Nov 27, 2020; Corvallis, Oregon, USA; Oregon Ducks  quarterback Tyler Shough (12) throws against the Oregon State Beavers during the first half at Reser Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

News Articles

Oregon to use lifeline against USC for Pac-12 title

When the pandemic-delayed Pac-12 Conference football season started, Oregon and Southern California were the favorites to reach the title game.

The Ducks and No. 15 Trojans will indeed play for the Pac-12 championship on Friday night at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, but not without some twists and one final unexpected turn.

The Ducks (3-2) finished second in the Pac-12’s North Division behind Washington, but a COVID-19 spike in the Huskies’ program knocked them out of the title game Monday morning. Oregon’s game with Washington last weekend was canceled.

That left South Division champion USC (5-0) to start tweaking its game plan Monday afternoon.

“We control what we control, and that’s us,” USC coach Clay Helton said. “We’re just happy to be in this opportunity, and we’re going to make the most of it. We’re going to have a great plan, and we’re going to execute that plan because we’re going to do the things that we do well.”

The Trojans, who rallied from an 18-point deficit to defeat rival UCLA 43-38 on Saturday, knew there was a possibility Washington might not be able to play. So Helton had his coaching staff prepare for the Huskies during the day and the Ducks at night.

USC’s first three opponents of the season — Arizona State, Arizona and Utah – were playing their 2020 openers when the Trojans lined up against them, so the team is used to having limited game film to study.

“Not knowing who we’re going to play, I think our coaches make it easy on us,” said USC’s Amon-Ra St. Brown, who has a conference-leading 36 receptions. “I think it’s harder on them than it is on us. They’re making the game plan, doing all the hard work. If we listen to our coaches and go out there and do what they say, I think we’ll be fine.”

St. Brown’s 8-yard touchdown reception with 16 seconds remaining capped the comeback against UCLA, the third time this season the Trojans have rallied to win in the final seconds.

The Ducks were on pace to win the division title until dropping their past two games on the road:41-38 to Oregon State and 21-17 to previously winless California. Oregon was No. 21 in the College Football Playoff rankings before its latest loss.

“I see a team that’s really trying. I see a coaching staff that’s working their tails off,” Ducks coach Mario Cristobal said. “We haven’t done good enough the last two weeks.”

Oregon’s Tyler Shough is the conference’s top-rated passer, having completed 91 of 143 passes for 1,389 yards and 11 touchdowns against four interceptions. USC’s Kedon Slovis has thrown for a league-best 1,601 yards and 15 TDs, including five Saturday. He is 149-of-212 passing on the season.

The Trojans might be without their leading rusher, Vavae Malepeai, who sprained his knee late against UCLA. Malepeai rushed for 110 yards and a touchdown in the rivalry game.

Just having a chance to play is good enough for the Trojans.

“Having come from not having a season at all to being in the Pac-12 championship is awesome,” St. Brown said.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

