Pasadena, CA- No. 11 Penn State used big plays and a stout defense to defeat No. 8 Utah 35-21 in the 109th edition of the Rose Bowl on Monday in Pasadena.
Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford passed for 279 yards and two touchdowns while running
back Nicholas Singleton rushed for 120 yards and two touchdowns to help the Nittany Lions
become the 2023 Rose Bowl champions.
“I’m just happy for our guys,” Penn State head coach James Franklin said. “To come out here
and play that team, got so much respect for Utah and Coach Whittingham out here on the road,
it’s basically a home game for them, and our guys played their tails off. I’m just so proud of
them, offense, defense and special teams.”
After an interception by Kalen King, Penn State capped an 11-play, 82-yard drive with
Singleton’s 5-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Utah answered with Cameron Rising’s 1-
yard touchdown pass to Yasmin Thomas in the second quarter.
Penn State came right back when Clifford found Mitchell Tinsley in the end zone for a 10-yard
touchdown and a 14-7 lead with 4:47 left in the second quarter. Utah evened the score 14-14 on
a 19-yard touchdown run by running back Ja’Quinden Jackson with 2:38 remaining in the first
In the third quarter, Jackson turned on the wheels and raced 87 yards for the score and a 21-14
lead. Penn State opened the fourth quarter with a 88-yard touchdown pass from Clifford to a
wide open KeAndre Lambert-Smith.
“Our guys just stuck together, made some big plays when we needed to, and we found a way to
get a win against a really, really good Utah team,” Franklin said. “I do want to take a moment
and just make sure that we show enough respect and appreciation for the University of Utah.
I’ve got so much respect for the university as a whole, for Coach Whittingham and what he’s
done across his entire career. Watching them on tape, for people that know and love football,
that’s a really good football team.”
Rising injured his knee in the third quarter and did not return to the game. Bryson Barnes came
into the game and finished with 112 yards and one touchdown. Barnes was intercepted on his
Penn State scored its second touchdown of the fourth quarter on a 1-yard run by Kaytron Allen
and the Nittany Lions took a 35-14 lead. Utah added a late touchdown with 25 seconds
remaining in the game.