Trojans Now Ready To “Play Those Guys Across Town”

Travis Dye sustains season-ending injury in USC’s blowout win over Colorado

Ryan Kartje (LA Times)  —  The final dress rehearsal was dragging, the last kinks still being ironed out ahead of next week’s consequential crosstown showdown, when Tuli Tuipulotu burst around the edge and closed the curtains on Colorado himself.

Little about the past month, outside of the No. 8 affixed next to its name, had suggested USC was ready for the bright lights and big stage that awaited next week at the Rose Bowl. In consecutive games, California and Arizona had pushed the Trojans to the brink. Now Colorado, a Pac-12 doormat and one of the worst teams in college football, was pushing them around, too.

It wasn’t until its star defender took center stage, forcing his way into a collapsing pocket and flinging a fumble loose in Friday’s second quarter that USC found the nerve to push back. It kept pushing and pushing and pushing from there, until its backups applied one final shove for good measure in a resounding 55-17 victory.

Tuli Tuipulotu bats down a pass by CU QB J.T. Shrout in the first quarter Friday. (Wally Skalij / LAT)

After a frustrating first quarter, USC’s oft-maligned defense turned in one of its most impressive performances in months, albeit against a team that has scored fewer points than 128 other teams this season. It held Colorado to 158 yards over the final three quarters, notched three sacks and forced two turnovers.

“This is how we should play every week,” Tuipulotu said of the defense.

But a night that might’ve otherwise provided necessary catharsis was instead marred by a major setback as star running back Travis Dye left the field on an injury cart, his final collegiate season over before its home stretch.

All season, Dye had been one of the strongest leaders in USC’s locker room, a critical voice in the ongoing cultural transformation under coach Lincoln Riley. Each week, Dye would deliver a new pregame speech to inspire the team.

But as USC’s senior leader lay on the grass during the second quarter, cradling his left leg, the Coliseum lay silent. The Trojans’ sideline emptied as he was loaded onto an injury cart, players surrounding their fallen teammate in solidarity.

“That shook us all a little bit,” Riley said of the injury.

The coach didn’t offer specifics about the diagnosis. But he did confirm the worst: Dye won’t be returning this season.

“It just sucks. There’s no other way to put it,” Riley said. “He was one of the key cogs in this team.”

And now, with its most critical stretch ahead, USC will have to forge on without the engine of its offense and the soul of its locker room. Its first test? Matching the top rushing offense in the Pac-12.

Tahj Washington sprints to a 61-yd TD catch in the third quarter. (Wally Skalij / LAT)

“Now we get a chance to reset,” Riley said, “and play those guys across town.”

It won’t be easy from here, even if USC made it look as such on Friday. Dye’s injury still loomed over the rest of Friday, even as USC continued to roll along without its running back. Whether it will be able to move the ball as well next week without him would be another question.

If it has any hope of outlasting UCLA — and Notre Dame, after that — Caleb Williams will almost certainly have to put the full weight of USC’s offense on his shoulders. He was inconsistent in carrying it Friday, barely completing 50% of his passes (14 of 26) for 268 yards and three touchdowns.

Korey Foreman (0) is fired up after making TFL against Colorado. (Wally Skalij / LAT)

It’ll be up to Austin Jones, too, to fill the void in USC’s backfield. He finished with 113 all-purpose yards and a touchdown after stepping in for Dye. Both will have to be at their best against a stingy UCLA defense.

In spite of how it finished Friday, USC’s offense was entirely out of sorts at the start. Two of the Trojans’ first three drives ended in three-and-outs. The other ended with a Colorado interception, wrestled from the hands of receiver Brenden Rice.

The pick was just Williams’ second of the season — and only the second turnover for the Trojans this season. Still, it ended up yielding more points than any other USC drive in the opening quarter. On the next play, with pressure bearing down, Colorado quarterback J.T. Shrout threw away a pass from the end zone while still in the pocket. Intentional grounding was called, and two points were put up, courtesy of USC’s defense.

After a frustrating start, the Trojans trailed Colorado 3-2. Their offense had just eight yards, and their quarterback had completed just one of six passes for two yards. But their fortunes would flip in a flash, as Williams hit Kyle Ford once to convert on third and long, then again. The spark was enough to kick-start USC’s offense, which mounted a 12-play drive, capped by a Williams keeper for a two-yard touchdown.

