Las Vegas, NV – The Utah Utes (11-2) came out firing against the Oregon Ducks (9-4) in a landslide victory 38-10 to earn their first Pac-12 Championship title on Friday evening.
“I’m very proud of our guys for putting the punctuation on the last Pac-12 game of the year. It’s a history making football team for Utah. We’ve never won the Pac-12. In the convincing fashion that they did it, I couldn’t be more proud,” said Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham.
In a sea of red Utah fans, the Utes were able to punch a ticket to the Rose Bowl with their fans behind them.
Utah quarterback Cameron Rising commented on the Utah fans showing up and showing their support.
“I was expecting it. I knew that the Utes were going to travel, and they were going to do a great job getting down here and making sure that they were there at the start. We were out there about two hours before and we already seen a bunch of red out there in the crowd and saw little speckles of green. We definitely had a sea of red out there so that definitely was in our favor.”
Rising threw for 170 yards and scored one touchdown.
Utah running back Tavion Thomas scored a 2-yard touchdown run at the 10:47 minute mark 7-0 on the opening drive.
Pac-12 Championship MVP linebacker Devin Lloyd patiently anticipated the ball and read the eyes of the Oregon quarterback to score a pick six from the 45-yard line to go up 14-0.
“Initially starting out, I think that he was feeling a little bit of pressure. And so, he just tried to squeeze it in there. But I was feeling the route in front of me the whole time and I just jumped it. It was just an incredible feeling just to be able to help my team and give them a boost of momentum,” said Lloyd.
Lloyd had five solo tackles, two assist tackles, and one interception for 34 yards.
This was Lloyd’s third career touchdown for an interception, and he is the fourth defensive player to win a Pac-12 MVP.
With :27 seconds left in the second quarter, David Kincaid caught a wide open 11-yard pass from Cameron Rising in the endzone to extend Utah’s lead to 20-0.
Oregon’s defensive coverage showed huge gaps in communication as they struggled to stop Utah the entire game.
Utah shut out Oregon in the first half 23-0.
Oregon’s first touchdown came in the fourth quarter with 5:17 minutes remaining as Travis Dye scored a 2-yard run to trail 38-10.
Time expired and out came the celebratory roses as the Utah crowd roared in excitement.
About two weeks ago, Utah beat Oregon 38-7 at home.
“It’s very difficult to beat a team twice. Especially a team the caliber of Oregon. They’re a heck of a group. They’ve got a ton of talent. And for our guys to do that thirteen days ago and then turn it around and do it again that just let’s you know how tough those guys are, how determined, and the high character level these guys have. It’s been a pleasure to coach them all year long,” said Coach Whittingham.
Utah suffered two tragedies in the recent deaths of players Aaron Lowe and Ty Jordan.
“What we’ve been through this year has been the most difficult year of my coaching career in many respects. And those guys and their leadership, I could not have done it without those guys and the leaders and the seniors and the upperclassmen who did such a great job all season long of persevering. Our mantra after the tragedy was, ‘We’re not going to get over it, but we’ll get through it.’ And I think our guys really did that. Ty and Aaron we love those two young men. They were with us tonight. I’m positive of that, that they were here,” said Coach Whittingham.
The Utah Utes will play in the Rose Bowl on Saturday, January 1st, 2022 in Pasadena, California.
Seattle, WA – The Seattle Kraken were able to get their first pacific division win on December 3rd, 2021 as they held off the Edmonton Oilers by a score of 4-3. While the league’s leading scorer in Leon Draisaitl and arguably the league’s best player Connor McDavid would both score for the Oilers, Seattle would be able to hold Edmonton out of goal when it mattered most.
The key word for Seattle in this game would be response. Unlike earlier this season when the Kraken would concede a goal early and then flop for the remainder of the game, the team answered every Edmonton goal. The Kraken would get strike first, thanks to a Yanni Gourde one-timer just 49 seconds into the game. Leon Draisaitl, the NHL’s leading scorer, would be left wide open as Seattle would puck watch bringing the game to a 1-1 tie just minutes later. The former Oiler Adam Larsson would answer for Seattle with a slapshot goal four minutes later, answering his former teammate’s goal.
