The Oregon Ducks are headed back to a BCS bowl, though not quite of the same stature as last season. With a 49-31 win in the inaugural Pac-12 Championship, the Ducks secure their spot in the Rose Bowl, where a date with the Big Ten champion awaits. Oregon took care of its business on Friday night, putting away the UCLA Bruins at Autzen Stadium, .
UCLA hung around for 30 minutes, heading into the half down 35-17. This may seem lopsided, but remember the spread on the Pac-12 Championship was 30.5 points, and nobody expected UCLA to even threaten Oregon. But thanks to a sloppy first quarter by the Ducks, and a little trickery, UCLA was down by just a touchdown early in the second quarter.
After a UCLA touchdown early in the second quarter, Oregon put up two quick touchdowns of its own, and the Bruins hopes were all but dead. The fourth quarter came and went in relatively quiet fashion, with neither team scoring until the waning moments.
But Nelson Rosario did provide one heck of a highlight reel play on the Bruins' final drive, reaching up high to snare a pass with one hand for the touchdown with under two minutes to go. UCLA failed to recover the onside kick, though, and the Ducks were able to sit on the ball to end the game.
With the 49-31 win, Oregon becomes the first-ever Pac-12 Champion and likely ensures the conference will have two teams, the other of which is Stanford, in the BCS.