Tyler Shough leads Oregon to a 31:24 win over No.. 13 USC and give the Ducks their second consecutive Pac-12 championship. (1:31)
Following Oregon’s 31:24 win over USC in the locker room on Friday to claim the Pac-12 title and a likely spot in the Fiesta Bowl, Ducks coach Mario Cristobal brought up a conversation that the team got in March Had led.
« We said whoever handles this pandemic best will hold up this trophy in the end, » recalled Cristobal.
It wasn’t that easy, but in a year where the Pac-12 cut its regular season to six games and didn’t start playing until November, no conference was so changed. And there could never be such a bizarre road to a championship as the one the Ducks completed on Friday.
Oregon (4-2) got into the championship game, although it did not win a division. The official designation went to rival Washington (3-1), who took first place in the Pac-12 North after being unable to play the Ducks on the Huskies list last week due to a COVID-19 outbreak. The game between Washington and Oregon would have served as the conference semifinals. Instead, the ducks sat idle and the Pac-12 announced on Sunday that they would face USC runner-up in the South Division, Colorado (4-1).
Just over 24 hours after the first pairings were established, the Pac-12 announced that Washington would not be able to play – as widely expected – and the Ducks became the main event of the conference.
« We had three fixtures in three or four days, just like the constant change, » said Cristobal on Friday. “Can you introduce yourself? ‘Hey guys, I’ll see you tomorrow at 6:00 AM and driving to Colorado from 6:00 to 12:00. Then we’ll take a five minute lunch break and then we’ll go to USC until the wee hours of the morning and then we’ll start recruiting. «
« We’re really regulated and follow them all day to the point where we are sometimes hard to deal with, but they managed to find a way to stay healthy, » said Cristobal. « Make it to every single game and found us here in the Pac-12 championship and did it. An enormous merit is due to these soccer players. «
Oregon deserves credit for how it handled the virus, but there is an element of happiness too. California, one of the two teams Oregon lost to, presented an example of how quickly the virus could wreak havoc in one season. In the 1-3 Golden Bears, two games were canceled due to a total of two positive cases.
« We fought this year, » said Thibodeaux. « So many trials and difficulties. So many things that kept coming up. So many excuses we could have made and we didn’t flinch. We stuck to the script and did it. «
For USC (5-1), plagued by three costly sales and multiple early penalties in the title game, the loss dashed his hopes of remaining undefeated.
« There are a lot of hurt souls in our locker room right now, » said USC trainer Clay Helton. « And I know that our kids really wanted to win a championship. And today we came up with a bit too short. «
NCAA Mid-American Conference Football, Buffalo Bulls Football, Ball State Cardinals Football, MAC Football Championship Game, American Football
World News – USA – Oregon holds No.. 13 USC for Pac-12 crown
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