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Oregon upsets USC for second straight Pac-12 Championship

Clay Helton’s job status is now a thing again, and although Oregon failed to win their division, they go home with the trophy.

Jamal Hill of the Oregon Ducks celebrates his interception during the first quarter against the USC Trojans at the PAC 12 2020 Football Championship at United Airlines Field at the Coliseum on December 18, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

The Oregon Ducks only found out they were playing on Monday, but they will be in the New Year’s Six as they beat the USC Trojans 31-24 to in Los Angeles on Friday night in the Pac-12 Championship Game.

The Ducks were a three-point underdog, but did enough to repeat as the Pac-12 Champion even though they only arrived in LA because of Covid-19 issues with the Washington Huskies.

Oregon did just enough on defense and in the running game to advance, forcing three turnovers while running for 135 yards on 41 carries. Starting quarterback Tyler Shough was just 8-15 for 91 yards, but had two touchdowns and an interception.

Trojans Quarterback Kedon Slovis really hurt his team, as he was 28-52 for 320 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions. The Trojans averaged just 4.5 yards per play, with two first quarter picks turning into 14 Ducks points. USC also added nine penalties for 98 yards, and averaged just 1.4 yards per carry.

The questions about USC head coach Clay Helton’s job status will continue to abound, despite an undefeated 5-0 season heading into the title game. Three of the Trojans wins this season came in the final minute of play, and the lack of development of five-star talent is an issue.