Oregon to replace Washington in Pac-12 football championship game against USC

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 06: The USC Trojans take the field prior to the first half of a game against the Washington State Cougars at Los Angeles Coliseum on December 06, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Image

The Pac-12 has decided to replace Washington with Oregon in the upcoming Pac-12 Football Championship Game against USC, officials announced on Monday. 

Pac-12 conference officials said the decision was based on “Washington neither having the minimum 53 scholarship student-athletes available for the game nor the minimum number of scholarship student-athletes at a position group,” due to the number of Washington student-athletes who have tested positive for COVID-19. 

"Unfortunately, the virus is in our footprint," Washington Football Head Coach Jimmy Lake said. "We have not been able to resume football activities and currently the entirety of one of our key position groups, deemed a critical position group by the Pac-12, is in quarantine. There is no path forward to practice or play this week. Our focus now is getting everyone healthy so we can resume football activities and prepare for a possible bowl game. We are crushed that we cannot bring home the Pac-12 trophy for our fans, staff and players."

USC earned a spot in the Pac-12 title game for the first time since 2017 when Utah rallied past No. 21 Colorado 38-21. The Trojans later beat rival UCLA 43-38 on Saturday.

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USC is scheduled to face Oregon on Friday evening in Los Angeles. 

This story was reported from Los Angeles. The Associated Press contributed to this report.