Oregon stymies No. 13 USC’s rally to win Pac-12
Anthony Brown threw two touchdowns in short-yardage situations and Jamal Hill intercepted two passes as Oregon continued the North division’s dominance in the Pac-12 championship game, defeating No. 13 Southern California 31-24 in Los Angeles on Friday night.
The Ducks (4-2), who got into the game when regular-season division champion Washington had to withdraw because of coronavirus concerns, captured their second consecutive Pac-12 title and fourth overall. The North has won nine of the 10 conference championship games, with USC the lone South team to capture the title in 2017.
The Trojans (5-1), who rallied three times from fourth-quarter deficits this season, including twice from double-digits, nearly did it again.
USC’s Kedon Slovis threw a 4-yard TD pass to Bru McCoy with 6:16 remaining to pull the Trojans within seven points. But Hill made his second interception, a bobbling catch along the sideline at the Ducks’ 31-yard line with 2:49 remaining, as Slovis tried to throw the ball away.
Slovis was 28 of 52 for 320 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions.
Starting quarterback Tyler Shough also threw two TD passes for the Ducks, who scored two touchdowns off turnovers in the opening eight minutes and were never caught.
Brown, a transfer from Boston College, hadn’t appeared in a game for the Ducks before the title game. He completed 3 of 4 passes, with TD tosses on Oregon’s first drive of each half — 2 yards to Jaylon Redd in the first quarter and 4 yards to Travis Dye in the third. The latter gave the Ducks a 28-14 lead.
The Trojans’ offense got off to a slow start, with two interceptions, a turnover on downs and a punt from their own end zone after a three-and-out on their first four possessions.
Interceptions by Deommodore Lenoir and Hill led to Oregon’s first two touchdowns — the second a 14-yard pass from Shough to Hunter Kampmoyer.
The Trojans got within 14-7 in the final minute of the first quarter on a 47-yard scoring strike from Slovis to Amon-Ra St. Brown.
Shough threw a 16-yard TD pass to DJ Johnson before USC’s Markese Stepp scored on a 1-yard run to pull the Trojans within 21-14 at the half.
The Trojans played without leading rusher Vavae Malepeai, who sprained his knee last week against UCLA.
–Field Level Media