The Oregon Ducks got in front early, withstood a number of USC comeback attempts, and held on late to beat the 13th-ranked Trojans 31-24 in the 2020 Pac-12 Championship Game.
Oregon (4-2) is likely to play in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl on Sat. January 2nd.
Grad transfer Anthony Brown made a big impact at quarterback in spurts for Tyler Sough. Brown had two touchdown passes, and executed the Ducks final drive to bring the game clock under a minute. Brown fumbled the snap on second down of that last drive, but Cyrus Habibi-Likio somehow fell on it to save Oregon.
Oregon’s defense tallied three interceptions for Trojans quarterback Kedon Slovis including two by safety Jamal Hill. Hill’s last effort came on a potential game-tying drive for USC, as Slovis was unable to successfully throw the ball away and Hill tapped the ball to himself, dragging a toe in bounds before going out. The play initially was ruled incomplete, but was overturned on replay review.
Oregon punted back to USC in the waning seconds, as the Trojans started their last drive with 23 seconds from their own 20 yard line. The Ducks defense held, and a conference championship celebration ensued.
The Ducks replaced the Washington Huskies who technically were named Pac-12 North division champions with a 3-1 record, despite not playing the Oregon Ducks due to coronavirus issues in the Huskies program, and were unable to field a team for the conference championship game. USC entered as the South division champions with a 5-0 mark, looking for their second conference title game victory in addition to their 2017 win.
It’s the second straight Pac-12 Conference Championship Game win for the Ducks, who won last year over Utah 31-19 despite entering the contest as a 6.5-point underdog. Oregon went on to win the Rose Bowl over Wisconsin to finish with a 12-2 overall record in Justin Herbert’s final season.
USC pushed across a touchdown on 4th-and-goal with 6:16 remaining to make it a 31-24 game with Oregon still in front. There would be no more scoring, as the Ducks defense held on the final two USC drives to seal the win.