The sack and forced fumble from Tuipulotu gave the ball back to USC’s offense. Barely two minutes after his first score, Williams was left unattended again, strolling untouched into the end zone for a second, extending a lead over Colorado that would quickly grow from there.

But the sequence of scores was merely subtext in light of Dye’s injury, which isn’t expected to impact his ability to play professionally next year. As he left the field on the cart, his left leg in a cast in the wake of USC’s victory, he waved to fans gathered around the tunnel. They roared in appreciation, knowing deep down how much they had lost in Friday’s victory.

“I looked him in the eye and I told him I love him,” Williams said, “and we’re going to go get this. … We’re going to miss him on the field but he’s still going to be there and he’ll have a different part for this team.”

The injury was eerily reminiscent of Drake London’s ankle break a year ago: a star offensive player being carted off the Coliseum field, his college career coming to a premature end.

But London was the lone bright spot in a lost season. Dye was the workhorse back who kept the USC offense balanced. Whatever College Football Playoff path is ahead of USC gets considerably more difficult without his presence.

latimes.com

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John Weld
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November 13, 2022 10:47 am

Current Standings After Week 10

  1. San Diego Trojan-17000 
  2. Satyrdancing – 16500 
  3. DubPar22 – 16000
  4. Chris – 13000
  5. Trojan RJJ – 10250
  6. Troy5543 – 10000
  7. Rialto Trojan –9500  
  8. Golden Trojan – 0
  9. M/M SteveG – 0 
  10. Rock2112 – 0

Thanks Golden, SteveG and Rock2112 for playing!
And then there were 7………………..

Click link to see complete itemization of all wagers: Click Here

Last edited 2 months ago by John Weld
Golden Trojan
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November 13, 2022 11:29 am
Reply to  John Weld

Thanks John for running the game. It was fun while it lasted. SC has been a tough one to gauge the spread this season. Now can anyone get back to even? I should have stuck with the Rock Rule.✌😎

Last edited 2 months ago by Golden Trojan
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November 13, 2022 1:58 pm
Reply to  Golden Trojan

Your welcome! I really enjoy doing it because I follow a lot more teams and get to experience the college game environment in all parts of the country. Fans are really different and the different ways eat/drink and tailgate is really something.
I am thinking about setting up a TDB trip to an away game next year to one of the great rivalry games.

Chris
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November 13, 2022 2:22 pm
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I’m in if you get it organized. It would be a good time.

John Weld
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November 13, 2022 4:21 pm
Reply to  Chris

There are a lot of games on my bucket list that I would not mind seeing in person: Texas/Oklahoma, Michigan/State, Wisconsin/Minnesota, Auburn/Alabama, Georgia/Florida, Florida/Florida St, Washington/Washington St, Utah/BYU, Texas/Texas A&M and for those that haven’t been to Notre Dame we can do a USC/Notre Dame.

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November 13, 2022 6:11 pm
Reply to  John Weld

South Bend would be a good one. I have never been and I have a Domer buddy I could try to talk into going.

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November 13, 2022 4:09 pm
Reply to  John Weld

That would be wild. Keep us posted.

volunteerTrojan
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November 14, 2022 10:19 am

Nice perspective on the job LR has done this year in this article on RoT. Enjoy.

reignoftroy.com

volunteerTrojan
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November 14, 2022 4:43 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

I’d love to go to that game!

Chris
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November 13, 2022 8:40 pm

The playoff committee loves the SEC, but apart from Georgia are they really all that good?

Tennessee is a great offense with a lousy defense.

Alabama could easily have 4 losses.

LSU is ok, but they are lead by Jayden Daniels. He would be the 6th best QB in the pac 12

it is a tougher conference than PAC12 but not significantly. I do not think a 2 loss SEC team should be above a 1 loss PAC12 team.

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November 14, 2022 8:23 am
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Allen, Sark took over Texas from Herman (who I do not think has another job yet). At the time, Texas was in much better shape than SC was under Helton. His first year, Sark went 5-7. Look at LR. He is now 9-1 and playing for a spot in the final 4. If SC beats UCLA on Saturday, then ND, and then beats Utah (my pick for the other spot) in the Championship game, SC is going the the final 4. TX really messed up in hiring Sark. It should have hired Brian Kelly from ND (who is obviously a… Read more »

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November 14, 2022 4:01 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

There is a reason he is called 7 win Sark!

