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After stellar showing, Bo Nix leads No. 15 Oregon into Washington State

Sportsnaut
Sep 17, 2022; Eugene, Oregon, USA;  Oregon Ducks quarterback Bo Nix (10) rolls out to pass the ball during the second half against the Brigham Young Cougars at Autzen Stadium. Oregon won the game 41-20. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

It seems Bo Nix is starting to settle in at Oregon.

The quarterback — who transferred in the offseason after starting for three seasons at Auburn — garnered national accolades after leading the host Ducks to a 41-21 victory against then-ranked No. 12 BYU last weekend.

Nix and No. 15 Oregon (2-1) will open Pac-12 Conference play Saturday when they travel to Pullman, Wash., to take on a surging Washington State (3-0).

Nix completed 13 of 18 passes for 222 yards and two touchdowns against BYU and also rushed for three scores. The last Oregon quarterback to score at least three times on the ground and twice through the air in a single game was Heisman-winner Marcus Mariota in 2014.

“I felt like I didn’t do anything different, just went out there and played the game, let it come to me,” Nix said. “At the end of the day I’m a point guard… So, my job is kind of easy: Knowing what to do with the ball, knowing who to give the ball to, and then letting those guys do their thing.”

Nix rebounded from a shaky opener — a 49-3 loss to defending national champion Georgia — to guide the Ducks to a 70-14 victory against Eastern Washington before the BYU game, for which he was named player of the week by the Maxwell Award, the Pac-12, and the Senior Bowl. He was also selected to the Davey O’Brien Great 8 of the Week.

“One of my past coaches told me that pressure is a privilege, and so I’ve really taken that to heart, and there’s nothing more true, in my opinion,” Nix said. “When you have a lot of pressure, it means that people believe in you; people believe you can do it or you wouldn’t have pressure at all.”

First-year Oregon coach Dan Lanning is optimistic the Ducks will have running back Byron Cardwell Jr. and linebacker Justin Flowe back this week. Neither played against BYU because of unspecified injuries.

“I wouldn’t sit here and say they’re both 100 percent yet, but I’m hopeful that both of them can help us this next weekend,” Lanning said.

The Ducks, who moved up 10 spots in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll this week, could use a full complement of players against a Washington State team that counts a 17-14 decision at then-ranked No. 19 Wisconsin among its victories.

The Cougars returned home last weekend and defeated Colorado State 38-7 as Cameron Ward threw for 299 yards and four touchdowns.

Wazzu scored on its first four possessions.

“We started fast,” Cougars’ coach Jake Dickert said. “That’s exactly what we needed to do in this football game.”

Dickert praised his players for not falling into the trap of looking ahead to the Oregon game.

“It’s important to take these one game at a time,” he said. “They’ve bought into the mentality of not looking into the big picture.”

But now that it’s Oregon week?

“This is going to be a big-time football game,” Dickert said. “I want those seats full.”

–Field Level Media