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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona football goes for Pac-12 title and third straight win over Oregon

Tyler Baker

Arizona football quarterback Anu Solomon (12) tries to hold off Oregon defensive lineman DeForest Buckner (44) during Arizona’s 31-24 win against Oregon at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Ore., on Oct. 2. The Wildcats are looking to take down the Ducks for the third straight time, this time for the Pac-12 Championship Game.

Before their last win over Oregon, Arizona football players watched a video of a man getting struck by lightning twice. Tonight, the No. 7/8 Wildcats (10-2, 7-2 Pac-12 Conference) face No. 2/3 Oregon (11-1, 8-1) in the Pac-12 Championship game in Santa Clara, Calif., at 7 p.m. on Fox, seeking their third win over the Ducks in 13 months.

“If you are a competitor at all, you want to play for championships,” UA head coach Rich Rodriguez said.

Arizona beat then-No. 5 Oregon 42-16 last year in Tucson and then beat the Ducks 31-24 in Eugene, Ore., on Oct. 2. However, the Ducks have won seven straight games since, with the closet margin being 12 points, at then-No. 18 UCLA, a squad Arizona lost to.

“It’s tough to beat a good team twice, although it is definitely not impossible,” UA safety Jared Tevis said.

Arizona’s last outright conference championship was in 1936.

A win now could vault Arizona into the College Football Playoff.

“Everything, other than being undefeated, is probably still out there for us,” Rodriguez said. “That’s pretty neat in the first week of December.”

Strike the pose?

In case you’ve been living under a rock, Heisman Trophy favorite Marcus Mariota leads the Oregon offense.

The Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year has set the Pac-12 single season and career records for total touchdowns, and he’s just a junior. The UO quarterback has 48 touchdowns this season (36 passing, 11 rushing, one receiving) and 126 career touchdowns.

“You are talking about the guy that is probably going to win the Heisman Trophy and will be a first-round pick,” Rodriguez said on Sunday. “I don’t know if he can declare it now and get out before Friday, but he has been a phenomenal player, and he has been really good against us, too. We have just been really lucky to get some things offensively and keep him off the field more often.”

The previous single-season touchdown record was 41 set by USC’s Matt Barkley in 2011, and the old career touchdown record was 122 by Barkley.

Get to know the Pac-12 Championship Game

This is Arizona’s first Pac-12 Championship game appearance, so introductions are probably in order.

The 2014 edition is the fourth Pac-12 Championship game. Oregon won the first one 49-31 over UCLA, Stanford won the second 27-24 over UCLA and the third 38-14 over ASU.

This is the first Pac-12 Championship game to be held at a neutral site. The first one was at Oregon, the second at Stanford and the third at ASU.

Levi’s Stadium is the home of the San Francisco 49ers and opened in August. The stadium cost $1.2 billion and seats about 68,500. It is located in Santa Clara, Calif., 45 miles from San Francisco.

Levi’s is the first American pro-football stadium to achieve LEED Gold certification. The stadium features a live dashboard with current energy, water, air and other “dynamic” green features.

Not to mention the stadium is made from recycled materials, and 100 percent of the wood is recycled.


Follow James Kelley on Twitter.

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