HOF19
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November 13, 2022 2:45 pm

To me what I have allready seen on some websites on the Point Spread of USC vs UCLA ( SC 2.5 Favorite ) gives me the impression the “Experts” not having a STRONG feeling on either team being the better team .

Golden Trojan
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November 13, 2022 3:57 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

Where are they going to go? Back to Eugene? The only two good match ups of top 15 are Oregon-Utah and USC-UCLA. Do we care about Michigan-Illinois or Georgia-Kentucky? Oh I know, must see TV, Alabama and Austin Peay, in November!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!😡

Last edited 2 months ago by Golden Trojan
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November 13, 2022 4:08 pm
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Update, just found out Game Day is going to the hot bed of November football, Bozeman, Montana for Big Sky 6th place Montana 1st place Montana St! Ugh!
Big Noon is going to Waco for Baylor-TCU, Boooring!

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November 14, 2022 5:15 pm
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They try to do these “outside the box” destinations, and it can work, but this one is WAY too outside the box.

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November 14, 2022 4:00 pm
Reply to  Allen Wallace

The bruins losing takes some luster off this game, but I am so happy it happened. It is never good for USC when ucla wins. They blew a playoff chance, and I don’t know that they will have a team of this quality for a long time. I feel a little better about our chances Saturday, but still think we should be a slight under dog.

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November 13, 2022 8:55 am

I woke up this morning in San Diego, to see that the sun was out, birds are singing, and the Bruins lost at home to Arizona. What a beautiful day already!

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November 13, 2022 8:59 am

Nice !

Golden Trojan
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November 13, 2022 8:52 am

Yahoo Sports, Bromberg and Cooper, 8 games that will shape CFP, USC @ UCLA, ND @ USC. Who would have thought a year ago USC would have one of the best 8 records in November! And in the hunt for a playoff spot!

https://sports.yahoo.com/winners-and-losers-the-8-regular-season-games-that-will-shape-the-college-football-playoff-picture-044522103.html

Last edited 2 months ago by Golden Trojan
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November 13, 2022 8:47 am

So, with the ruins and the ducks losing yesterday (I just love saying that) did they get caught looking ahead to next week? And, are they now more dangerous. Everyone is in a must win situation now.

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November 12, 2022 11:03 pm

Another piece of info >>>>> Ryan Abraham
@insidetroy
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1h
#USC and #UCLA gets the 5pm window on Fox …….(That 8PM where I live ).

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November 12, 2022 11:02 pm

Ruins Go Down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HOF19
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November 12, 2022 11:01 pm

UCLA LOST !!!!!!!!!!

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November 12, 2022 11:03 pm
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Ha! Love to see the gutties go down. Great day.

HOF19
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November 12, 2022 10:59 pm

Only playing bad bad bad defense can UCLA score here .

HOF19
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November 12, 2022 10:57 pm

If the Arizona defense just puts up a decent fight here Arizona should win ,

HOF19
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November 12, 2022 10:56 pm

Where I am it is just about 2 AM but this is just too interesting to pass up …..Fight On !!!!!

Chris
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November 12, 2022 10:53 pm

Anyone else up watching this? Go Arizona!

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November 12, 2022 9:39 pm

We have got to find a way to stop Charbonnet. Catching and running very hard.

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November 12, 2022 8:57 pm

Watching two teams play with lousy defenses is kinda fun…unless one of them is USC. The Cats-bRuins is a fun one.

USC1988
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November 13, 2022 9:03 am

indeed … get ready for a shootout next week

Chris
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November 12, 2022 8:13 pm

DeLaura running forever and finding a guy looks familiar.

HOF19
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November 12, 2022 8:14 pm
Reply to  Chris

LOL .

volunteerTrojan
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November 13, 2022 7:26 am
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At least we know it wasn’t just us. Dude can ball.

HOF19
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November 12, 2022 8:13 pm

Arizona 14 – 0 over UCLA (Can this be happening ? ).

HOF19
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November 12, 2022 8:07 pm

UCLA Defense looking weak right now .

volunteerTrojan
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November 12, 2022 8:06 pm

Utah/Furd tied at 7

Chris
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November 12, 2022 7:59 pm

Dozens and dozens in attendance at the Rose Bowl tonight.

