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Utah will face Ohio State in the Rose Bowl

The Utes will face one of the most prestigious programs in college football, Ohio State, in The Granddaddy of Them All.

Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud drops back to pass
Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud plays against Michigan State during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021, in Columbus, Ohio. The Utes will likely face Ohio State in the 2022 Rose Bowl.
Jay LaPrete, Associated Press

The 108th Rose Bowl matchup is official.

Utah, the Pac-12 champion, punched its ticket to Pasadena after beating Oregon 38-10 in the Pac-12 title game on Friday, and the Utes will face one of the most prestigious programs in college football, Ohio State, in The Granddaddy of Them All.

12-1 Michigan was No. 2 in the final College Football Playoff rankings after beating Iowa in the Big Ten championship game on Saturday.

The Rose Bowl website states that “Should a team from the Big Ten or Pac-12 be selected to play in the College Football Playoff, the Tournament of Roses will traditionally select the next-highest CFP-ranked team from that conference.”

With Michigan in the College Football Playoff, the next-highest Big Ten CFP-ranked team is Ohio State at No. 6.

Ohio State lost 35-28 at home in Week 2 to Oregon, dropping its record to 1-1, then strung together nine consecutive wins to set up “The Game” against rival Michigan last week, with the winner going to the Big Ten championship game and likely the playoff.

The Wolverines, ranked No. 5 at the time, beat No. 2 Ohio State 42-27. Michigan rushed for 297 yards against the Buckeyes, eliminating them from the Big Ten championship game and the College Football Playoff.

Ohio State is led by quarterback CJ Stroud, who has thrown for 3,862 yards and 38 touchdowns.

Running back TreVeyon Henderson has rushed for 1,172 yards and 15 touchdowns, and the Buckeyes have an excellent trio of wide receivers — Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave — who have combined for 3,253 receiving yards and 31 touchdowns.

On defense, safety Ronnie Hickman leads the Buckeyes in tackles with 95 and he also has two interceptions.

Defensive tackle Haskell Garret has 5.5 sacks.

Ohio State averages 45.5 points per game, first in all of Division I football, while allowing an average of 20.9 points per game, 27th in the country.

It will be the 16th appearance in the Rose Bowl for the Buckeyes, while the Utes will be making their first appearance.

The Rose Bowl is on Jan. 1, 2022 at 3 p.m. MST in Pasadena, Calif. The game will be broadcast on ESPN.