SALT LAKE CITY — Utah football has clinched the Pac-12 South Division title and will be going to their first-ever championship game since joining the conference in 2011.
The Utes took care of business Saturday with a 30-7 win over Colorado to finish conference play with a 6-3 record. But Utah needed Arizona State to lose one of its last two games for them to claim the South. The most likely of opportunities was Saturday as the Sun Devils traveled to Eugene, Oregon to take on an up-and-down Ducks team.
After Utah’s win, placekicker Matt Gay said: “You’ll never hear me say this again, but go Ducks!”
Oregon controlled the first half of the game and took a 28-13 lead into the locker room at halftime. But the Ducks would stall on offense in the second half and allowed the Sun Devils to crawl back into the game. Arizona State would eventually score a late touchdown and would need a completed 2-point conversion to tie the game.
But the 2-point conversion attempt failed as the Sun Devils receiver caught the ball with his foot out of bounds. Oregon would manage to hold on to a 2-point win over the Sun Devils to claim a much-needed win for their program, and Utah’s first-ever South title.
Utah will face either Washington or Washington State in the Pac-12 Championship game that will take place on Friday, Nov. 30 at 6 p.m. on FOX in Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.
Utah’s path to the South title came with some adversity after losing starting quarterback Tyler Huntley and starting running back Zack Moss after a heartbreaking defeat on the road to the Sun Devils earlier in November. But redshirt freshman Jason Shelley rallied the offense and led Utah to back-to-back wins to position the Utes for a shot at the title.
Although Utah has clinched the South title, the program still has BYU to play in the final game of the regular season Saturday at 8 p.m. The game has little bearing on a conference play, but could have bowl implications and is an opportunity for the seniors to play their final home game as a Ute.
Tickets to the Pac-12 Championship game can be purchased by calling 801-581-UTIX or by ordering them online at the Utah tickets website.