Oregon wins second straight PAC-12 Championship
For the second straight season, the Oregon Ducks are PAC-12 champions. Quarterbacks Tyler Shough and Anthony Brown weren't stellar but combined to throw four touchdown passes as the Ducks beat USC 31-24. Oregon (4-2) finished second in the PAC-12 North division but moved into the championship game after COVID issues hit the Washington program.
Oregon's defense came up with two interceptions on its first three drives of the game, and the offense capitalized immediately on the mistakes. Brown found WR Jaylen Redd for a touchdown after the first, and Shough hit TE Hunter Kampmoyer after the second.
Kedon Slovis would find Amon-Ra St. Brown late in the first quarter to get USC on the board, but Shough would throw another TD on the following possession to build a 21-7 lead.
The Trojans (5-1) would get another score and had a chance to cut further into the lead after a Shough interception, but kicker Parker Lewis missed a 41 yard field goal as the half expired.
Oregon scored on its first possession in the second half, but all the momentum seemed to swing toward the Trojans as the game entered the fourth quarter. However, untimely penalties would become a factor. Down 28-17 and poised to get the ball back, the Trojans were called for a roughing the punter penalty that kept the Oregon drive alive and allowed the Ducks to increase their lead to 31-17.
With 6:16 left in the game, Slovis threw a touchdown pass to Bru McCoy to convert a 4th and goal and cut the deficit to seven. The Trojans' defense woudl force a three and out, but Jamal Hill ould end the ensuing drive with Slovis's third pick of the night.
The Trojans would get the ball back, although with no time outs and poor starting field position due to yet another penalty. On the last play of the game, USC tried to throw a Hail Mary, but pressure from championship game MVP Kayvon Thibodeaux forced Slovis into an intentional grounding penalty.
Slovis finished with 320 passing yards and two touchdowns despite throwing the three interceptions and being under pressure all night. The loss ends an undefeated season for the Trojans.
The Oregon Ducks are now 4-0 in PAC-12 Championship games and have won 13 conference titles in their program's history. This is also their 9th title since 2000.