It’s championship week in the 2023 college football season, and the action kicks off with a monster matchup tonight, as No. 5 Oregon takes on No. 3 Washington in the Pac-12 title game at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
Heisman Trophy hopefuls Bo Nix and Michael Penix Jr. will have a prime-time stage to leave one last impressive on voters.
But that’s not all that’s at stake, as the Huskies (12-0) and Ducks (11-1), two of the four conference teams ranked in the AP Top 25, will battle for an almost certain spot in the College Football Playoff. The Pac-12 has not placed a team in the playoffs since the Huskies made it in the 2016 season.
And the backdrop to all of this is the fact that this is the last Pac-12 game as we know it, as while the name of the conference might live on in some fashion, every school in the league — other than Oregon State and Washington State — is heading to other conferences next year. Washington and Oregon will be Big Ten Conference rivals, while their respective state rivals try to keep the Pac-12 going in some form with the help of an alliance with the Mountain West.
A victory for Washington would cap a perfect season — which would include beating Oregon twice — that will continue into the CFP.
A win for Oregon means the Ducks are Pac-12 champs, but a final-four spot is not guaranteed.
Here are the top moments!
No. 5 Oregon vs. No. 3 Washington
8:49 2Q: Oregon on the board!
Oregon’s first good drive of the game covered 72 yards in 11 plays before stalling out in the red zone. A 36-yard field goal pulled Oregon within 10-3.
9:30 2Q: Troy Franklin sets a record
Oregon has put together a nice drive, with Troy Franklin making plays, including an 11-yard gain off a short pass in which he danced away from multiple defenders. That play was his 78th catch of the season, an Oregon record.
End of 1Q: Washington leads 10-0
There is a lot of football left, but the Huskies have dominated so far. Washington leads in time of possession (13:13-1:47), total plays (25-6) and total yards (117-9).
2:31: Oregon’s offense in slow motion so far
Oregon has run six offensive plays so far and has yet to earn a first down. Another drive, another punt for the Ducks.
3:46 1Q: TOUCHDOWN, HUSKIES!
A fine punt return set Washington up with a short field, and the Huskies took advantage with a six-play scoring drive. Dillon Johnson punched it in with a 6-yard run around the left end. Johnson already has 53 rushing yards on nine carries, an average of 5.8 yards per carry.
7:24 1Q: Three-and-out
The prowess of Oregon’s offense is well-documented, but Washington’s defense had a strong start. The Huskies even got a little help from an (un)official extra defender.
7:38 1Q: Huskies strike first
The Huskies put together a 15-play drive for 54 yards before Oregon came up with the stop. A 38-yard field goal put Washington up 3-0.
11:10 1Q: Close call!
Michael Penix almost tossed an interception on Washington’s opening drive, due to a miscommunication with receiver Rome Odunze.
The Pac-12 is taking over Las Vegas.
The quarterbacks arrived in style ahead of a huge moment for both of them.
Both schools released hype videos — of course — and they brought chills.
Joel Klatt offered a special goodbye message to the Pac-12.
Both teams received well-wishes ahead of the game from notable alumni Warren Moon, Kayvon Thibodeaux and more.
Stay tuned for updates!
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