Pac-12 Football Championship preview: Can Oregon upset Washington?

Las Vegas, Nevada - In a highly anticipated college football match-up, the No. 5 Oregon Ducks are set to face off against the No. 3 Washington Huskies in the Pac-12 Championship in Las Vegas this Friday.

Oregon has everything to gain, including a potential spot in the College Football Playoff, in the Friday night Pac-12 championship against Washington.
Oregon has everything to gain, including a potential spot in the College Football Playoff, in the Friday night Pac-12 championship against Washington.  © Steph Chambers / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

Both teams are riding the momentum of home victories over their rivals last week, with Oregon securing a decisive 31-7 win against Oregon State and Washington narrowly escaping a thrilling encounter against Washington State with a 24-21 triumph.

In what will be their final game in the Pac-12 before realigning to the Big 10 in 2024, the stage is set for arguably the biggest Pac-12 showdown in years.

This championship clash features two top-5 teams, each boasting Heisman hopefuls, and both programs are determined to stay in contention for a coveted spot in the College Football Playoff.

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The Ducks, despite facing a two-game losing streak to the Huskies, including a close 36-33 defeat on October 14 in Seattle, assert their superiority across multiple key statistical metrics.

On the other hand, Washington enters the championship game with an undefeated record, marking a significant achievement as the first conference team to conclude the regular season without a loss since the Pac-10 transitioned to the Pac-12 in 2011.

The stakes are exceptionally high, making this rematch a must-watch event as both teams vie for victory and a potential College Football Playoff berth.

Oregon has nothing to lose, everything to win against Washington

When Oregon and Washington met at Husky Stadium six weeks ago, it unfolded as an instant classic clash.
When Oregon and Washington met at Husky Stadium six weeks ago, it unfolded as an instant classic clash.  © Steph Chambers / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

When Oregon and Washington met at Husky Stadium six weeks ago, it unfolded as an instant classic clash. Marking the first top-10 matchup in the series' 115-game history, the lead changed hands seven times.

As the teams gear up for their Friday face-off, fans can anticipate another high-scoring spectacle. Both sides are poised for an intense battle, with a determination to secure victory.

Oregon head coach Dan Lanning has emphasized the importance of peaking late in the season, a sentiment which seemingly has resonated with the Ducks.

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Oregon passer Bo Nix has successfully navigated every challenge that has come his way, and the defense consistently steps up to make crucial plays when needed.

Luckily for Oregon, the stakes are high, with everything to gain and nothing to lose, including a potential spot in the Playoff.

Conversely, Washington risks not only losing the championship but also their firm standing in the Playoff, which they currently hold as of this week. The stage is set for a gripping clash with both teams vying for supremacy and postseason glory.

Oregon and Washington will clash on Friday at 8 PM at Allegiant Stadium airing on ABC.

Cover photo: Steph Chambers / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

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