The game would be equalized once again with 11:48 to go in the second, when Evan Bouchard of the Oilers would fire a slapshot that would ricochet off of Vince Dunn’s shin and rattle into the goal. Seattle would again answer Edmonton, this time it would be Colin Blackwell with some tricky stick work to beat Oiler’s goaltender Stuart Skinner with slightly under seven minutes to go. The Kraken would extend their narrow lead courtesy of Alex Wennberg, who’s shot would slip under Edmonton’s Stuart Skinner. The goal would give Seattle a four to two lead heading into the final period 2.
The Oilers would chip away at the Seattle lead when Connor McDavid would redirect Evan Bouchard’s slapshot for the goal, sending it right between the pads of Philipp Grubauer. Seattle’s starting goaltender would be able to find some redemption with 7:07 left to go in the period. Tyson Barrie of the Oilers would fire a slapshot from the blue line that would clank off the goal and fall right in front of Jesse Puljujarvi. Puljujarvi was a split second away from pushing the puck into the net with his stick, but Philipp Grubauer would snag it with his glove to preserve the Seattle lead. The Kraken would be able to hold on for the remaining seven minutes, giving the team their first division win.
Edmonton’s first two goals would come off of issues that Seattle has been able to neutralize as of late, those being puck watching and blocking their own goaltender. But as I mentioned earlier, Seattle would respond each time and stand up to the Oilers, who sit at second in the Pacific division currently. Being able to stay in the game and not back down has been a big part as to why Seattle has wins over Washington, Carolina, Florida, and now Edmonton in their last seven contests.
Going back to that Washington game, the win over the Capitals had the potential to be a building block for this team moving forward. I believe that it is safe to say that’s the case, considering the teams that Seattle has beat since the November 21st win over Washington, as well as how the Kraken have won those games. Yanni Gourde and Colin Blackwell spoke on how the team’s growth has shown as of late.
“We’re a much more mature group right now, we’re making much better decisions, we know what to do, we’re confident in our group, 3 and we have to keep pushing,” Yanni Gourde answered when asked about the teams more offensive approach in recent games.
Colin Blackwell spoke about the team’s improvement, stating “We had some adversity but we were able to weather the storm. In the beginning of the season, that might’ve happened and we lose the game. We have the identity rolling right now, all four lines are playing well, and the D is blocking shots. We’re getting a lot of good efforts from everybody, and that’s what it takes to win in this league.”
The Kraken welcome the Pittsburgh Penguins to town on Monday, December 6th with a 7PM PST puck drop for their next contest.
LAS VEGAS, NV — Several weeks after Utah ended Oregon’s hopes of being selected for the College Football Playoffs, the Utes played the role of spoiler and bully, and soundly defeated the Ducks 38-10, to claim its first Pac-12 Football Championship in program history before a packed Allegiant Stadium crowd. In the process, the Utes also dashed any hopes of the Ducks getting revenge or winning consecutive Pac-12 Championships. Instead, it is the Utah Utes, led by Coach Kyle Whittingham that are going to their first Rose Bowl, to take on a representative from the Big Ten Conference.
From the start, Utah was played like a team on a mission. Wanting to show that its victory over Oregon a few weeks ago was no fluke, Utah was aggressive on offense, going for it on 4th down and 1 on their opening drive. After a pass interference call, Utah RB Tavion Thomas ran it in from the 3-yard line, to open the scoring.
Oregon meanwhile still had no answers for Utah’s stifling defense. Despite having quarterback Anthony Brown and a stable of running backs, including Travis Dye, Anthony Brown and CJ Verdell, the Ducks could not get anything going on offense. Their first drive ended with a punt. On the Ducks’ second drive, Brown threw an errant pass; had his next pass tipped; and then had his third pass intercepted by linebacker Devin Lloyd, who ran it in for a 34-yard pick-six, to put Utah up 14-0, enroute to Lloyd earning MVP honors. On the Ducks’ third drive, an offensive pass interference call allowed the Utes to pin their ears back. On the next play, LB Jonah Eliss sacked Oregon quarterback Brown for a loss of 7 yards on 3rd down and 17, to force yet another punt from the Oregon 6-yard line, giving Utah great field position.
