No. 6 Oregon falls in thriller as Michael Penix outduels Bo Nix

Published:Mar 8, 202423:56
No. 6 Oregon falls in thriller as Michael Penix outduels Bo Nix

It was a Hollywood script gone north.

The star quarterback suffers a setback, however nonetheless finds a strategy to get his staff into place for the game-winner over an archrival. No. 6 Oregon and its Heisman Trophy candidate Bo Nix had been all set to see simply such a second unfurl at Autzen Stadium.

The issue for the Geese?

It was No. 25 Washington and Michael Penix Jr. who put the pen to paper and acted all of it out on Saturday evening, all however ending their rivals’ hopes of constructing it to the School Soccer Playoff with a wild 37-34 upset within the course of down in Eugene.

Highlights: No. 25 Washington stuns No. 6 Oregon

Highlights: No. 25 Washington stuns No. 6 Oregon

Michael Penix Jr. outdueled Bo Nix as Washington toppled Oregon.

Nix, who threw for 280 yards and accounted for 3 whole touchdowns, was wonderful a lot of the sport, however failed to select up a vital third down draw with 4:04 left within the last quarter and issues hanging within the stability. To make issues worse, he took a helmet on to his proper leg and wanted help to gingerly make it off the turf. 

That was simply the opening that Penix Jr. and the Huskies wanted, and so they took full benefit of it. Simply three performs into the subsequent drive, the Indiana switch uncorked a fantastic bullet alongside the sidelines instantly into the fingers of sophomore Taj Davis, who took it 62 yards to the home on what can be his solely catch of the competition (and a memorable one at that) which tied issues up at 34 apiece.

The Geese nonetheless had a shot, nonetheless, however Nix was nonetheless within the harm tent coping with his leg harm. Backup Ty Thompson, a former high recruit, trotted onto the sector, thrust into a giant second with nationwide implications on the road. The redshirt freshman’s lone passing try missed the mark in the course of the drive and finally introduced up a fourth-and-short at their very own 34-yard line. 

First-year coach Dan Lanning, who has been aggressive all season, opted to go for it after choosing up three earlier short-yardage makes an attempt on fourth down. That was with Nix within the sport, nonetheless, utilizing the senior’s bruising dimension and energy to muscle over the road for all of them. 

As an alternative, it was all on tailback Noah Whittington (108 yards, one TD on 20 makes an attempt), who was given the ball on a run up the center out of the shotgun however noticed his legs slip out from beneath him to show issues over on downs.

"Definitely not the outcome we hoped for," stated Lanning afterward. "This sport 100% falls on me. Our gamers gave phenomenal effort."

Oregon linebacker Noah Sewell finally introduced an finish to the following Washington drive in favorable subject place, however Peyton Henry’s 43-yard subject objective sailed by means of the uprights for what finally was the game-winner.

"We’re only a staff that all the time comes again and retains preventing," Washington head coach Kalen DeBoer stated after the sport.  "It confirmed itself for 4 quarters."

Penix, who threw a expensive interception on the objective line earlier within the fourth quarter, wound up with 408 yards and two touchdowns by means of the air — probably the most any Huskies QB had ever thrown for towards their rivals in inexperienced and yellow. 

"It’s not like him to throw that interception," added a smiling DeBoer, figuring out Penix finally acquired the staff into the top zone three performs into their subsequent drive after the choose. 

Nix nonetheless had yet another shot at glory earlier than the clock expired, nonetheless, surprisingly trotting out from the medical tent onto the sector to the delight of the trustworthy crowd in attendance. He had one timeout in his pocket and 51 seconds on the clock, however he couldn’t fairly muster up a few of the earlier magic he had conjured over the course of the previous eight video games. 

The upset ended Oregon’s 23-game win streak at Autzen, which was the third-longest within the nation and initially started with a win over a ranked Washington facet in 2019. The Geese had dominated the rivalry of late, with 15 victories previously 17 video games, however couldn’t get the job achieved within the first assembly with two new coaches on both facet.

The loss additionally all however assures that Oregon’s School Soccer Playoff hopes are out the window, too, given the remainder of the competitors for the ultimate 4 spots nationally.

The Geese can nonetheless win the Pac-12 and make it to the Rose Bowl come January, however might want to beat No. 13 Utah at house subsequent week, Oregon State in Corvallis, after which the winner of the USC-UCLA matchup that may happen subsequent week — fittingly in Pasadena. 

The Huskies, in the meantime, should be kicking themselves for taking an inexplicable loss within the desert to Arizona State earlier within the season or else they'd be firmly within the combine to make it to Las Vegas for the convention championship. Because it stands, the season remains to be fairly a hit for DeBoer, with the potential of reaching double-digits within the win column for the primary time since 2018 and, at a minimal, restoring a little bit of stability to one in all their most significant Pacific Northwest rivalries. 

