College football: No. 25 Washington rallies past No. 6 Oregon, hurts Ducks’ CFP hopes
Peyton Henry got his redemption kick.
The senior made a 43-yard field goal with 51 seconds left, and Washington ended Oregon’s eight-game winning streak with a 37-34 victory Saturday night, dealing a blow to the Ducks’ chances for a spot in the College Football Playoff.
In 2018, Henry had a chance to beat the Ducks, but his 37-yard field-goal attempt on the final play in regulation was wide right and Oregon went on to win 30-27 in overtime.
“That [miss] is always in the back of the mind, especially because when people think of me, they think of that kick,” he said. “So hopefully they remember me for this kick.”
Nix returned after Henry’s field goal and got the Ducks (9-2, 6-1 Pac-12 Conference), No. 6 in the CFP rankings, to the Washington 38-yard line, but the final drive fizzled with an illegal touch penalty. The No. 25 Huskies (8-2, 5-2) won in Eugene for the first time since 2016.
“I didn’t know he missed it here four years ago, and somebody was telling me: ‘This is a redemption field goal. He’s going to make it.’ ” Penix said. “And I was like, ‘OK, as long as he makes it, I’m good.’ ”
Penix, the national leader for passing yards per game, threw for 408 yards and two touchdowns as Washington stopped a 13-game losing streak against ranked Oregon teams. The last win was in 2002, when the Huskies beat Oregon 42-12 when the Ducks were No. 23 in the Associated Press rankings. Washington had been 0-7 against the Ducks when they are ranked in the top 10.
Dorian Thompson-Robinson took four consecutive shots at the end zone, but UCLA could not pull off a score and lost to Arizona 34-28 at the Rose Bowl.
Nix fell after a two-yard run on third and five on the Washington 10-yard line, and he limped off the field. Camden Lewis’ 26-yard field goal finished the drive to make it 34-27 with 3:54 left. After the Huskies’ tying touchdown, Nix was replaced for a series by backup Ty Thompson.
Nix threw for 280 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 59 yards and an additional touchdown. The loss stopped the Ducks’ 23-game home winning streak, the third-longest streak in the nation and a victory shy of the school record.
Oregon coach Dan Lanning said after the game that he was waiting for a further evaluation on Nix’s injury, but trainers had determined he was able to return to the game for the final series.
“Well, certainly not the result we had hoped for. I think our guys played the entire game. They certainly didn’t quit, didn’t throw in the towel,” Lanning said. “You have to give Washington credit. They played a complete game, and we made more mistakes at the end of the game that hurt us.”
The Huskies scored on their opening series when Penix handed off to Wayne Taulapapa, who dashed 13 yards down the middle for a touchdown.
The Ducks settled for a 43-yard field goal from Lewis on their first drive. Henry kicked a 30-yarder to make it 10-3 early in the second quarter.
Oregon got to the one-yard line on the ensuing drive, but the snap was fumbled and Washington recovered. The Huskies did not move the ball and instead the Ducks had good field position ahead of Nix’s 10-yard touchdown dash, his 14th touchdown run of the season, to pull Oregon to within 13-10.
After Nix hit Dont’e Thornton with a 46-yard touchdown pass on Oregon’s first drive of the second half for a 17-13 lead, Cameron Davis scored on a three-yard run to put the Huskies back on top.
Noah Whittington’s 29-yard scoring run gave Oregon a 24-20 lead midway through the third quarter. It was a back-and-forth duel the rest of the way.
A 76-yard touchdown pass from Penix to Ja’Lynn Polk gave the Huskies a 27-24 lead in the third quarter. Nix answered with a 67-yard touchdown pass to Troy Franklin.
When USC running back Travis Dye went down with an injury Friday night, his teammates fought on with the spirit he brought to the game and team.
Jeffrey Bassa’s interception of Penix at the goal line to start the fourth quarter appeared to shift the momentum to the Ducks until Nix’s untimely injury.
“It’s a feeling you can’t describe,” said Jalen McMillan, who finished with 122 yards receiving for the Huskies. “It’s like all our hard work, we’ve been through so much as a team and as a brotherhood. So, this [win] means everything to us. We’ve been working for this forever.”
Washington: The Huskies had not visited Eugene since 2018, when Oregon won 30-27 in overtime. Washington got a boost from the full return of linebacker Edefuan Ulofoshio, who missed the first eight games of the season recovering from a knee injury. He saw a few snaps last weekend in a victory over Oregon State.
Oregon: The Ducks missed out on going 7-0 in Pac-12 play for the first time since 2019. In addition to stopping the overall winning streak in Eugene, the loss ended a school-record streak of 17 consecutive conference wins at home.
Washington: The Huskies host Colorado next Saturday.
Oregon: The Ducks host No. 13 Utah next Saturday.
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