Despite their early struggles, the Ducks had two opportunities in the first half to create some positive momentum. Early in the second quarter, Oregon linebacker Noah Sewell intercepted Utah quarterback Cameron Rising just outside of the red zone. Unfortunately, Oregon could not take advantage of the turnover, as the Ducks’ drive ended with no points when kicker Camden Lewis missed a field goal from 44-yards out. Later on in the second quarter, the Ducks again created a red zone turnover when Oregon safety Verone McKinley III intercepted Rising’s pass. But Utah’s stout defense once again killed the momentum by forcing a 3-and-out. Following a punt by Oregon, Utah used its two-minute offense — aided by a pass interference call on cornerback DJ James — to go on a 74-yard, 12-play scoring drive. 2022 Projected NFL No. 1 overall draft pick linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux’s sack for a loss of 8 yards on that drive was little more than a temporary setback for Utah, and the only real time that Thibodeaux had any sort of impact on the game. Utah’s drive culminated in an 11-yard touchdown pass from Rising to tight end Dalton Kincaid (with a missed two-point conversion), to put the Utes up 20-0, with 27 seconds remaining in the half.
Oregon somehow made matters worse. Instead of letting the clock run out, Oregon quarterback Brown threw an ill-advised pass as he was being chased out of bounds with eight seconds to go. Utah cornerback Malone Mataele secured an interception, and the Utes added another 3 points on K Jadon Redding’s 50-yard field goal, to make it 23-0 as the first half mercifully came to an end.
The Ducks finally got on board in the third quarter with a 42-yard field goal by kicker Camden Lewis, to make it 23-3. Any momentum swings in favor or Oregon, however, were quickly dashed when Utah running back TJ Pledger scored on a 4-yard touchdown run, and quarterback Rising converted a 2-point play to put the Utes further ahead, 31-3. As the third quarter waned, camera angles showing a befuddled-looking Marcus Mariota (former Oregon Heisman-winning quarterback and back up on the Las Vegas Raiders) pretty much summed up the nightmarish evening for the Ducks. Neither Mariota nor those Oregon fans that made the trip down from Eugene could do anything to help the Ducks on this night.
In the fourth quarter, the Utes sealed the deal. Utah running back Thomas scored his second touchdown of the game (for a school record 20th on the season) to make it 38-3. Oregon responded with its first touchdown of the game behind a 2-yard run by running back Travis Dye, to pull to 38-10. Utah, however, recovered the ensuing onside quick; converted on 4th down and 1; and then ran out the clock to secure its first Pac-12 Football Championship.
When asked by ESPN’s Holly Rowe after the game how Utah won in such dominating fashion, MVP Honoree LB Devin Lloyd (7 tackles, 1 INT) merely said “We believed.” When accepting the championship trophy, an emotional Coach Whittingham added that “It’s incredible” and dedicated the win to Ty Jordan and Aaron Lowe – the two Utah players who lost their lives to gun violence in separate incidents over the past 12 months. The win served as a fitting tribute.
Utah will play in its first Rose Bowl Game on January 1, 2022.
Oregon will wait for an invitation to a bowl game, and hope to end the season on a high note.
Westwood, CA – With UCLA alum Russell Westbrook in attendance, Tyger Campbell led his team, the UCLA Bruin’s (7-1), to a 73-61 victory over the Colorado Buffaloes (6-2) in the Pac-12 Conference season opener on Wednesday evening.
Campbell spoke on what Westbrook said to him during the game and what it meant to him.
“He was just telling me to keep shooting and to keep being aggressive. It means a lot coming from him because he’s such a great player and obviously the legacy that he left here. All of the final fours. It means a lot for him to just even come back and watch us play. I’m just thankful for that.”
UCLA was out in front 39-23 at the halftime break, but Colorado cut it close in the second half.
The Buffaloes trimmed the lead to four points 48-44 with 9:34 minutes remaining.
But Campbell and the crew continued to impose their will.
Campbell hit a three with 2:27 minutes remaining in the final period to lead 69-56.
That was the dagger.
