The Ohio State Buckeyes are looking to bounce back from an incredibly embarrassing loss to the Michigan Wolverines, 42-27, and they will get that opportunity on the first day of 2022 in the Rose Bowl against the Pac-12 champion Utah Utes.
Ohio State is favored by a tad more than a field goal. The tight spread makes sense considering the major opt-outs that have been announced including Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave. With all that said, I believe strongly that the Buckeyes are going to come out on fire. Here is what the rest of our writers say about who will win the 108th edition of “the Grandaddy of them all.”
Nov 20, 2021; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes defensive end Zach Harrison (9) rushes on defense at Michigan State Spartans guard Kevin Jarvis (75) at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Ohio State 24, Utah 26
This game concerns me for Ohio State for a couple of reasons. First, it’s human nature to have a letdown after your goals are not met in the postseason. The players and coaches are all saying the right things, but four opt-outs of key starters tells a story. I don’t blame them one bit, but it still leads to this game not meaning as much as the postseasons in the past.
But probably more importantly, Utah is a physical bunch that will try to replicate the game plan Michigan had. Look for downhill running with some play action and tight end work mixed in to control the clock and keep the OSU offense off the field. I don’t know how you fix playing physical and motivated in such a quick turnaround and OSU just got beat physically last time out. I hope I’m wrong, but I like Utah to win a close one.
Ohio State tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere, here celebrating with fans after a win over Michigan in 2019, will serve as a public spokesman for a Tampa technology startup. Credit: USA TODAY Sports
Ohio State 42, Utah 28
As I said above, the Ohio State Buckeyes need to earn a win after such a terrible loss to their biggest rival. There is no doubt a giant talent gap between the Buckeyes and the Utes and I am hoping that the youth of the Ohio State roster is able to take it up a notch on Saturday.
Ohio State Buckeyes defensive end Zach Harrison (9) and defensive tackle Taron Vincent (6) make their way through fans that stormed the field following the 33-24 win over the Penn State Nittany Lions in the NCAA football game at Ohio Stadium in Columbus on Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021. Credit: USA TODAY Sports
Ohio State 42, Utah 35
Ryan Day and OSU had to learn something from the debacle that took place at Michigan, and I think they did. Utah will give the Buckeyes everything they’ve got, but thanks to Wolverine fans who have been poking the scarlet and gray bear since late November, this Ohio State team is angry and has something to prove to the nation as well as itself.