PASADENA, Calif. (ABC4 Sports) – There are big wins, and there are BIG wins. And a win by Utah over Ohio State in the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day would be a program defining win.
On a national level, it would rank right up there with the 2005 Fiesta Bowl victory over Pittsburgh, and the 2009 Sugar Bowl win over Alabama.
The Utes are four and a half point underdogs to the Buckeyes but they know a win over Ohio State on a big stage like the Rose Bowl would help put Utah football on the national map.
And for Utah star linebacker Devin Lloyd, he’s excited for what this game could mean to the University. “This is an amazing opportunity for the program, for the University. To be the first team to go to the Rose Bowl, you know ultimately we’re here to play a game and win a game,” said Lloyd. “So we’re going to do everything to put ourselves in the best position to win.”
“When you’re a program that is trying to gain notoriety, and gain a name in terms of success. I feel like these games definitely help,” said Utah cornerback Clark Phillips III. “Pac-12 Championship helps, so we just got to keep dominating at a high level.”
“I think it’s a good opportunity to show what the Utah brand of football is,” said defensive end Mika Tafua. “It’s just a good opportunity to show that.”
“It’s very important, that was the main thing that we’re here for, to win a football game,” said linebacker Nephi Sewell. “Despite all the activities we always emphasize that at the end of the game we’re here to win a game.”
“You want to do something special, you want to be remembered,” said Lloyd. “To put myself in that position along with everyone on the team, I can vouch for them, it’s something that we will remember for the rest of our lives.”
The Rose Bowl between Ohio State and Utah kicks off at 3:00 pm on New Years Day.