Campbell dropped 21 points, grabbed seven rebounds, and dished five assists.
“When I’m out there, I’m just trying to take what the defense gives me,” said Campbell. “My teammates were finding me tonight and they were getting me open. I got some good looks and I just knocked them down. So it wasn’t anything about being super aggressive or thinking about me, I’m thinking about the team and whatever Coach needs me to do.”
Despite the Colorado size advantage, UCLA was scoring at ease down low.
Center Myles Johnson took advantage and scored a double-double with 12 points and 10 boards.
“He had 12 points, 10 rebounds and 14 deflections, so he’s got a UCLA triple-double,” said UCLA head coach Mick Cronin. “What I told him was, ‘That’s what I want to see every game.’ So, for him, being included in the offense and having plays demanded of him, I think he’s been such a nice guy his whole career, people just kind of accepted who he used to be. My message to him coming here: ‘I don’t accept that from anybody.’ I came here to try to win a championship. I want every guy to become a better player, make the N.B.A., play in Europe, whatever. He’s getting pushed here like he never has before.”
Jaime Jaquez Jr. went down at the 12:18 mark in the first half. He was able to get back up and walk off the floor.
Coach Cronin spoke on Jaquez Jr.’s status after his hard fall.
“Obviously Jaime took a hard fall. All our doctors did all the stuff. They actually cleared him, but I just wasn’t comfortable. I wanted to get [assistant coach] Mike Lewis out there to watch him warm up and I’m always erring on the side of safety when I coach my players. I just wasn’t comfortable about it. That’s your job when you’re the coach. Sometimes you’ve got to sit players for themselves. That kid would run through a wall. He says it’s fine. He passed the concussion tests and all of that stuff, but he fell pretty hard on his head.”
UCLA takes a trip to Seattle against the Washington Huskies on Sunday, December 5th at 12:00 p.m.
LOS ANGELES–Lincoln Riley, one of college football’s most successful young coaches who won 85 percent of his games in five seasons at Oklahoma and led the Sooners to four Big 12 titles and four New Year’s Six bowls with three College Football Playoff appearances, has been named the head coach at USC, athletic director Mike Bohn announced today (Nov. 28).
“We are ecstatic to announce Lincoln Riley as our new head coach and welcome his wife Caitlin and their daughters Sloan and Stella to the Trojan Family,” said Bohn. “Lincoln is the rarest combination of extraordinary person and elite football coach. His successes and offensive accolades as a head coach the past five years are astonishing. Lincoln will recruit relentlessly, develop his players on and off the field, and implement a strong culture in which the program will operate with the highest level of integrity and professionalism.
“Lincoln is universally considered one of the brightest and most talented football coaches in the nation, and the fact that he chose USC is a testament to the strength of our brand, the power of the Trojan Family, and the leadership of our university. This is for our current players, our former players, our alumni, our fans, and our entire university community. Our time is now.”
Said Riley: “I am truly excited to come to USC and join the Trojan Family as its new head football coach. USC has an unparalleled football tradition with tremendous resources and facilities, and the administration has made a deep commitment to winning. I look forward to honoring that successful tradition and building on it. The pieces are in place for us to build the program back to where it should be and the fans expect it to be. We will work hard to develop a physical football team that is dominant on both lines of scrimmage, and has a dynamic balanced offense and a stout aggressive defense.
“I want to thank the administration, coaches and players at Oklahoma for five incredible years as their head coach. We accomplished some great things there and I will always cherish my time as a Sooner.”
“Lincoln Riley is the perfect choice for our new head coach,” USC President Carol L. Folt said. “He is known for caring about the development and character of his players and winning at the highest level. Mike Bohn and I share a vision for the future of USC Athletics and hiring Coach Riley is a huge statement about where we are going as a program. I cannot wait to welcome Coach Riley and his family to Los Angeles and the Trojan Family.”
Riley will immediately transition to USC. Donte Williams will remain USC’s interim head coach for the final week of the 2021 season, including this Saturday’s (Dec. 4) game at California.
Information on Riley’s introductory press conference, tentatively scheduled for Monday (Nov. 29) at 3 p.m. PT, will be forthcoming.
