Ohio State to be without several stars for Rose Bowl Game vs. Utah
The Granddaddy of Them All is getting some unusual treatment.
The 6th-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes will face No. 11 Utah on Jan. 1 for the Rose Bowl. The Buckeyes had designs of playing for a national title right up until falling flat on their face in Ann Arbor in the regular-season finale. A 42-27 loss to Michigan gave the Buckeyes defeat No. 2 on the year and effectively eliminated them from College Football Playoff consideration. Normally, the Rose Bowl Game on New Year’s Day is a pretty darn good consolation prize.
But Ohio State head coach Ryan Day told media on Monday that the Buckeyes will be without four stars for the game due to opt-outs.
Ryan Day said in addition to Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave, Haskell Garrett and Nicholas Petit-Frere will not play in the Rose Bowl for Ohio State.
— Patrick Murphy (@_Pat_Murphy) December 27, 2021
Wideout Garrett Wilson announced on Twitter that he’s leaving early for the NFL Draft. Day later confirmed that the other half of Ohio State’s dynamic wideout duo, Chris Olave, is opting out as well, along with offensive tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere and defensive tackle Haskell Garrett.
All four players are expected to be drafted, with Wilson mocked by ESPN’s Todd McShay in the first round. Wilson, Olave, and Petit-Frere all earned first-team All-American honors from at least one of the five recognized voting bodies, and Garrett earned a second-team nod from the AP. They’re all major losses in their own way.
Wilson and Olave combined for 1,994 receiving yards and 25 of CJ Stroud’s 38 touchdown tosses. Though the pair gets the headlines, it’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba that had the best season in the room, with 1,259 yards on 80 catches. Garrett led the team with 5.5 sacks and seven tackles for loss.
The Utes (10-3) and Buckeyes (10-2) kick off on Saturday at 2 p.m. PT on ESPN.