Washington Leads Oregon 20-10 at Halftime of Pac-12 Championship Game
In the 2023 Pac-12 championship game, the No. 3 Washington Huskies are leading the No. 5 Oregon Ducks 20-10 at halftime. A win for Washington would likely secure their spot in the College Football Playoff, as they previously handed the Ducks their only loss of the season with a 36-33 victory on October 14 in Seattle.
The top four teams in the country will make the postseason, and the official announcement will be made on Sunday. All eyes are now on the upcoming matchups between No. 1 Georgia and No. 8 Alabama in the SEC Championship, as well as No. 2 Michigan and No. 18 Iowa in the Big Ten Championship.
First Half Highlights
Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr., a Heisman hopeful, had an impressive performance in the first half, completing 16 of 22 passes for 192 yards. He led drives resulting in touchdowns by running back Dillon Johnson and receiver Germie Bernard. Kicker Grady Gross also contributed with two field goals. On the other side, Oregon quarterback Bo Nix threw a touchdown pass to Terrance Ferguson with nine seconds remaining in the second quarter.
Despite expectations favoring Oregon, Washington has controlled both lines of scrimmage in the first half. Head coach Kalen DeBoer’s offensive game plan effectively utilized Penix’s arm, allowing Washington to dominate the game. The Huskies’ passing game has been successful against the Ducks’ defense, giving them the upper hand.
Oregon’s Defensive Challenge
If Oregon wants to overcome their 20-10 halftime deficit and win the Pac-12 title, their defense needs to step up and make crucial stops in the second half. Washington has scored on four out of five possessions, utilizing a combination of short passes and Johnson’s strong running game to create opportunities downfield.
While Oregon managed to score a touchdown at the end of the first half, they have a significant deficit to overcome in the second half. The Huskies’ defense initially confused Nix but made a coverage mistake that led to Oregon’s lone touchdown. Nix will need to showcase his running ability if he wants to make a comeback and strengthen his Heisman candidacy.
The outcome of the Pac-12 championship game between Washington and Oregon will have significant implications for the College Football Playoff. Washington’s dominant first-half performance puts them in a favorable position, while Oregon faces an uphill battle in the second half. The game’s conclusion will undoubtedly be a thrilling one.
(Photo: Brandon Sloter / Image Of Sport/Getty Images)