Penn State And Pitt Football Accept Rose Bowl, Sun Bowl Invitations

Written By Nathan Frederick on December 9, 2022
Penn State is going back to the Rose Bowl for the first time since 2017.

The invitations arrived on Sunday. The Rose Bowl, “The Granddaddy of Them All,” requested Penn State’s presence for a Jan. 2 date with No. 8 Utah.

Pitt also received a bowl invitation this past weekend, with the Panthers set to face UCLA in the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl on Dec. 30.

Both teams will be making their fifth visit to their respective bowl games. Penn State last played in the Rose Bowl in 2017.

Bettors in the Keystone State can check here for 2022 college football bowl game odds for lines on all of the top upcoming games.

Penn State accepts Rose Bowl bid

The Rose Bowl, which began in 1902, is the oldest bowl game still in existence. Penn State has played in the game, which traditionally features teams from the Big Ten and Pac-12, four other times. The previous scores are as follows:

1923: USC 14, Penn State 3
1995: Penn State 38, Oregon 20
2009: USC 38, Penn State 24
2017: USC 52, Penn State 49

This year, the No. 11 Nittany Lions (10-2) face the No. 8 Utah Utes (10-3). The Utes are playing in their second straight Rose Bowl after losing to Ohio State 48-45 in a shootout last year. Utah upset USC in the Pac-12 Championship game to win the conference. Penn State finished third in the Big Ten East.

DraftKings Sportsbook PA has the Nittany Lions as 3-point underdogs in the Rose Bowl, which will be broadcast by ESPN at 5 p.m. on Jan. 2. The game’s total is set at 52 points. Moneylines, team totals, game props and quarter/half odds are also available.

Penn State 2022 betting trends

Penn State has fared pretty well against the spread this season. Here are the team’s betting trends:

  • 9-3 ATS
  • 8-4 Over/Under
  • 35.8 avg. points for
  • 18.0 avg. points against

Penn State preseason betting odds

Penn State has already exceeded its season win total and rewarded those who bet on the Nittany Lions to reach 10 wins. Here are Penn State’s preseason odds from FanDuel Sportsbook:

Win total: Over 8 (-150)/Under 8 (+125)
Odds to win National Championship: +10000
Odds to win Big Ten East: +800
To win 10+ games: +300

Penn State players to watch in the Rose Bowl

Penn State cornerback Joey Porter Jr. was recently named to the All-Big Ten team and selected as a second-team All American. However, Porter Jr. has already declared for the NFL Draft and will not play in the Rose Bowl.

Offensive lineman Olu Fashanu, defensive tackle PJ Mustipher and cornerback Kalen King were named to the Big Ten’s second team. Running back Nick Singleton was named Big Ten Newcomer of the Year. Besides Porter Jr., every other Nittany Lion is expected to play.

Here are some PSU players to watch in the bowl game:

  • Sean Clifford: The senior quarterback would love to end his Penn State career with a signature bowl win. Clifford finished the regular season with 2,543 passing yards, along with 22 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. He has led Penn State to four straight regular-season wins, all of which have been by 19 points or more.
  • Nick Singleton: The freshman running back can reach 1,000 yards for the season with 19 more in the Rose Bowl. He has 10 rushing touchdowns and a receiving score, as well.
  • Abdul Carter: The Nittany Lions will need someone to produce on the defensive side to compete with the high-scoring Utes. Carter might be a good candidate. He is currently second on the team in tackles with 55 and also has 6.5 sacks.

Pitt headed to Sun Bowl vs. UCLA

The Sun Bowl is another long-running postseason game, with an 88-year history of its own. The game, which began in 1935, has hosted Pitt four times.

The Panthers’ previous results in the game are below:

1975: Pitt 33, Kansas 19
1989: Pitt 31, Texas A&M 28
2008: Oregon State 3, Pitt 0
2018: Stanford 14, Pitt 13

In this year’s game, BetMGM PA has UCLA as a 7-point favorite over the Panthers. The over/under is set at 57.5. Numerous other betting options are available for this matchup, as well.

Pitt vs. UCLA Sun Bowl preview

Pitt’s offense should lean heavily on running back Israel Abanikanda, who rushed for 1,431 yards and 20 touchdowns in the regular season. Pitt receiver Jared Wayne has also made big plays for the Panthers. Wayne eclipsed 1,000 yards receiving (1,012) this season, averaging 18.2 yards per catch on his 55 receptions.

UCLA’s offense is also built around a talented running back. Zach Charbonnet had 1,359 yards and 14 rushing touchdowns this fall. And Bruins quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson has been productive too, throwing for 2,883 passing yards, 25 touchdowns and just seven interceptions this season.

The Sun Bowl will kickoff at 2 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 30, with television coverage broadcast on CBS.

Photo by Barry Reeger / AP
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Nathan Frederick

Nathan Frederick is an award-winning writer with more than 1,000 published bylines and two decades of journalism experience. His work has won awards from the Pennsylvania Society of Professional Journalists, the Keystone Press Association, and the Associated Press Sports Editors. He has also authored three books, one of which debuted as an Amazon No. 1 New Release.

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