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USC, Washington set to play in Pac-12 championship game on Friday

USC and Washington will play for the Pac-12 football title Friday at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the conference announced Saturday.

At least that's what is scheduled to happen.

"In a football season that has thrown unprecedented challenges and adversity at our football teams and student-athletes, USC and Washington have performed at the highest levels and earned their places in the 2020 Pac-12 Football Championship Game as the Pac-12 South and North Champions," Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said in a statement.

USC (5-0) clinched its spot in the title game before its 43-38 win Saturday night against rival UCLA kicked off, thanks to Colorado's loss to Utah earlier in the day. Washington was assured to finish atop the Pac-12 North standings earlier in the week when its game against Oregon was called off because of issues the Huskies are having with COVID-19.

"This was where we wanted to be at the beginning of this," USC coach Clay Helton said. "Is put ourselves in a place to win a championship."

If Washington (3-1) remains below the threshold of 53 available scholarship athletes for a second consecutive week, the Huskies would be replaced by Oregon in the title game, according to a conference spokesman. The Ducks (3-2) finished second in the North and would have had the opportunity to play their way into the title game with a victory against Washington.

Helton said the upcoming week of practice will be similar to last week, which was also a short week following a Sunday night game, with the major difference being they would be preparing for two teams.

Should USC be unable to play, Colorado (4-1, 3-1 Pac-12), which finished second in the South and lost its undefeated record on Saturday, would replace the Trojans.

Quarterback Kedon Slovis threw five touchdown passes in the win against UCLA, with the final coming on an 8-yard lob to Amon-Ra St. Brown with 16 seconds to play to maintain USC's unbeaten record.