The roles were reversed for Oregon State on Saturday, as the defense finally slowed down a high-powered offense and gave their own attack a chance at putting the game out of reach.
Sophomore QB Ryan Katz finally showed signs of his inexperience as he threw three interceptions in costly situations to open the door for Washington QB Jake Locker to put the game on ice in overtime. The Huskies picked up the sensational 35-34 win on an Oregon State failed two-point conversion.
The Beavers defense just couldn't stop the Huskies in the short game in overtime, and Locker, together with RB Chris Polk officially made their statement for a bowl berth.
With Oregon State no longer ranked, and no longer undefeated in the Pac-10, there is no competition for the University of Oregon. The Ducks are now the main representative on the major national scene, with Stanford and Arizona standing a slight chance of making things interesting.
Oregon now has the task of representing the conference, and an undefeated season will be the only way the conference can further its legacy.
Both the Beavers and the Huskies are now 3-3, and will not get enough attention to be ranked squads for quite some time.
For Oregon State, a loss to an unranked Pac-10 foe was not affordable. They still have Stanford, USC and Oregon on their schedule. While the defense was able to make progress against Jake Locker and a powerful passing attack, the above-mentioned schools bring even heavier attacks.
With the Beavers loss, a trend in the conference continues. The Pac-10 has become known as the conference of self-destruction, as one non-ranked team knocks off a ranked one, time and time again.
In order to impress poll voters and destroy East Coast bias, the the Pac-10 needs two or three clear cut winners with the rest of the pack still sustaining a respectable talent level. With each school finishing near .500 and staying in the shadows of the AP Top 25, the conference suffers.
The future success of the Pac-12 is set up by the current situation of the Pac-10, so success is vital as the conference transitions to the next chapter.
All the best to the Huskies and the Beavers, the conference needs you...
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