Maybe it wasn't fairly what number of thought issues would play out in 2022 and even main into the weekend however that simply could be why they don’t permit the scriptwriters to regulate the endings of school soccer video games wherever past the silver display.

No. 25 Washington upsets No. 6 Oregon in a nail-biter

No. 25 Washington upsets No. 6 Oregon in a nail-biter

RJ Younger reacts to Washington's upset victory and explains why the Huskies shouldn't be ignored.

Three different takeaways from the sport:

Land of Lanning

Whereas some first-time head coaches may change into slightly extra conservative because the strain ramps up taking part in a bitter rival, that was not the case with Lanning. The Geese’ head man remained aggressive as ever on Saturday evening, belying the truth that his staff was taking part in a ranked opponent or had been using an eight-game win streak that helped them additionally harbor tangible School Soccer Playoff aspirations. 

In a lot the identical vogue as he did in a giant win over UCLA at Autzen final month, Lanning opted for a shock onside kick within the first half. The try, which was narrowly unsuccessful, later led to factors the opposite approach, however you must admire that the circumstances weren't altering the decision-making course of.

A few of Lanning’s pondering needed to be the shortage of defensive stops both facet was in a position to make early within the sport, whereas additionally noting that the Huskies weren’t precisely making a particular groups allowance for the chance and conserving an additional return man up entrance with a watch on the kicker.

The antagonistic pondering wasn’t restricted to the beginning of drives both. As time dwindled within the second quarter and Oregon was driving round midfield, Lanning known as timeout on fourth-and-2 with 31 seconds left. On condition that Washington had loads of time to work and the nation’s greatest passing offense, it was definitely a raffle to go for it and never punt given the sector place benefit going the opposite approach. 

Nonetheless, there was little hesitation because the offense stayed on the sector and Nix scrambled up the center on a keeper to simply barely choose up the primary down. Not many would have had the products to go for it in such a spot however Lanning positive did. The Geese wound up getting a subject objective try out of the affair and, although it missed, at the least slightly momentum going into what will need to have been a fired up locker room.

Nonetheless, the impetus to go for it such spots got here again to chunk UO within the fourth quarter as Whittinghton’s slip in his personal territory all however gifted a subject objective try for the Huskies in a tie sport and what proved to be the successful factors.

Going wrestling

The very best catch of the evening? It could not have even been a catch. 

Proper after Oregon’s tried onside kick earlier than halftime, Washington coach Kalen DeBoer did what many coaches would do in such a scenario hovering round midfield: take a shot at a giant play. Off play motion, Penix threw a bullet down the hashmarks that was geared toward Jalen McMillan. The receiver finally got here down with it, however not earlier than Christian Gonzalez practically snatched it excessive for a wild interception and one of many extra exceptional performs of the sport.

The Huskies shortly ran as much as the road to run a play and forestall replay from taking an extended look, nevertheless it’s not usually you see a wideout actually wrestle a defensive again to make sure a catch. The large acquire of 34 yards later led to a UW subject objective that proved to be the eventual three-point margin that the staff took into the locker room at halftime. 

Western implications

On the subject of dialog matters in Pac-12 territory, likelihood is excessive that issues virtually all the time find yourself coming all the way down to repetitive exchanges about convention realignment and media rights within the wake of USC and UCLA’s future departure for the Huge Ten. These are definitely necessary matters within the context of the well being of the league and the way forward for the remaining 10 members.

However Saturday evening’s outcome at Autzen appeared particularly significant for folk out West, because it showcased the league’s two flagship packages (come 2024) battling it out beneath the lights in a giant primetime sport that greater than delivered with loads of drama and large performs. Even higher than the hard-fought, back-and-forth nature of the sport was who got here out on high.

The Geese and Huskies have represented the Pac-12 within the School Soccer Playoff earlier than, and each look to be in place to stay atop the standings for a lot of seasons to return given the assets at hand. They every have two massive manufacturers, wealthy histories, and the ambition to maintain making waves nationally as a lot as they wish to push ahead domestically.

But their rivalry has been fairly one-sided these days, tilted closely in favor of Oregon regardless of this system altering coaches each few years. To ensure that this to change into the true flagship rivalry out West with out the Trojans or Bruins to play foil, the Huskies might want to make issues attention-grabbing by extra incessantly.

Based mostly on what we noticed in DeBoer’s preliminary foray into the series — and his previous historical past of successful just about in all places he’s been — it’s encouraging for these within the Pac-12 workplace, these boating round Montlake and among the many neutrals all through the footprint that there simply could be slightly stability between the 2 groups shifting ahead. 

Learn extra:

Bryan Fischer is a school soccer author for FOX Sports activities. He has been overlaying faculty athletics for practically twenty years at retailers resembling NBC Sports activities, CBS Sports activities, Yahoo! Sports activities and amongst others. Observe him on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.

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Publish date: 2022-11-13 13:33:24
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