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2023 Pac-12 Football Championship Game

No. 3 Washington defeats No. 5 Oregon | 34-31

This Week in Pac-12 Football - Week 14

Nov 29, 2023

COMPLETE PDF RELEASE

WELCOME TO THE PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIP

  • This the first match-up between 2 Pac-12 teams in the AP Top 5 since 1976.  That year, #3 USC beat #2 UCLA 24-14 before going on to beat #2 Michigan in the Rose Bowl 14-6.

  • This is the 3rd time that both teams in the Pac-12 Championship Game will be ranked in the AP Top 10 at the time of the game.  The 2016 game saw #4 Washington beat #9 Colorado while the 2014 tilt had #3 Oregon defeat #8 Arizona.  The winner of both of those games advanced to the College Football Playoffs.

  • This will be the 9th time in the 12 Pac-12 Championship Games that it will be a re-match of a regular season game.  The winner of the regular season game is 7-1 in the re-match.  The only team to lose in the regular season and win the re-match was Oregon in 2014 against Arizona.

  • This is Oregon’s record 6th appearance in the Pac-12 Championship Game and 4th time in the last 5 years.  The Ducks are 4-1 in the title game, the most wins of any Pac-12 school.  Washington is 2-0 all-time in the Pac-12 Championship, winning in both 2016 and 2018.

  • This is the 3rd straight year the game will be held at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.  The game was hosted at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. from 2014-19 while it was played on campus from 2011-13 and in 2020.

  • This is the 2nd straight year that the Pac-12 has gone without divisions and taken the top 2 teams in the overall conference standings in the championship game.

QUICK HITS

DAWG HOUSE:  Washington enters the Pac-12 Championship Game at 12-0 and #3 in the College Football Playoff rankings.  Its the 2nd time that Washington has reached 12-0 in school history (1991 national championship season).  The are also the first team in the Pac-12 era to go 9-0 in conference play.  The last school to start 12-0 overall and 9-0 in conference was 2010 Oregon in the final Pac-10- season.  In Washington’s last 8 games, they have won by a margin of 10 points or fewer.  No FBS team since at least 1980 has done that with last year’s TCU team being the only school in that span to win 7 straight games that were all decided by 10 points or fewer.

DUCKS HUNTIN’:  Oregon arrives at the Pac-12 Championship at 11-1 and #5 in the College Football Playoff rankings, the highest of any 1-loss team.  The Ducks are looking to avenge their only setback this season, a 36-33 loss at Washington on October 14th.  Oregon leads in the nation in scoring margin (+29.3 PPG) and are the only team in the country to score at least 30 points in every game this season

ARMS RACE:  The 2 quarterbacks in this match-up, likely Heisman finalists in Oregon’s Bo Nix and Washington’s Michael Penix Jr., both received a ton of good news this week on the awards front.  Both were named finalists for the Walter Camp & Maxwell Awards (both for the nation’s top player) and for the Davey O’Brien Award as the nation’s top quarterback.

Nix currently leads the nation in passing yards per game (325.5), passing yards (3,906) and completion percentage (78.6) while sitting 2nd in passing touchdowns (37) and passer rating (189.82).  In fact, Nix’s current completion percentage would break the FBS record set by Mac Jones (Alabama) in 2020 (77.4)

Penix, who lead the nation in passing yard per game last season, is 2nd in the country in both passing yards (3,899) and pass yards per game (324.9) while ranked 4th in passing touchdowns (32).  The senior has led Huskies to 19 straight wins dating back to last season.

DEFENSE NEVER RESTS:  UCLA DE Laiatu Latu was named 1 of 3 finalists for the Bednarik Award as the nation’s top defensive player.  Latu is tied for 4th in FBS with 13.0 sacks and leads the country with 21.5 TFL.  The last Pac-12 player to win this award was Arizona’s Scooby Wright in 2014.

GREAT WIDE OPEN:  Washington WR Rome Odunze was named 1 of 3 finalists for the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s top receiver.  Odunze ranks 4th in the country in receiving yards (1,328) and tied for 6th in receiving touchdowns (13.  The last Pac-12 player to win this award was Oregon State’s Brandin Cooks in 2013.

WHERE THERE’S A WILL..:   Oregon Offensive Coordinator Will Stein was named 1 of the 5 finalists for the Broyles Award as the nation’s top assistant coach.  In his first season with the Ducks, Stein has led Oregon to the top passing offense in FBS (351.4 YPG) while ranking 2nd in scoring (45.3 PPG) and total offense (540.3).  The only previous winner from the Pac-12 was USC’s Norm Chow in 2002.

BRAY DAY:  Oregon State has named Trent Bray as their 32nd head coach to replace the departed Jonathan Smith.  Bray has been the Beavers’ defensive coordinator the last 2 and a half seasons.  A 2022 Broyles Award nominee for the nation’s top assistant coach, Bray played for Oregon State from 2002-05 and was a 2005 Pac-10 1st team selection.