Typically reserved for a Pac-12 vs. Big Ten matchup, this year’s Rose Bowl will serve as one half of the college football playoff semifinals, as Oklahoma and Georgia meet for a potentially explosive battle in Pasadena.
Here’s everything you need to know to watch:
Live Stream Info
The Rose Bowl is scheduled for Monday, January 1, at 5 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on ESPN. That means you can watch a live stream via WatchESPN if you have a cable log-in, but if you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can watch ESPN online, on your phone or on another streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services. They cost a monthly fee but all come with a free trial, so you can watch Oklahoma vs Georgia and Clemson vs Alabama at no cost:
DirecTV Now: ESPN is included in all four channel packages. It comes with a free 7-day trial no matter what package you choose, plus you can get $25 off your first month if you enter promo code “BDAY2017”. You can watch on your computer via your browser, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the DirecTV Now app
Sling TV: ESPN is included in the “Sling Orange” channel package. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial right here. You can watch on your computer via the Sling website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Sling TV app
PlayStation Vue: ESPN is included in all four channel packages. You can sign up for a free 5-day trial right here. You can watch on your computer via the PS Vue website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the PlayStation Vue app
Also note: You can also watch on your computer via the WatchESPN website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the WatchESPN app. When you’re asked to verify your cable provider, you’ll just use your DirecTV Now, Sling TV or PS Vue credentials to sign in
So far, no one has been able to slow down Heisman winner Baker Mayfield and the Oklahoma offense. The Sooners rank first in the nation in yards per play (8.3), first in yards per game (583.3) and fourth in points per game (44.9). They’ve scored at least 29 points in every game this season, they’ve hit 40 nine times, and in their most recent game, they piled up 41 points and 461 yards of offense against TCU’s elite defense in the Big 12 championship.
“They do a tremendous job of throwing the ball down the field, up-tempo, do a really good job of that,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. “Baker Mayfield is the great equalizer because he extends that time, and he makes those plays go longer where you have to cover longer.”
Georgia’s defense, meanwhile, has been practically impenetrable. They rank seventh in the county in yards per play allowed (4.3), fourth in yards per game allowed (272.8) and third in points allowed per game (13.2). They’ve held teams under 20 points 11 times, and in their most recent game, they absolutely stifled Auburn–the one team that got the better of the Bulldogs defense during the season–in a 28-7 victory.
Unstoppable force, meet immovable object.
Separating these teams, though, may actually come down to the players on the other side of the ball. Oklahoma’s defense has at times struggled this year, giving up 30-plus points on five separate occasions, while Georgia’s offense has been quite efficient behind the dominant running attack of Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, who have combined for 322 carries, 2,123 rushing yards (6.59 YPC) and 26 rushing touchdowns on the year.
And as the more balanced team (the Bulldogs rank in the Top 15 nationally in both yards per play and yards per play allowed), Georgia stands as a slight two-point favorite. However, we’ve seen time and time again that an elite offense, and more importantly elite quarterback play, can be the great equalizer, and Oklahoma has one of the most proficient QB’s in college football history in Mayfield.
Put it all together, and put it inside a historic venue such as the Rose Bowl, and put a spot in the national championship on the line, and you have all the makings for an instant classic.