No. 21 Oregon State edges out No. 9 Oregon, paving the way for USC’s rematch against Utah in the Pac-12 Championship Game


No. 9 Oregon wasted a trip to the Pac-12 Championship Game after losing 38-34 to rival No. 21 Oregon State as the Beavers staged a miraculous comeback. No. 14 Utah, with its 63-21 win over Colorado coupled with Washington’s No. 13 Apple Cup win, overtook the Ducks through conference tiebreaker rules and will face USC #6 in Las Vegas. The title match will serve as a rematch of a 43-42 win for the Utes on Oct. 15.

The Ducks could have clinched a berth in the title game with a win over their rival, but Washington’s win over Washington State sent the Huskies into a three-way tie with the Ducks and Utes. Tiebreaker rules gave Utah the three-way advantage due to a better schedule. The Ducks will have a long offseason to reflect on their loss after giving up a huge lead.

Oregon State trailed 31-10 in the third quarter but finished the game on a 28-3 run to beat their rival for only the third time since 2008. The Beavers’ passing game struggled , but a dominating running performance helped make up the hole. Running back Damien Martinez, one of the best freshmen in America, rushed the ball 15 times for 103 yards to lead a rushing effort for the Beavers that posted 268 yards and five touchdowns. Freshman quarterback Ben Gulbranson completed just six passes and threw two interceptions in the win.

Oregon quarterback Bo Nix had another strong game with 327 passing yards and two touchdowns, but the Ducks failed to convert in key situations. The Ducks settled for a field goal early in the fourth quarter at the Oregon State 6-yard line and missed a punt at the 2-yard line to set up another Beavers score. Nix made a bad call on a fourth-and-1 zone read and was stopped for a turnover on the downs.

Nix had one last chance to throw a winner into the end zone, but his pass on the fourth and 3-yard line goal fell harmlessly into the end zone. Oregon State managed to get a first down and miss time.

The win lands a 9-3 season for Oregon State, the best since former coach Mike Riley led the Beavers to a 9-4 campaign in 2012. If Oregon State can win a bowling game , the Beavers could put together a 10-win campaign for the first time since 2006.

The Pac-12 Championship game features No. 6 USC against No. 14 Utah in Las Vegas at 8 p.m. ET on Friday. With a win, the Trojans can likely earn their first trip to the college football playoffs. The Utes will be looking to win their second straight conference championship after entering the season as betting favorites.

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