The 38-year-old Riley posted a 55-10 overall record in his five years (2017-21) at Oklahoma for an impressive .846 winning percentage. His Sooners were 37-7 (.841) in league play and won Big 12 championships in his first four years there as he became the first person to win outright Football Bowl Subdivision conference crowns in each of his first four seasons as a collegiate head coach. He set Oklahoma records for most victories in his first two (24), three (36) and four (45) seasons, breaking marks held by Barry Switzer and Bob Stoops.
After serving as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for two of the most prolific offenses in OU’s history, Riley took over as the Sooners’ head coach in 2017 when Stoops retired. He was the youngest FBS head coach (33) at the time of his hiring. He also coached the OU quarterbacks and called the offensive plays while serving as head coach, running a balanced offensive attack.
Riley led his initial Oklahoma squad to a 12-2 overall record in 2017, becoming just the fifth FBS coach with no previous head coaching experience at a four-year college to win at least 12 games in his debut season. The Sooners won the Big 12 title by going 8-1, played in the CFP semifinal in the Rose Bowl and finished third in the final AP poll. Quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy that season, along with the Maxwell, Davey O’Brien, Manning, Walter Camp Player of the Year and AP Player of the Year Awards, and was the No. 1 pick of the 2018 NFL Draft. Tight end Mark Andrews won the 2017 Mackey Award.
Oklahoma was again 12-2 overall and 8-1 while winning the Big 12 championships in 2018 and 2019. He was the Big 12 Co-Coach of the Year in 2018. Quarterback Kyler Murray won the 2018 Heisman Trophy, O’Brien Award and Manning Award, was the AP Player of the Year and was the No. 1 selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, while quarterback Jalen Hurts was the Heisman runner-up in 2019. The Sooners appeared in the Orange Bowl in 2018 and Peach Bowl in 2019, both CFP semifinals. OU was fourth in the final AP poll in 2018 and seventh in 2019.
In the COVID-impacted 2020 season, Oklahoma went 9-2 overall, won the Big 12 at 6-2, beat Florida in the Cotton Bowl and was sixth in the final AP poll.
In 2021, the Sooners were 10-2 in the just-completed regular season, tied for second in the Big 12 standings at 7-2 and are ranked 13th by AP.
Riley spent 2015 and 2016 as Oklahoma’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He won the Broyles Award as the nation’s top assistant coach in 2015 when his offense ranked seventh nationally in total offense. In 2016, receiver Dede Westbrook won the Biletnikoff Award and was fourth in the Heisman voting, while running back Joe Mixon set the OU season all-purpose yardage record (2,331 yards) and fellow running back Samaje Perine set the school career rushing mark (4,122 yards).
Riley came to Oklahoma after five seasons (2010-14) as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at East Carolina. He added the title of assistant head coach in 2014. The Pirates, running a spread offensive scheme, set more than 50 team and individual school offensive records during his time there. His squads had the top five passing seasons in school history and top four total offense marks. In 2014, ECU set a school season mark with 6,929 yards of total offense. East Carolina appeared in the national Top 10 in such categories as passing and scoring offense, third down conversion percentage and red zone scoring efficiency.
His Pirate wide receivers Justin Hardy and Zay Jones became the most productive pass catchers in FBS history. Hardy caught an NCAA record 387 career passes for 4,541 yards (including a trio of 1,000-yard seasons). Jones, who Riley coached for the first two years of his career, went on to break Hardy’s mark with 399 career receptions.
East Carolina quarterback Dominique Davis was the 2010 Conference USA Newcomer of the Year and set school records for career completions and TD passes. He completed an NCAA record 36 consecutive passes in 2011. He was succeeded by Shane Carden, who broke many of Davis’ record. Carden set ECU season marks for passing yards (4,736 in 2014) and completion percentage (.705 in 2013) and was the Conference USA MVP in 2013 followed by the American Conference’s Offensive Player of the Year in 2014.
Riley was on the football and track teams at Muleshoe (Tex.) High, a West Texas town of 5,000. He was a walk-on quarterback at Texas Tech in the spring and summer of 2003 before starting his coaching career as a student assistant there under head coach Mike Leach for three seasons (2003-05), working with the offense.
