No. 6 Oregon easily beats No. 16 Oregon State to earn Pac-12 title game rematch with Washington

The No. 4 Huskies gave Oregon its only loss of the regular season

Oregon secured a place in the Pac-12 championship game as the Ducks continued their playoff push against Oregon State on Friday night.

Heisman contender Bo Nix accounted for three touchdowns as No. 6 Oregon beat No. 16 Oregon State 31-7 to finish the regular season at 11-1 (8-1 Pac-12) and lock in a rematch with No. 4 Washington for the Pac-12 title. The Huskies gave the Ducks their only loss of the regular season in a 36-33 thriller on Oct. 14.

The Ducks jumped out to a 14-point lead after Oregon State appeared to get back into the game just before halftime. The Beavers capped a 15-play drive with a 9-yard TD pass from DJ Uiagalelei to Silas Bolden with 54 seconds to go in the second quarter to cut Oregon’s lead to 14-7.

But the Ducks went 78 yards in five plays and 40 seconds as Nix found an open Troy Franklin for a 41-yard TD pass with eight seconds to go before the half. It was a 21-7 Ducks lead at the break.

From there, Oregon’s defense took over. Oregon State turned the ball over on downs to start the second half and Uiagalelei threw an interception after a Beavers punt. By the time Oregon State got the ball back for a fourth time in the half midway through the fourth quarter, Oregon was up by 24.

Nix continues to make his Heisman case

The Heisman race appears to be down to two players, at least according to the betting odds. Nix (+115) is a close second to LSU QB Jayden Daniels (+100) and the two players are significantly ahead of Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. (+700) and others.

And while Daniels will play his last game before the Heisman ceremony on Saturday against Texas A&M, Nix has one more game to show why he’s worthy of the Heisman Trophy.

Nix finished 30-of-37 passing for 360 yards and two touchdowns while also rushing for 31 yards and a score. He had a hand in all three of Oregon’s first-half TDs and has accounted for nine first-half TDs over the past two games.

For the season, Nix has thrown 37 TDs to just two interceptions while rushing for six touchdowns. He’s thrown for over 300 yards in his last four games and has completed at least 76% of his passes in all of them.

And not only will Nix get to play one more game than Daniels, he’ll get a chance to avenge Oregon’s only loss while having the opportunity to upstage Penix. Nix threw for 337 yards and two TDs in the Ducks’ loss to Washington but the game is most remembered for Oregon’s struggles on fourth down and a missed field goal as time expired.

A big game against Washington can solidify Nix’s claim to the Heisman — and also possibly get Oregon into the playoff. A win over Washington would put the Ducks at 12-1 and no worse than No. 5 in the playoff rankings at the end of the season.

And that’s if Florida State ends the season undefeated, the loser of Ohio State and Michigan doesn’t drop outside the top four and Georgia beats Alabama. That’s a lot of ifs. There’s a strong possibility Oregon could jump into the playoff field at 12-1 with a convincing win over the Huskies. With the way Nix and the Ducks are playing, they certainly look like a playoff team.

Oregon State finishes the season at 8-4

The Beavers couldn't get back-to-back wins over their in-state rivals before the Pac-12 dissolves over the summer when Oregon and Washington head to the Big Ten with UCLA and USC and other teams go to the Big 12 and ACC.

Oregon State (8-4, 5-4 Pac-12) had a big comeback a season ago to secure the win over Oregon and ruin the Ducks' hopes of a 10-win regular season. This year, there was very little doubt Oregon was going to hang on to its second-half lead as the Oregon State offense never truly threatened the Oregon defense.

The loss also comes as Oregon State coach Jonathan Smith has been mentioned as a target for Michigan State in the Spartans' coaching search. In the days leading up to the game, Oregon State athletic director Scott Barnes issued a statement saying his top priority was getting Smith a new contract and more guaranteed money for the success the Beaver football team has had over the last two seasons.

Will Smith stay at Oregon State despite the Pac-12's demise and the school's uncertain power conference future? We'll find out over the coming days now that Michigan State's season is over following a loss to Penn State on Friday night.