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No. 5 Washington clinches Pac-12 championship berth with 22-20 victory over No. 10 Oregon State

By The Associated Press
Posted 11:10PM on Saturday 18th November 2023 ( 3 months ago )

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Michael Penix Jr. threw for two touchdowns and ran for another, and No. 5 Washington remained undefeated and clinched a spot in the Pac-12 championship game with a 22-20 victory over No. 10 Oregon State on Saturday.

Played in a nearly constant rain, it was the final Pac-12 game at Reser Stadium as the conference currently stands. The Pac-12 collapsed over the summer, leaving Oregon State and Washington State as the lone remaining teams.

Rome Odunze caught seven passes for 106 yards and two touchdowns for the Huskies (11-0, 8-0, No. 5 CFP), who have won 18 straight games. Washington is departing for the Big Ten next season, along with Oregon, USC and UCLA.

Penix completed 13 of 28 passes for 162 yards. He has thrown for 30 touchdowns this season.

Damien Martinez ran for 123 yards and two touchdowns for the No. 10 Beavers (8-3, 5-3, No. 11 CFP), who were effectively eliminated from a shot at the conference championship. The loss snapped a nine-game winning streak for Oregon State at Reser.

The Beavers closed to within 22-20 on Atticus Sappington's 35-yard field goal with 10:40 left in the game. Washington was forced to punt on the next series, and Oregon State fell short when DJ Uiagalelei's fourth-and-5 pass to Jack Velling at midfield was incomplete.

The win kept Washington alone atop league standings in front of No. 6 Oregon, which also has national championship aspirations and defeated Arizona State 49-13 earlier on Saturday. The Ducks have just one loss — to Washington earlier this season. The Beavers visit Oregon on Friday in Eugene.

On Washington's first series of the game, Penix hit Odunze with a 12-yard touchdown pass in a steady downpour at Reser. The Beavers answered with Damien Martinez's 3-yard TD scamper.

The Huskies went up 9-2 on a safety when Oregon State misplayed a punt with a bad snap that went over the head of the punter.

The wet and slippery conditions caused problems for both teams. Washington's Dillon Johnson gained of 42 yards to get to the Oregon State 9-yard line, but fumbled and the Beavers recovered. Then Anthony Gould fumbled a pass from DJ Uiagalelei and Washington recovered on the Oregon State 19. The Huskies, aided by a pass interference call, went on to score on Penix's 5-yard keeper.

Penix danced on the sidelines in celebration.

Oregon State closed the gap with a Sappington's 38-yard field goal, but Washington capped the first half with Penix's 38-yard scoring pass to Odunze to lead 22-10.

A 39-yard field goal attempt by Washington's Grady Gross went wide left early in the third quarter.

Martinez scored on a 5-yard dash with 1:29 left in the third quarter to close the gap to 22-17. The 16-play drive took 9:56 off the clock and shifted momentum to the Beavers.

Uiagalelei gained 26 yards on a fourth-and-1 keeper to keep an Oregon State drive alive early in the final quarter. Martinez extended the drive, taking a short pass from Uiagalelei and stretching it for 19 yards, but the Beavers ultimately settled for Sappington's 35-yarder.

MOUNTAIN WEST ALLIANCE?

This week two people with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press that the Beavers and the Cougars were moving toward keeping the Pac-12 alive as a two-team conference for the time being while striking a deal with the Mountain West to fill out their schedules. That could possibly lead to a longer-term deal between the schools and the Mountain West.

Earlier in the week a judge in ruled that Oregon State and Washington State, as the sole remaining members of the Pac-12, have sole control of the conference's assets. But the departing schools appealed to the Washington Supreme Court and won a temporary stay. Oregon State and Washington State have until Nov. 28 to respond.

THE TAKEAWAY

Washington: Washington leads the series 69-35-4 ... Penix has three rushing touchdowns in three straight games.

Oregon State: Martinez, the 18th player with 1,000 or more yards rushing Oregon State history, has three straight games with at least 100 yards rushing. .. It was the first time the two teams have faced each other with both ranked in the AP’s Top 10.

UP NEXT

Washington: Hosts Washington State in the Apple Cup on Saturday.

Oregon State: Visits Oregon in the rivalry game on 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

Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. (9) dodges Oregon State linebacker Easton Mascarenas-Arnold (5) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023, in Corvallis, Ore. (AP Photo/Mark Ylen)
Oregon State quarterback DJ Uiagalelei (5) looks to throw a pass against Washington during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023, in Corvallis, Ore. (AP Photo/Mark Ylen)
Washington wide receiver Rome Odunze (1) is brought down by Oregon State linebacker Easton Mascarenas-Arnold (5) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023, in Corvallis, Ore. (AP Photo/Mark Ylen)
Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr., second from left, celebrates his touchdown against Oregon State with teammates during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023, in Corvallis, Ore. (AP Photo/Mark Ylen)
Oregon State running back Damien Martinez (6) celebrates his touchdown against Washington with teammates during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023, in Corvallis, Ore. (AP Photo/Mark Ylen)
Washington coach Kalen DeBoer signals to players during the first half of their NCAA college football game against Oregon State on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023, in Corvallis, Ore. (AP Photo/Mark Ylen)

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