He became an offensive graduate assistant at Texas Tech in 2006, then joined the Red Raiders’ fulltime staff as the wide receivers coach in 2007 and the inside wide receivers coach in 2008 and 2009. In 2009, he called plays as the interim offensive coordinator in the Alamo Bowl, producing 579 yards of offense. His wide receiver Michael Crabtree won the 2007 Biletnikoff Award while establishing Big 12 and NCAA freshman records with 134 receptions for 1,962 yards, while fellow wideout Danny Amendola also had a 100-catch, 1,000-yard season in 2007. The Red Raiders played in a bowl in each of his seven seasons and Tech quarterbacks won NCAA passing titles in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2007.
Riley received his bachelor’s degree in exercise and sports science from Texas Tech in 2006.
He was born on Sept. 5, 1983, in Lubbock, Tex. He and his wife, Caitlin, have two daughters, Sloan and Stella. His younger brother, Garrett, is the offensive coordinator at SMU after previously coaching at Appalachian State, Kansas, East Carolina and Augustana College and playing quarterback at Texas Tech and Stephen F. Austin.
Los Angeles, CA – USC trailed by four points when they drove to the BYU 15-yard line with a minute left in the game. Jaxson Dart’s pass to Gary Bryant Jr. was a yard short on fourth and six with 38 seconds remaining.
The Trojans erased a 15-point deficit but came up short on its final drive in a 35-31 loss to No. 13 BYU on Saturday night at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
“Ultimately we didn’t get the final outcome that we wanted,” said USC interim coach Donte Williams. “The kids fought extremely hard tonight. We battled back from mistakes that we made and made it a ballgame up to the last play of the ballgame. We fought hard all night and created turnovers, we ran the ball the way I would like for us to run the ball and controlled at the line of scrimmage.”
USC lost five of its last six games and has been eliminated from bowl contention. Dart finished 23 of 45 for 248 yards with one passing touchdown and one rushing touchdown.
Bryant Jr. gave the Trojans good field position after he returned the opening kickoff 61yards to the BYU 35-yard line. USC can’t get into the end zone and settle for a 26-yard field goal.
BYU responded with a 28-yard touchdown pass from Jaren Hall to Puka Nacua for a 7-3 lead in the first quarter. The Cougars opened the second quarter with a 9-yard touchdown run by Tyler Allgeier to extend the lead 14-3.
USC came right back with a 6-yard run by Jaxson Dart on a fumbled snap to cut the lead 14-10. Allgeier scored his second touchdown of the game on a 5-yard run to give BYU a 21-10 lead. The Trojans added a field goal right before halftime to cut the lead 21-13.
The Cougars took a 28-13 lead in the third quarter when Hall hit Keanu Hill for a 41-yard touchdown. USC scored 18 unanswered points to take a 31-28 lead in the fourth quarter.
Vavae Malepeai scored on a 2-yard run and Parker Lewis added a 37-yard field goal. USC took the lead on Dart’s 10-yard pass to Bryant Jr. followed by a successful two-point conversion.
“I’m proud of the guys,” said Malepeai, who finished with 99 yards in his final home game. “This was a really emotional game, but I felt like we were able to stay level-headed throughout the calls. As an offense, we fed off of the defensive plays and that gave us momentum coming into a drive.”
Jackson McChesney scored on a 7-yard run to give BYU a 35-31 ldad with 3:57 left in the game. The Cougars finish the season 10-2 while the Trojans have one game remaining against Cal next Saturday.
“It was looking pretty bad, but once we regained our composure, I was confident we could come back and get the win,” BYU head coach Kelani Sitake said. “USC was bringing a lot of physicality to the game.”
Pasadena, CA – How much does finishing a season 8-4 mean to a college football team? UCLA may not be going to a fancy bowl game. But with how frustrating their last three seasons have been, 8-4 means so much for this program.
They had that chance to finish with that record needing to take care of Cal. Not only did they control every aspect of the game, but they had fun doing so in their 42-14 win that sealed their regular season on a tremendous high note.
