PASADENA, Calif. (ABC4 Sports) – The Rose Bowl is now just three days away, and the Utes are getting ready to take on Ohio State.
The Buckeyes have had several key players drop out of the game to get ready for the NFL, including two of its top receivers in Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave, who have combined for 1,994 yards and 25 touchdowns this season.
Quarterback C.J. Stroud will still be there, and even though he is going to have new receivers to throw to, the Heisman Trophy finalist will still be a test to the Utes defense.
“He’s a prototypical pocket passer, but he’s also capable of running as well,” said Utes linebacker Devin Lloyd. “He wants to stay in the pocket and get it to his elite receivers. I know a couple of them aren’t playing, but it’s Ohio State, so I know they’re going to have guys ready to go, ready to play.”
With Ohio State losing key guys at receiver, Stroud knows the younger guys like Julian Fleming, Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka are going to have to step up, regardless of their game experience.
“Those guys are young and they ain’t really played yet, so it’s an opportunity for them to get their feet wet,” said Stroud. “Julian has played, but Marvin really hasn’t and Emeka, it’s a good opportunity to get their feet wet and jump start for next year.”
Utah cornerback Clark Phillips III originally committed to Ohio State, but changed his mind and came to Utah. He’s looking forward to playing against some of the guys that would have been his teammates.
“I’m excited,” Phillips said. “I know some of those guys, but I’m really excited because I know that whoever they put out there, those dudes are all good. They were all the best of their class wherever they were, and Ohio State does a great job of developing receivers so I’m excited about that.”
Utah and Ohio State kick off the Rose Bowl Saturday January 1st, at 3:00 p.m.