The second-ranked Oregon Ducks fell at home tonight to Arizona 31-24, thanks in part to a ridiculous taunting penalty called at a crucial moment of the game.
For sure, Oregon shat all over the Autzen Stadium field tonight, much like actual ducks do on the walking path by your local pond. A Marcus Mariota turnover late certainly didn't help their case, but the play of the game is all on Pac-12 officials, who deemed Tony Washington's fourth-quarter post-sack "celebration" of bowing to the crowd an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
That took Arizona's position of having fourth-and-goal from the 17 and turned it into a first down at Oregon's eight yard line. Three straight Terris Jones-Grigsby rushes later, and Arizona had the decisive touchdown lead.
Sure, Arizona was likely to make the 34-yard field goal, and the Wildcats deserve credit for doing a better job of shutting down Oregon's offense than anyone expected—as well as a thrilling three-touchdown third quarter. But the taunting penalty is ridiculous, and alongside some other awful officiating decisions it ruined a game those of us on the east coast were already cranky about staying up for.