“I think our kids have done a really nice job,” Bruins head coach Chip Kelly said. “We talked about it in November – you have to practice well and these guys have really practiced well. You have to pay attention to detail. Proud of the effort they’ve put in all season long. Navigated a few injuries early, but came out of it and affirmed – what they did today against that team, that team had over 600 yards of offense last week against Stanford. It was a challenge for our defense all week long, I thought our defense played outstanding today.”
Things were a bit sour for UCLA to start their game off. Cal took advantage of a kickoff return blunder in the second quarter as Kazmier Allen muffs the catch and had Cal recover. The Bears end up scoring six plays later, knocking down a quick 14 unanswered points.
Since that score, the Bruins end up with unanswered on their own. In the process, UCLA’s defense were hungry for as many stops as they could collect, allowing just 66 yards in the second half. The offense wanted to return the favor, and they had done so with the passing and rushing game taking off at will.
“On the defensive side, we’ve had a lot of momentum in the month of November,” UCLA cornerback Quentin Lake said. “We had a big shutout in the second half against Colorado, came out and had multiple turnovers and successful drives against USC, and then tonight held Cal, who [had] 600 total yards of offense last week against Stanford. We just kept the ball rolling, just locking in on every play, running to the ball, all the fundamentals. I think when you lock in on the defensive fundamentals on the defensive side, you can do your job, you’ll have shutout games or low-scoring games.”
In the end, Dorian Thompson Robinson finished 19 for 28 with three total touchdowns in the air. Zach Charbonnet and Kazmir Allen added for the bulk of rushing game with a touchdown each on the ground. Thomspon Robinson also managed over 100 yards rushing for the night.
“I think focus, playing each play as its own individual play and not trying to focus on the end result which is obviously scoring or getting a 3-and-out on defense,” Thompson Robinson said. “When you focus on each individual play, you can consistently be locked in.”
Over the first three seasons under Chip Kelly, the Bruins were always on the short end in many contests. Last season had some hope an in each loss they ended up in the losing side of tight games. While most of the Bruins team returned for some unfinished business, experience was practically all what UCLA to flip the season to their liking.
Their offensive dominance was in full force all season. Thompson Robinson became the sixth bruin to finish a season with over 3000 total offensive yards. Charbonnet also leads the Pac-12 with seven 100 yard rushing games, including tonight. The Michigan transfer wanted more touches to prove its dominance, and the response was welcomed with open arms.
Their season at the end means so much for this Bruins program. Their last game, unlike the last three seasons, will extend through December and will await the decision from the bowl committee where they will end up.
Woodland Hills, CA – The Birmingham Patriot’s (8-5) swarming defense propelled them over the San Pedro Pirates (10-2) to take home the City Section Open Division Championship title with a 24-14 victory at Pierce College on Saturday night.
Birmingham head coach Jim Rose commented on being named back-to-back champions.
“It feels great. The last time we were back-to-back champs was 06’-07’ with those great teams and these kids are trying to make their own mark. We get the opportunity to go to State, and hopefully we can pull that off.”
Birmingham struck first in the first quarter with a 25-yard touchdown reception by a wide-open Peyton Waters at the 3:12 mark to lead 7-0.
Senior quarterbackDavid Jordan-Oliveros threw a perfectly thrown pass right up the middle to senior Arlis Boardingham for a 41-yard catch to the house.
Birmingham held San Pedro scoreless in the first half 14-0.
Coach Rose discussed his team’s defensive intensity.
“We had a great run in the Open Division playoffs. We held two shutouts prior to this, so we went ten straight quarters without giving up a point in the open division and that’s huge right there. Monty Barnes and Carlos, they led us on defense tonight.”
Boardingham was unstoppable. He scored a 10-yard catch to stretch the lead to 21-0 with 6:57 minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Boardingham reflected on winning the championship and being doubted throughout the season.
“I believe it’s great. We were doubted coming in. We were doubted the whole season. They didn’t believe in us. I feel like this is just a great story to show how to formulate a team, going down 0-5 the first five games and coming back to win a championship. It means a lot.”
San Pedro’s Chris Nixon put the Pirates on the board at the end of the third quarter.
