2014 Pac-12 Championship Game Final Score Predictions


Tonight’s Oregon vs. Arizona battle in the 2014 Pac-12 Championship Game has all of the makings of a classic. The two teams fought valiantly back in October, with the Wildcats upsetting the Ducks in Eugene in a breakout game for freshman quarterback Anu Solomon.

Now they meet in a rematch with Oregon needing to end a two-game losing streak to Arizona to clinch a spot in the College Football Playoff.

For some guesses at the final score and some predictions of how it will play out, here’s the Reign Of Troy staff’s foreshadowing of how the winds will blow:

Michael Castillo:

Without a doubt, this is the best matchup in the brief four-year history of the Pac-12 title game. Finally, the two best teams are playing, and two teams that are getting hot at the right time and have playoff hopes.

Furthermore, the game features a matchup of the conference’s two best players, and really the nation’s best offensive player, Marcus Mariota, and the nation’s best defensive player, Scooby Wright III. That duel is ultimately what won the first matchup back on October 2nd for Arizona, as Wright sacked and stripped Mariota in the game’s final moments.

If the Ducks want to punch their ticket to the inaugural College Football Playoff, Mariota will have to find a way to conquer the 3-3-5 defense that the Wildcats deploy. He’s struggled mightily the last two times he’s faced Arizona, losing both times.

Tonight, look for Mariota to get over that hump. Too much is on the line and this is undoubtedly the biggest game of his career. The Heisman, the Pac-12 title and a spot in the College Football Playoff are all at stake.

A classic Mariota performance clinches all three, and while Arizona has shown to own Oregon the past two years, they have yet to win a marquee game in school history and no one has beaten these Ducks three times in a row. Just ask Stanford.

Oregon wins, but it’ll be a dogfight. Mariota pulls away late in resounding fashion to claim his first and only Pac-12 championship.

Alicia de Artola:

Two months ago, Arizona upset then-No. 3 Oregon in Autzen. In 2013, the Wildcats blew out the then-No. 9 Ducks in Tucson. Could they possibly do it again at a neutral site?

I don’t think so.

At a certain point you have to expect Oregon to figure Arizona out and there’s never been greater incentive to do so than now. Pulling off an upset is one thing. There’s a freedom to playing the spoiler with little else on the line. This time, everything will be on the line.

You also have to side with Marcus Mariota, the Heisman candidate favorite, to get his team past this particular bogey man. On the other sideline, a Pac-12 championship and a potential berth in the inaugural College Football Playoff seems too much, too soon for a young quarterback like Anu Solomon. In a game that could so easily come down to one big play or a single mistake, it is Mariota and the Ducks, who have been here before, who keep the edge.

Hank Shaw:

Oregon hasn’t been able to figure out how to play against the 3-3-5 and Mark Helfrich has twice been outcoached by Rich Rodriguez in their two meetings thus far. With championship games, and especially rematches, being such cerebral affairs, Arizona’s edge in scheme and coaching is hard to pick against.

Add in the incredible play of Scooby Wright, who killed the Ducks the first time, and it’s really really hard to pick against the Wildcats.

So I’m not going to. Arizona wrecks havoc in the playoff discussion and gives themselves their own argument for consideration by beating arguably the best team in the nation twice in two months, neither of which coming at home.

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