Everything stays in Vegas, including the Pac-12 Conference.
Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. got his team in the College Football Playoff and made his bid for the Heisman Trophy Friday night in the No. 3 Huskies’ 34-31 win over No. 5 Oregon in the last Pac-12 game ever played.
Penix completed 27 of 39 passes for 319 yards and a touchdown, and Washington was just too much for the Ducks in the Pac-12 championship game in Las Vegas. The Pac-12 as we’ve known it for the most part since 1915 scattered to the Big Ten, Big 12 and Atlantic Coast Conference over the last two summers.
“Man, this is the best moment,” Penix said. “To be able to win this game, the last Pac-12 championship, we’re just beyond blessed.”
No. 3 Washington (13-0) rode running back Dillon Johnson, who gained 152 yards on 28 rushes with two touchdowns. He also submitted his vote for the Heisman Trophy, which will take final votes on Monday.
“Absolutely,” he said when asked after the game on ABC if Penix just had his Heisman moment. “They need to give my boy the Heisman. We’re going to be waiting for it at the house.”
LSU QB Jayden Daniels May Take Over Heisman Lead Now
LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels may have something to say about that. He doesn’t have another game to play, but he has a clear edge in several statistics, and is the only 1,000-yard rusher quarterback in the nation.
He also just happened to be on a Heisman promotional billboard in Vegas Friday.
Oregon quarterback Bo Nix entered the game as the odds on favorite to win the Heisman, but he may have lost that along with any chance the Ducks (11-2) had of reaching the playoffs. Nix threw for only 239 yards, completing 21 of 34 with three touchdowns. He did rush six times for 69 yards.
Penix, Johnson and Washington took a 20-3 lead late in the second quarter before Nix brought Oregon back with short passes and time consuming drives. The Ducks took a 24-20 lead with 1:51 to play in the third quarter, but Washington dominated the final period.
Washington Huskies Went 13-0 With Veterans
“The brotherhood is so strong here,” said Washington coach Kalen DeBoer, who has more than a dozen six-year players and another dozen five-year players.
Washington won its seventh game of the season by single digits, including its last win over Oregon – 36-33 on Oct. 14 in Seattle.
“It means a lot to win the last Pac-12 game and how we did it,” DeBoer said. “We couldn’t be happier and excited for what is to come.”
The Huskies will learn who their opponent is for the last four-team playoff on Sunday (8 p.m., ESPN). The playoffs go to 12 teams in 2024.