Sportsbooks

Rated 5/5

Rated 5/5

Rated 5/5

Rated 5/5

Upcoming Games

Sep 30th, 7:30 PM

Virginia +4 -110

Miami-FL -4 -110

@

Oct 1st, 7:30 PM

Houston +4 -110

Tulsa -4 -110

@

Oct 1st, 8:00 PM

Iowa (5) -3 +100

Maryland +3 +100

@

Oct 1st, 9:00 PM

BYU (15) -7.5 -110

Utah State +7.5 -110

@

Oct 2nd, 12:00 PM

Arkansas (16) +18.5 -107

Georgia (2) -18.5 -107

@

Oct 2nd, 12:00 PM

Tennessee +3 -107

Missouri -3 -107

@

Oct 2nd, 12:00 PM

Pittsburgh -3.5 -107

Georgia Tech +3.5 -107

@

Oct 2nd, 12:00 PM

Western Michigan -6.5 -110

Buffalo +6.5 -110

@

Oct 2nd, 12:00 PM

Texas -4 -110

TCU +4 -110

@

Oct 2nd, 12:00 PM

Duke +16 -110

North Carolina (21) -16 -110

@

Oct 2nd, 12:00 PM

Toledo -26.5 -107

Massachusetts +26.5 -107

@

Oct 2nd, 12:00 PM

Charlotte +9 -107

Illinois -9 -107

@

Oct 2nd, 12:00 PM

Memphis -11.5 -107

Temple +11.5 -107

@

Oct 2nd, 12:00 PM

Minnesota +2.5 -107

Purdue -2.5 -107

@

Oct 2nd, 12:00 PM

Michigan (19) +4.5 -107

Wisconsin (18) -4.5 -107

@

Oct 2nd, 12:30 PM

Louisville +7 +103

Wake Forest -7 +103

@

Oct 2nd, 2:00 PM

Appalachian State -9 -107

Georgia State +9 -107

@

Oct 2nd, 2:00 PM

USC -6.5 -107

Colorado +6.5 -107

@

Oct 2nd, 2:30 PM

Louisiana-Monroe +31.5 -110

Coastal Carolina (17) -31.5 -110

@

Oct 2nd, 2:30 PM

Eastern Michigan +2 -110

NIU -2 -110

@

Oct 2nd, 2:30 PM

Cincinnati (8) +1.5 -107

Notre Dame (12) -1.5 -107

@

Oct 2nd, 3:30 PM

Troy +8.5 -107

South Carolina -8.5 -107

@

Oct 2nd, 3:30 PM

Ole Miss (13) +16.5 -110

Alabama (1) -16.5 -110

@

Oct 2nd, 3:30 PM

Oregon (3) -7 -107

Stanford +7 -107

@

Oct 2nd, 3:30 PM

Florida International (FIU) +10 -110

Florida Atlantic -10 -110

@

Oct 2nd, 3:30 PM

Syracuse +3.5 -110

Florida State -3.5 -110

@

Oct 2nd, 3:30 PM

Bowling Green +14.5 -107

Kent State -14.5 -107

@

Oct 2nd, 3:30 PM

Central Michigan +1 -107

Miami-OH -1 -107

@

Oct 2nd, 3:30 PM

Ohio -9 -107

Akron +9 -107

@

Oct 2nd, 3:30 PM

Texas Tech +7 -110

West Virginia -7 -110

@

Oct 2nd, 3:30 PM

Oklahoma (4) -9.5 -110

Kansas State (25) +9.5 -110

@

Oct 2nd, 3:30 PM

UCF -14 -107

Navy +14 -107

@

Oct 2nd, 3:30 PM

Nevada +6 -110

Boise State -6 -110

@

Oct 2nd, 3:30 PM

Tulane -3.5 -110

East Carolina +3.5 -110

@

Oct 2nd, 3:30 PM

Ohio State (10) -14.5 -110

Rutgers +14.5 -110

@

Oct 2nd, 4:00 PM

Arkansas State +3.5 -110

Georgia Southern -3.5 -110

@

Oct 2nd, 4:00 PM

USF +19.5 -107

SMU -19.5 -107

@

Oct 2nd, 5:00 PM

Army -7.5 -107

Ball State +7.5 -107

@

Oct 2nd, 5:30 PM

Washington State +7 -107

California -7 -107

@

Oct 2nd, 6:00 PM

Florida (11) -7.5 -107

Kentucky +7.5 -107

@

Oct 2nd, 6:00 PM

UNLV +19 -110

UTSA -19 -110

@

Oct 2nd, 6:00 PM

LA Tech +19.5 -107

NC State -19.5 -107

@

Oct 2nd, 6:30 PM

Southern Miss +3 -107

Rice -3 -107

@

Oct 2nd, 6:30 PM

Air Force -10.5 -110

New Mexico +10.5 -110

@

Oct 2nd, 7:00 PM

Kansas +32.5 -107

Iowa State (14) -32.5 -107

@

Oct 2nd, 7:00 PM

Mississippi State +9 -110

Texas A&M (7) -9 -110

@

Oct 2nd, 7:00 PM

Baylor +3.5 -107

Oklahoma State -3.5 -107

@

Oct 2nd, 7:00 PM

Marshall -10.5 -107

Middle Tennessee +10.5 -107

@

Oct 2nd, 7:00 PM

Liberty +1.5 -107

UAB -1.5 -107

@

Oct 2nd, 7:30 PM

Boston College +14.5 -110

Clemson (9) -14.5 -110

@

Oct 2nd, 7:30 PM

UCONN +13.5 -110

Vanderbilt -13.5 -110

@

Oct 2nd, 7:30 PM

WKU +8 -107

Michigan State (20) -8 -107

@

Oct 2nd, 7:30 PM

Northwestern +10 -107

Nebraska -10 -107

@

Oct 2nd, 7:30 PM

Indiana +10.5 -107

Penn State (6) -10.5 -107

@

Oct 2nd, 8:00 PM

Louisiana-Lafayette -9.5 -107

South Alabama +9.5 -107

@

Oct 2nd, 9:00 PM

Washington -3 -107

Oregon State +3 -107

@

Oct 2nd, 9:00 PM

Auburn (23) +3.5 -110

LSU -3.5 -110

@

Oct 2nd, 9:00 PM

Old Dominion +3.5 -107

UTEP -3.5 -107

@

Oct 2nd, 10:30 PM

Arizona State +3.5 -107

UCLA (24) -3.5 -107

@

Oct 2nd, 10:30 PM

New Mexico State +26 -107

San Jose State -26 -107

@

Oct 2nd, 11:00 PM

Fresno State (22) -11 -107

Hawaii +11 -107

@

Oct 7th, 7:30 PM

Coastal Carolina (17)

Arkansas State

@

Oct 7th, 7:30 PM

Houston

Tulane

@