3 Oregon football takeaways from win over BYU
The Oregon Ducks now have momentum. Real momentum. That’s after they took down the no. 12 BYU Cougars last Saturday at home. While everyone’s happy over in Eugene, it’s the perfect time to lay down some of the top takeaways from Oregon football’s win over the Cougars.
3. Oregon football needed that
A loss to BYU would have likely meant that Oregon football would be on the way out of the top 25 rankings. But perhaps even more than that is that the Ducks seem to be finally over their embarrassing 49-3 loss to then-no. 3 Georgia Bulldogs earlier this month. Dan Lanning’s former team really gave it to the Ducks in that contest, showing no mercy to them on either side of the field. It gave Oregon a slap of harsh reality about how wide the gap between it and the true elites of college football is.
That same divide seemed wider than the stretch that separated the two teams in the rankings after that loss to Georgia. Oregon football picked up the pieces nicely with an expected demolition job of the Eastern Washington Eagles in a 70-14 victory at home the following week, but a win at the expense of an FCS team will never have the same impact as a triumph over a legitimately good FBS squad like BYU. Oregon might be a long shot to make the College Football Playoff, but with that success in Eugene over the Cougars, the Ducks at least made the absolute best out of their opportunity last Saturday by winning and restoring stability in the program this season instead of provoking chaos with a loss.
2. Oregon’s pass defense could do better
There is no alibi for BYU losing to the Ducks; Oregon was simply better than the Cougars that day. However, the Cougars probably have some What if? moments after the game. For one, they did not have their best wide receiver against Oregon football, with Puka Nacua ruled out for that contest because of a sprained right ankle. Despite the absence of Nacua, the Cougars still managed to rack up 305 air yards, with BYU quarterback completing 29-of-41 passes while also throwing for a pair of touchdowns.
The Ducks also did not force him into committing a turnover.).In fact, the Cougars did not turn the ball over at all in the game even though they played with a bigger sense of urgency in the second half as they tried to catch up. BYU had multiple turnovers on downs, but that was more of a product of the pressure created by the Ducks’ front seven. That doesn’t reflect well on Oregon football’s secondary which was not too far removed from the poor performance it had in the Georgia game in which the Ducks allowed 439 passing yards and four touchdowns. The two interceptions they have so far in total this season both happened against Eastern Washington. The sample size remains small, but early numbers are not exactly encouraging for the Ducks’ secondary, which is mostly responsible for Oregon, of all the Pac-12 teams, are last in the conference this season with 277.0 passing yards allowed per game.
1. You now know Bo, Ducks nation
Bo Nix finally had his first signature win in Ducks threads. His debut for Oregon football against the Bulldogs was mostly defined by missed throws and just him succumbing to the defense of Georgia. He was way better in the Eastern Washington game, but that’s throwing five touchdown passes in a glorified exhibition game. The BYU game was where Bo Nix made turned many more doubters into believers, as he passed for 222 yards on 13-of-18 completions to go with two touchdown passes while also rushing for 35 yards and three touchdowns on nine carries. With that explosive performance, Nix was able to duplicate a feat last done by an Oregon quarterback in 2014 when Marcus Mariota was still bossing around in Eugene. It’s the complete highlight package from Bo Nix, who certainly injected life into the arm of Oregon football just in time for the start of Pac-12 play.
Nix embraced the pressure that landed squarely on his shoulders after the loss to Georgia, and that mentality paid off big time last Saturday.
“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.”
The Ducks are hoping that this is just a start of more Nix magic this season.