Oregon defeats Oregon State 31-7 for a spot in the Pac-12 title game as rivalry ends for now

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Oregon quarterback Bo Nix (10) runs for a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Oregon State, Friday, Nov. 24, 2023, in Eugene, Ore. (AP Photo/Mark Ylen)

EUGENE, Ore. – Bo Nix threw for two touchdowns and ran for another, securing No. 6 Oregon a spot in the Pac-12 championship game with a 31-7 victory Friday night over No. 15 Oregon State in the final scheduled matchup between the in-state rivals.

The Ducks (11-1, 8-1 Pac-12, No. 6 CFP) will face No. 4 Washington next Friday in Las Vegas, the last conference championship before 10 of the league's teams bolt next season. The winner has a chance at learning a spot in the four-team College Football Playoff.

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It was Oregon's sixth straight win since a 36-33 loss at Washington on Oct. 14. The rematch next week will mark the first meeting between the teams in the Pac-12 title game.

Nix, among the Heisman Trophy favorites, completed 33 of 40 passes for 367 yards. Troy Franklin caught nine passes for 128 yards and a score.

DJ Uiagalelei threw for 220 yards and a touchdown for Oregon State (8-4, 5-4, No. 16 CFP), which is one of two teams not to leave the Pac-12, along with Washington State. Oregon is heading to the Big Ten next season.

While Washington and Washington State have agreed to continue the Apple Cup as a nonconference rivalry game, no such deal has been struck between the Ducks and the Beavers.

The Huskies (11-0, 6-0, No. 4 CFP) sealed their spot in the conference championship last weekend with a 22-20 victory over the Beavers. Washington hosts Washington State on Saturday.

Bucky Irving caught a short pass from Nix and ran for a 14-yard touchdown on the Ducks' first drive, which took 8:41 off the clock.

Nix scored on a 16-yard keeper early in the second quarter. The Ducks converted on fourth down on both scoring drives.

Uiagalelei's 9-yard touchdown pass to Silas Bolden narrowed the score to 14-7 with 54 seconds left in the first half, but Nix led an efficient Oregon series that ended with his 41-yard scoring pass to Troy Franklin to make it 21-7 at the break.

It was Franklin's 14th touchdown this season. It was also the 25th of his career at Oregon, a school record.

After Camden Lewis made a 35-yard field goal for the Ducks in the third quarter, Jordan James pushed the lead to 31-7 with a 1-yard TD in the fourth.

Nix has 37 touchdown passes with two interceptions this season and he's run for six more scores.


Oregon State: While the Beavers still have a bowl to look forward to, there has been rampant speculation this week that the rivalry game was coach Jonathan Smith's last for his alma mater. Smith has been linked to the vacancy at Michigan State. On Wednesday, Beavers athletic director Scott Barnes issues a statement that said his top priority is keeping Smith in Corvallis.

Oregon: It was Oregon’s ninth straight win over Oregon State at Autzen. Stadium. ... Oregon has won 11 games for the first time since 2019, and the eighth time in program history. ... Arizona was eliminated from a shot at the conference championship, no mater what happens when the Wildcats play Arizona State on Saturday. Arizona needed an Oregon State win to stay alive.


Fans on both sides were sad about the end of rivalry between the state's two biggest universities, which are only about 40 miles apart in Oregon's Willamette Valley. Friday's game was the 127th time Beavers and Ducks have met.

"It's very deeply rooted and everyone has respect for one another. Its like camaraderie. It brings the state together. Its really sad that we won’t be able to continue that in the years ahead,” said Donna Moore, who graduated from Oregon in 1990.


Oregon State: The Beavers await their bowl bid. The Pac-12 has agreements with six bowl games. Normally the Rose Bowl is the destination for the winner of the conference, but this year it's a playoff site.

Oregon: The Ducks play Washington in the Pac-12 championship next Friday.


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AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-football

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