Let the Games Begin

By Kate Liming
Jan. 01, 2017

It's that time of the year when the college football bowl games take place, and although they started earlier this month, the time has come for the real bowl games to begin. Obviously the major match ups are between Washington and Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State, and USC and Penn State. So let's take a look at what we should expect from these teams and these games. 

The Peach Bowl-Washington vs. Alabama: Everyone has seen Alabama dominate this season, as they do every year. Alabama started this year by playing Pac-12's USC, who lost horrendously 6-52. However, USC changed with a new quarterback and is now playing in this year's Rose Bowl. Washington on the other hand has been dominating the Pac-12 with their only loss coming from USC. Alabama has not faced a quarterback like Jake Browning, who is ranked 2nd in top 5 QB's in college football. Washington has been able to beat good teams, but not a team like Alabama. The Huskies should be able to manage a couple of points, but Alabama will most likely dominate the game in all areas. 

The Fiesta Bowl-Clemson vs. Ohio State: This game is expected to be a close game. Clemson is able to sack teams relentlessly. Clemson's passing ability is well off with QB Deshaun Watson to a WR like Mike Williams. Ohio State is able to pass well, but not at the same level as Clemson. As for the defensive side, Clemson allowed just 15 sacks on 535 attempts this season. Ohio State's QB J.T. Barrett was sacked 20 times since Oct. 22, third-most in the FBS over that span. Barrett is going to have to run the ball a lot if he wants to create some space and get some yards past Clemson. 

Rose Bowl-USC vs. Penn State: As I mentioned before, USC lost their first game of the season to Alabama, which everyone saw coming. It was a rough first few weeks with USC unable to win against Alabama, Utah, and Stanford. However, after replacing QB Max Browne with Sam Darnold, USC won their last 8 games of the season, including a win over Washington. Penn State will really have to put the pressure on Darnold if they want to have a shot at winning the game. Penn was able to beat Ohio State this year with their defense being able to attack QB J.T. Barrett, which was a surprise to most of us. Penn's only loses come from Pittsburgh (39-42) and Michigan (10-49). The two teams played in the Rose Bowl in 2009 with USC coming on top 38-24. The Trojans are favored by 7 points over the Nittany Lions, which is a fairly close game if it comes to that. There is no doubt that these two teams are dangerous, but USC seems to have more of the qualities in a football team to win it all.