The 11th-ranked Utah Utes, down two scores early to the USC Trojans, defended their Pac-12 title with a 47-24 win over USC this past Saturday. The win sends the Utes (10-3) back to the Rose Bowl on Jan. 2, while USC is now out of the College Football Playoff mix but is likely headed to a different New Year’s Six bowl. Utah will take on No. 11 Penn State Monday, Jan. 2 for the 109th Rose Bowl at 2 p.m.
Amongst a highly diverse and competitive Utes’ quarterback depth chart, three-star freshman Brandon Rose, a 2022 Murrieta Valley High School graduate, will be suited up, just as he was all season, should Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham need him. Rose, who hasn’t received any play time during the 2022 season, was noted during the recruiting process as a prolific passer who loves the pocket and fires lasers but can still use his legs to move the chains.
During his senior year, Rose threw for an impressive 3,002 passing yards and 33 touchdowns on a 66% clip (174-260). He also registered 236 yards rushing and two touchdowns during the same season. For his efforts, Rose was named the Southwestern League MVP and led his team to a league championship. One of the earlier recruits for the 2022 class, Rose committed to Utah last June. Like many other recruits, it was Utah’s family vibes and feeling of home that helped secure the talented quarterback’s commitment.
“Utah was one of the top schools,” Rose said in an interview with the media last year. “When I visited here, I felt at home. The coaching staff treated me well, I loved the environment, loved the atmosphere and the family-first mentality here is really what drew me to them. And with the Pac-12 Championship, I committed before that so I was along for the journey, just hoping for them to have the best season they could have, and for them to get the Rose Bowl and fall short, is an accomplishment in itself. But let’s go all the way this year.”
Not only is Rose working with a fantastic coaching staff but is also learning from one of the best quarterbacks in the country in Cameron Rising, who was last week’s MVP, throwing for 310 yards and three touchdowns against USC. According to Rose, Rising has been a big help both on and off the field, able to answer any question the young freshman may have.
The first year QB was looking to compete for a QB2 spot and take over the starting position once Rising takes his talents to the NFL, but that is another story as sophomore Bryson Barnes seems to have filled that role this season.
As for the Rose Bowl, the Utes and the Nittany Lions will face off for the first time in program history with Utah currently holding 10 wins all-time against the Big Ten. Utah is 17-7 all-time in bowl games with Whittingham holding an 11-4 record, which ranks second among active coaches and inside the top-10 all-time. They also finished at No. 8 in the Final College Football Playoff poll, the seventh time in program history to appear in the final CFP Poll. It is the highest final ranking the Utes have received after finishing at No. 11 in 2019 and 2021.
Utah’s New Year’s Six History
- 2005 Fiesta Bowl: Utah 35, Pittsburgh 7
- 2009 Sugar Bowl: Utah 31, Alabama 17
- 2022 Rose Bowl: Ohio State 48, Utah 45
Tickets and information for the Rose Bowl game can be found at www.rosebowlgame.com.
JP Raineri can be reached by email at email@example.com.