When the Oregon football program announced that their first game of the season was going to be against the Georgia Bulldogs, it drew more than a few “yikes” emojis from long-time fans of the Ducks. Sure, everyone would like to believe that their favorite team can beat anyone, but the Bulldogs were the best team in the NCAA last season, and even after turning over a sizeable selection of their depth chart to the NFL draft back in March, they remain one of the best teams in the nation.
Down 0-1 to start the season, it would be understandable to be a bit pessimistic about the prospects of the Ducks' chances of making it back to the playoffs for the first time since the Chip Kelly era, and yet, the Ducks rolled Vernon Adams Jr.'s other alma mater Eastern Washington 70-14 in Week 2 and followed it up with a surprise 41-20 win over the 12th ranked Cougars of BYU, rebuilding their reputation and earning the honor of being considered the 15th ranked team in the NFL.
And yet, for much of the Ducks' win over Washington State, they didn't look like the best in the PAC-12, let alone the best team in the game. No, in a result that surprised more than a few casual fans but shouldn't have been too much of a shock for fans of the Pacific Athletic Conference, these Cougars clawed back in a big way against the Ducks, as their defense gave Bo Nix and company fits. Still, with the game on the line and now more leeway, Oregon fought back and secured their first true statement win of the year.
No quit in these Ducks!
— Oregon Football (@oregonfootball) September 25, 2022
2 takeaways from the Oregon Ducks' win over Washington State.
2. Bo Nix Bo Nix'd
Bo Nix has been in college football for what feels like a decade. He began his career as a true freshman at Baylor, taking over for Jarrett Stidham, transferred in after the Art Briles scandal, and has now opted to close out his fourth-year collegiate tenure in Eugene before he gives the NFL the old college try.
Because of this expansive wealth of college experience, with 34 games under his belt, Nix has experienced just about everything a player can at the NCAA level, but because of that wealth of knowledge, he also has some bad habits that just aren't going to change overnight.
Case in point, the Ducks' Week 4 win over Washington State; Nix completed 33 of his 44 pass attempts for a crazy 428 yards passing plus three touchdowns through the air, but he also threw a brutal pick-six when the team was down 10-6 and his team wasn't able to secure a lead until the 1:29 mark in the fourth quarter.
Such is the give-and-take nature of Nix, he'll help you when it counts and hurt you on occasion too.
1. The Oregon Ducks fought back
The Oregon Ducks lost Week 4 about three different times. They lost it when Nix threw his pick, they lost it when, after picking off Cameron Ward at the WSU 48 with 13:14 left to go, the team ultimately punted the ball away, and they lost it again when, on the very next drive, the Cougars scored another touchdown 12 plays later to go up 34-22.
And yet, whenever the Ducks were knocked down, they found the strength to punch back in a major way. They went for two after Nix connected with Troy Franklin for a 50-yard touchdown, they got a key pick-six of their own on the very next drive to put the game away, and even after surrendering another score immediately following a completed hail mary, they successfully secured a fair catch to secure the win.
Sure, putting up over 600 yards is great and all, but winning the game with two minutes to go is a sign of true character.
Just like that, it's the Ducks by 10!!
— Oregon Football (@oregonfootball) September 24, 2022