ARIZONA STATE FOOTBALL

Washington tops Oregon in final Pac-12 game, takes conference championship

Dec 1, 2023, 9:56 PM

Jabbar Muhammad #1 of the Washington Huskies reacts after breaking up a pass during the second quar...

Jabbar Muhammad #1 of the Washington Huskies reacts after breaking up a pass during the second quarter against the Oregon Ducks during the Pac-12 Championship at Allegiant Stadium on December 01, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ian Maule/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ian Maule/Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Michael Penix Jr. passed for 319 yards and a touchdown, Dillon Johnson ran for 152 yards and two TDs and No. 3 Washington wrapped up a spot in the College Football Playoff, beating No. 5 Oregon 34-31 on Friday night in the Pac-12 Championship.

The game was likely the final Pac-12 Championship given 10 of the 12 teams will be playing in different conferences next season. Only Oregon State and Washington State will remain as they try to find a way to keep the tradition-rich conference together in some form.

Washington (13-0) was the last Pac-12 team to make the CFP — in the 2016 season.

The Huskies, who were 9 1/2-point underdogs, scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to take a 34-24 lead. Oregon (11-2) scored a late touchdown for the final score, but failed to recover the onside kick, ending the Ducks’ six-game winning streak.

Two Washington receivers had more than 100 yards — Jalen McMillan (nine receptions for 131 yards) and Biletnikoff finalist Rome Odunze (eight for 102) who was returning to his hometown.

Oregon’s Bo Nix, the favorite entering the game to win the Heisman Trophy according to FanDuel Sportsbook, passed for 239 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 69 yards.

If it was indeed the final title game for the conference, it was quite a way to go as Oregon and Washington again played a high-scoring game with big plays throughout. The Huskies won their regular-season meeting 36-33 in Seattle.

Washington took a 20-3 lead before the Ducks scored a touchdown with nine seconds left to get to within 10 points.

That score got Oregon going, converting two fourth downs on the opening drive of the second, including a 2-yard touchdown from Nix to tight end Terrance Ferguson to get within three points. The Ducks took the lead at 24-20 with 1:51 left in the third quarter on Jordan James’ 6-yard TD run.

The lead didn’t last long as Washington scored on its next drive to take the lead for good.

This is the second time both teams have been ranked in the top 10 when they have played each other. The other time was the first meeting this season.

Washington improved to 3-0 in the Pac-12 Championship; Oregon is 4-2.

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