Pac-12 Championship Preview CapsulePosted: Updated:
No. 3 Oregon (11-1, 8-1 Pac-12, CFP No. 2) vs. No. 8 Arizona (10-2, 7-2 Pac-12, CFP No. 7) in Santa Clara, California, 9 p.m. EST Friday (FOX)
Line: Oregon by 13 1/2.
Series Record: Oregon leads 24-16.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
The Pac-12 championship game will have its biggest stage yet in what essentially sets up as a national quarterfinal. Oregon is all but guaranteed a spot in the four-team College Football Playoff with a win, and the selection committee will have a hard time keeping Arizona out if the Wildcats take down the Ducks for the second time this season.
Arizona's defensive line vs. Oregon's offensive line. The Wildcats sacked Marcus Mariota five times and forced two fumbles in their 31-24 victory in Eugene on Oct. 2. They also held the Ducks to a season-low 144 yards rushing. Oregon's O-line has gotten healthier and improved since, but Arizona's physical front will surely test how much better the Ducks are now.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Oregon: Mariota. Who else? The Heisman Trophy favorite has carried the Ducks all season, throwing for 3,470 yards and 36 TDs with just two interceptions. He also ran for 633 yards and 11 touchdowns and caught a TD pass. But the Wildcats have intercepted him three times and forced him to fumble three times over the past three seasons.
Arizona: LB Scooby Wright. The Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year led the conference with six forced fumbles and ranked third in the nation with 14 sacks. That included sacking Mariota and stripping the ball from him for a turnover with 2:11 to play to seal Arizona's victory over Oregon last time.
FACTS & FIGURES
Oregon has won 11 conference championships, while Arizona has just one (1993) since joining the league. ... The Ducks have the Pac-12's highest-scoring offense at 45.9 points per game. The Wildcats are averaging 36.7 points, which ranks fourth. ... Oregon has the conference's second-best scoring defense, allowing 23.2 points per game. Arizona is fifth at 25.5 points per game. ... It will be the second college football game played at Levi's Stadium, the new home of the San Francisco 49ers. Oregon beat California 59-41 at the stadium Oct. 24.