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November 12, 2022 8:01 pm
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Hope there will be a lot of Cardinal and Gold in the stands next week …..FIGHT ON !!!!!

Chris
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November 12, 2022 8:03 pm
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We will outnumber them by quite a bit.

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November 12, 2022 8:04 pm
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Get it Done !

HOF19
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November 12, 2022 7:57 pm

Zona leading UCLA ?????

HOF19
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November 12, 2022 7:56 pm

PLEASE Let this be TRUE >>>>> Ryan Abraham
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·47s
There were some weird tiebreaker scenarios for #USC’s chances to make the #Pac12 title game. 

With the Oregon loss, the Trojans control their own destiny

Win against UCLA and go to Vegas, very simple.

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November 12, 2022 7:53 pm

Washington beat Oregon!

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November 12, 2022 7:56 pm
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Better looking uniforms too.

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November 12, 2022 7:57 pm
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Yes!!! One loss apiece for the top 4! The winners Saturday for the CCG. Come on Cardinal and Wildcats!

HOF19
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November 12, 2022 8:03 pm
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Dare we dream ?

Chris
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November 12, 2022 7:52 pm

we win next week, Utah beats Oregon and we get a rematch in PAC12 championship.

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November 12, 2022 7:53 pm
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I’d like that rematch.

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November 12, 2022 7:53 pm
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Would love to get a rematch with Utah on a neutral field.

HOF19
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November 12, 2022 7:51 pm

Oregon Lost !

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November 12, 2022 7:53 pm
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Going to make for a really good game against Utah. Both teams now have to win. Just like USC / ucla

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November 12, 2022 7:51 pm

Hail Mary on the way.

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November 12, 2022 7:51 pm
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Nope

HOF19
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November 12, 2022 7:48 pm

Can Oregon get lucky here ?????

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November 12, 2022 7:49 pm
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This call should not go their way.

Last edited 2 months ago by UtahTrojan
HOF19
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November 12, 2022 7:44 pm

Oregon player injured ?

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November 12, 2022 7:45 pm
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Faker

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November 12, 2022 7:42 pm

Actually if Nix is OK that is fine ….I NEED him to beat Utah !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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November 12, 2022 7:42 pm

Washington D as bad as ours.

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November 12, 2022 7:46 pm
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Both, Oregon couldn’t stop anything tonight either.

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November 12, 2022 7:40 pm

Oregon going to lose.

HOF19
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November 12, 2022 7:36 pm

Well they constantly praise this Oregon offense ….Lets See .

Last edited 2 months ago by HOF19
Chris
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November 12, 2022 7:38 pm
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Neither D has the ability to stop the other. I guess we are in good company.

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November 12, 2022 7:34 pm

Does he miss the kick ?

Last edited 2 months ago by HOF19
Chris
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November 12, 2022 7:33 pm

Terrible decision, just terrible. Lanning is clearly not confident in his D.

HOF19
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November 12, 2022 7:32 pm

Oregon just decided to do WHAT ?????

Last edited 2 months ago by HOF19
HOF19
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November 12, 2022 7:30 pm

LOL >>>>> Ryan Abraham Retweeted
PodcastOfChampions
@Pac12Podcast
So much #Pac12 football to watch! …….. (Ryan Abraham attached a picture of 3 tv screens on at the same time …Oregon game …..Utah Game ….and getting ready for the UCLA Game )

Chris
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November 12, 2022 7:26 pm

Wow, crazy throw. Not many dudes making that one.

HOF19
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November 12, 2022 7:25 pm

62 yard TD Wash ………….Tie Game .

Chris
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November 12, 2022 7:22 pm

Oregon just bullying UW on that drive, but still only get a field goal.

HOF19
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November 12, 2022 7:19 pm

Bo Nix being helped off the field .

HOF19
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November 12, 2022 7:17 pm

Bo Nix injured ?

HOF19
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November 12, 2022 7:03 pm

Oregon taking over now ?????

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November 12, 2022 7:00 pm
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Dumb…..dumb …..dumb play …..just now ….By the Wash QB .

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November 12, 2022 7:01 pm
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Betcha thats ↑↑↑↑↑ the game changing play

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November 12, 2022 6:17 pm

Well Washington giving Oregon a game .