Photo Credit: Sports Illustrated for Kids
The #4 Washington Huskies (12-1, 9-1) are likely headed to their first ever College Football Playoff (CFP) after they demolished the #8 Colorado Buffaloes (10-3, 8-2) in the Pac-12 Conference championship game by a score of 41-10. It is their first Pac-12 Conference title since they shared the title with the Oregon Ducks and the Oregon State Beavers in the 2000 season.
Washington likely would have made it to the CFP even had they only won by one point, but they came out and won by 31 in Friday night’s lone Power Five conference championship game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.
Washington opened up the scoring with a 1-yard touchdown run by running back Lavon Coleman to take a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. Colorado matched it with 3-yard touchdown run by running back Phillip Lindsay, but only after quarterback Sefo Liufau went down with an ankle injury.
In the second quarter, Washington struck again with a 15-yard touchdown from quarterback Jake Browning to tight end Darrell Daniels. The Huskies led by a score of 14-7 at halftime.
Washington blew the game open in the third quarter, scoring the quarter’s first 17 points with a 35-yard interception of Sefo Liufau by defensive back Taylor Rapp that was returned for a touchdown, a 24-yard field goal by kicker Cameron Van Winkle, and a 19-yard touchdown from Browning to wide receiver John Ross. Down 31-7, Colorado had a crazy kickoff return that included a fumble by wide receiver Anthony Julmisse miraculously recovered by Phillip Lindsey and returned to the two yard line. Colorado could not score a touchdown and had to settle for a 24-yard field goal from their kicker Chris Graham.
In the fourth quarter, Washington made the game a 34-10 game with a 20-yard Van Winkle field goal, and then a 41-10 game with an 8-yard touchdown run by wide receiver Chico McClatcher.
While Washington is now almost guaranteed to make it into the CFP, Colorado may still get to the Rose Bowl as the best non-CFP bound Pac-12 Conference team. However, the Buffaloes now do have three losses, and the Pac-12 Conference’s Southern California Trojans also have three losses and are on an 8-game winning streak, including a win over Colorado, so those teams will have to wait and see where they end playing come bowl season.