Grady Gross made a 42-yard field goal on the final play, Rome Odunze caught two touchdown passes from Michael Penix Jr. and No. 4 Washington beat Washington State 24-21 on Saturday in the Apple Cup for an undefeated regular season.
Playing likely his final game at Husky Stadium, Odunze caught a 40-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter and hauled in a 21-yarder on the final play of the third quarter to give the Huskies a 21-14 lead.
Odunze then added his biggest running play of the year. Facing fourth-and-1 at their own 29 with 1:11 left, he took a reverse for a 23-yard game. Odunze later played defender by breaking up a potential interception at the goal line, and Gross nailed the winner.
In the final year of the Pac-12 before most of its members scatter to other conferences, Washington (12-0, 9-0) became the first school in the 12-team era to go unbeaten in the regular season. The last conference team to finish the regular season unbeaten was Oregon in 2010 before the conference expanded to 12 teams. Prior to that, the last unbeaten seasons belonged to Southern California during its run atop the conference in the mid-2000s.
Washington State vs. No. 4 Washington highlights
The Huskies still have one more challenge ahead, facing No. 6 Oregon in the Pac-12 championship game Friday in Las Vegas, with a victory likely putting Washington into the College Football Playoff.
They’ll need Penix to be better than he was against the Cougars (5-7, 2-7). Penix had several miscommunications with his pass catchers and the final drive had a few questionable throws. He finished 18 of 33 for 204 yards, not exactly the closing statement that could have boosted his Heisman Trophy campaign.
But he did make a handful of big throws and often looked Odunze’s way when they were needed. Odunze’s 40-yard TD came on a play-action pass and a blown coverage by the Cougars. His 21-yard score came one play after Jack Westover made a diving grab for 19 yards.
Washington State quarterback Cameron Ward threw for 317 yards and three touchdowns but also had three interceptions. Ward threw touchdowns of 21 yards to Josh Kelly and 25 yards to Kyle Williams in the first half, and his 8-yard TD pass to Lincoln Victor with 5:58 left pulled the Cougars even at 21.
Reporting by The Associated Press.
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