No. 9 Oregon squandered a trip to the Pac-12 Championship Game after losing 38-34 to rival No. 21 Oregon State as the Beavers pulled off a miraculous comeback. No. 14 Utah, with its 63-21 win over Colorado coupled with No. 13 Washington's Apple Cup victory, jumped past the Ducks thanks to conference tiebreaker rules and will play No. 6 USC in Las Vegas. The title game will serve as a rematch of a 43-42 victory for the Utes on Oct. 15.
The Ducks could have clinched a title game berth with a win over their rival, but Washington's win over Washington State bumped the Huskies into a three-way tie with the Ducks and Utes. The tiebreaker rules gave Utah the three-way advantage due to a better strength of schedule. The Ducks will have a long offseason to think about their loss after giving up a massive lead.
Oregon State trailed 31-10 in the third quarter but finished the game on a 28-3 run down the stretch to beat its rival for just the third time since 2008. The Beavers' passing game struggled, but a dominant running performance helped make up the gap. Running back Damien Martinez, one of the best freshmen players in America, toted the ball 15 times for 103 yards to lead a Beavers rushing effort 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 yards passing and two touchdowns, but the Ducks failed to convert in key situations. The Ducks settled for a field goal at the beginning of the fourth quarter at the Oregon State 6-yard line and muffed a punt at the 2-yard line to set up another Beavers score. Nix made a wrong decision on a fourth-and-1 zone read and was stopped for a turnover on downs.
Nix had one last chance to throw a game-winner into the end zone, but his pass on fourth-and-goal from the 3-yard line fell harmlessly into the end zone. Oregon State was able to get a first down and run out the clock.
The win clinches a 9-3 season for Oregon State, which is the best since former coach Mike Riley led the Beavers to a 9-4 campaign in 2012. If Oregon State can win a bowl 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 facing off 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 Playoff. The Utes will try to win their second consecutive conference championship after entering the season as betting favorites.