.
He set the following Ohio State records:
- Single-game receiving yards (347)
- Single-season receptions (95)
- Single-season receiving yards (1,606)
He also shattered Keyshawn Johnson’s Rose Bowl record en route to setting the record for receiving yards in a bowl game. Johnson had 216 yards for USC in 1996. Smith-Njigba finished with the fifth-most receiving yards in a game in FBS history.
But behind every great wide receiver, there’s usually a great quarterback, as was the case Saturday. Ohio State freshman C.J. Stroud completed 37 for 46 passes for 573 yards and six touchdowns. The yards are Rose Bowl and Ohio State records and the TDs are a Rose Bowl record.
Utah joins the fun
Saturday’s game was the No. 11 Utes’ first appearance in the Rose Bowl and just their third New Year’s Six bowl appearance, and, though they lost, they didn’t totally squander the opportunity.
Their offense came to play, with 463 yards of total offense and a record-setting scoring output.
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Utah led 35-21 at halftime; the 35 points were the most by a team in the first half of a Rose Bowl game. The Utes’ 45 total points were the most in program history against a top-10 opponent. Ohio State came in ranked No. 6 nationally.
Alliance teams during bowl season
Earlier this season, it was announced the ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 would form a three-conference alliance to shift the balance of power in college football.
The setup is not yet official, but the Big Ten fared the best among the three conferences during bowl season. Utah’s loss means the Pac-12 still has not won a bowl game since 2019.
- Big Ten: 6-4
- Pac-12: 0-5
- ACC: 2-4