Nixon leaped in the air for a 3-yard touchdown reception to trail 21-7 going into the final period.
San Pedro’s crowd was chanting “defense” at the top of the fourth quarter to hype their team up for the final twelve minutes of the game, but Birmingham was able to close it out for the win.
On the final play of the game, San Pedro rushed the line as Birmingham took a knee resulting in an injured Birmingham quarterback Jordan-Oliveros.
“It was a(n) [expletive] play. You don’t do something like that at the end of a game,” said Coach Rose.
Jordan-Oliveros highlighted how his coaches prepared their team for a game of this magnitude.
“They honestly prepared us the only way they could. The Patriot way. It’s one of my favorite sayings. It’s a great day to be a Patriot. I’m always going to live by it. Honestly, we’re just a big family and we just attack like Patriots when we need to.”
Boardingham shared his thoughts on the team’s run for a State title.
“It’s spectacular. I couldn’t have asked for a better season right now. The only thing left I need is State. I love these guys so much and they played their heart out for me and for everybody else.”
EUGENE, OR – Coming off a heartbreaking loss that crushed Oregon’s College Football Playoff hopes, the Ducks still had plenty to play for Saturday when they hosted in-state rival Oregon State for their 125th meeting. After fighting off a late comeback, the Ducks claimed the state and clinched their third straight Pac-12 Conference Championship appearance defeating the Beavers 38-29.
Oregon dominated early, heading into the half with a 24-3 lead after impressive performances by quarterback Anthony Brown and running back Travis Dye. Dye struck first for the Ducks on a 20-yard run on the opening drive giving them an early 7-0 lead.
Anthony Brown then found Devon Williams on a 50-yard touchdown, and was the star of the game finishing with 358 all purpose yards and 3 total touchdowns.
Oregon State almost mounted a comeback in the fourth quarter where they scored two touchdowns in less than two minutes. Running back B.J. Baylor cut the lead to 16 points with a 2-yard touchdown run, and after recovering an onside kick quarterback Chance Nolan found Trevon Bradford for a 15-yard touchdown which made it a 10 point game at 31-21.
The Ducks scored their final touchdown with 3:17 remaining thanks to a 31-yard touchdown run by Byron Cardwell that set Travis Dye up with an easy 2-yard touchdown which would prove to be too much for the Beavers to overcome.
Oregon will head to Las Vegas to compete for the Pac-12 Championship next Friday, December 3rd at 5 PM PST.
Down on the football field at Birmingham Charter High School last night, Venice High School head coach Angelo Gasca was the center of attention from his players, alumni, fans, parents and well-wishers.
That was the scene after Venice (8-3) defeated Canoga Park, 36-9, for its first-ever Los Angeles City Section championship.
Gasca been waiting for this shining moment for about 30 years or so. After all, he was a standout quarterback at Venice in his high school years, eventually becoming a successful head coach of a winning program that has sent many players to college.
Led by junior wide receiver Robert Lamar’s three-touchdown performance, Venice led 14-3 at the half, only to increase it to 29-9 after the third quarter to put the game away.
Typically, Gasca’s Venice teams consisted of high scoring teams featuring highly productive Division I quarterbacks and wide receivers.
Under Gasca, his Venice teams are often championship contenders, dominating the Western League during the regular season. However, the bigger and stronger South Bay teams would usher Venice toward the exit door from the playoffs.
But last night, Venice had the right recipe for victory. It used several big plays on offense and defense, blending in a ball-control attack that kept Canoga Park’s potent running attack, led by senior Kayden Collins, off the field.
Venice’s Rashawn Jackson and Jamier Flowers provided Venice’s other touchdowns.
Last week, Collins rushed for more than 400 yards in the semifinal win over Dorsey. Last night, he scored on a 44-yard run that closed the gap to 22-9, but he couldn’t bring the Hunters any closer. He finished with 116 yards on 25 carries for the game and finished the year with 2,400-plus yards.
Lacking a potent passing attack, Canoga Park tried to cobble together a comeback attempt, but the Venice defense rose to the occasion each time. To make matters worse, Canoga Park’s junior running back Dane Reed, the team’s second leading rusher, was injured in the first half and never returned.