No 8 Utah falls to No 11 Penn State in

No. 8 Utah falls to No. 11 Penn State in Rose Bowl after Rising’s early elimination –

Utah Utes running back Ja’Quinden Jackson (3) dives forward during a run as Utah and Penn State play Monday, January 2, 2023 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)

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PASADENA, Calif. — For the second straight season, No. 8 Utah finished the Rose Bowl without its starting quarterback; and sophomore Utah lost Allen’s grandfather.

Rising sustained an undisclosed injury and left the game at 6:31 in the third quarter, only to later return in street clothes to watch the Nittany Lions’ 35-21 win.

From there, No. 11 Penn State smelled blood in the water and charged. The Nittany Lions wasted no time building a 14-point lead on an 88-yard thump by quarterback Sean Clifford on KeAndre Lambert-Smith, who blew safety RJ Hubert for the easy result.

Lambert-Smith’s game followed an 87-yard rushing touchdown in the third quarter, running back Nick Singleton to give the Big Ten team a 7-point lead in a game that tied 14-14 at halftime was.

Penn State extended its lead in the fourth quarter, ending with a 14-point win over the two-time Pac-12 champion.

In the end, it was another Rose Bowl game where Utah’s secondary failed to match the opposing team’s offense in a loss. But it was also an offense that at times struggled to capitalize on.

Utah’s defense started strong and held Penn State’s offense in a three-and-out streak, but the Nittany Lions responded later in the first quarter after Rising threw an interception. Penn State rushed for 82 yards in 12 games and finished the drive with a 5-yard rushing touchdown from the T formation.

The Utes responded with a 1-yard passing touchdown from Rising to tight end Thomas Yassmin and later added another score when Ja’Quinden Jackson equalized after another Penn State score thanks to a spin move while making a pass von Rising, who broke a few tackles before finding the end zone for Utah’s second touchdown of the game.

But it was all Utah could put in play after Rising exited the game after throwing 95 yards on an 8-of-21 pass. Barnes struggled to deal with Penn State’s physical defense, which broke through the offensive line and quickly entered backfield. At that point, it was as if Utah had raised the white flag and surrendered.

Clifford ended a six-year career at Penn State on Monday with a throw for 279 yards on a 16-of-22 pass. He was substituted from the game and had just under three minutes left to play in front of an emotional crowd that earned him a standing ovation in a final appearance for Penn State.

Singleton led Penn State with 120 yards and two touchdowns on seven carries on a night the Nittany Lions rushed on 169 meters in total.

Rising completed 8 of 21 passes for 95 yards, a touchdown and an interception, and rushed for an additional 47 yards. Ja’Quinden Jackson added 81 yards and a touchdown on the floor for Utah, and Devaughn Vele caught five passes for 100 yards.

Backup quarterback Bryson Barnes threw for 112 yards with an interception for the Utes (10-4).

This story will be updated.


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Josh is an athletic director for and a beatwriter for the University of Utah’s track and field—primarily soccer, men’s basketball, and gymnastics. He is also an Associated Press Top 25 voter for college football.

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