Oregon quarterback Bo Nix announced at the conclusion of the 2022 season that he is returning for his final year of eligibility for the Ducks in 2023. Nix will enter his second season in Eugene, Oregon as he aims to lead the Ducks to a Pac-12 title win and a berth in the College Football Playoff.
Nix, who served as Auburn’s quarterback for three seasons (’19-’21), took his talents to Oregon prior to the 2022 campaign due to inconsistent level of play that featured accuracy issues and to be in an offense that suits his strengths. The former Auburn quarterback started his collegiate career strong by leading the Tigers to a 9-4 record that featured a victory over in-state rival Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2019 Iron Bowl. Nix tossed for 12 touchdowns and 6 interceptions in his freshman season and was named the 2019 SEC Freshman of the Year, respectively.
In 2020, Nix led the Tigers to a 6-5 record and posted a stat-line of 12 touchdowns along with seven interceptions (career-high). The 2021 campaign is when the struggles for Nix started to develop. Despite quality wins over Ole Miss (then No. 10) and a road victory over LSU, Nix was benched in favor of former Auburn and current Texas State quarterback T.J Finley in a game against Georgia State. Nix suffered a season-ending ankle injury in a game against Mississippi State and missed the final two games of the 2021 season, thus ending his time at Auburn.
Nix had the best season of his collegiate career in 2022 with Oregon. In 2022, Nix posted career highs in passing yards (3,594, ranked 15th in the nation), total completions (294), passing touchdowns (29, ranked 15th in the nation), completion percentage (71.9%, ranked 2nd in the nation and highest by any quarterback in a season in Oregon history) while leading the Ducks to a 10-3 overall record. The former SEC Freshman of the Year is known for his dynamic play style, as he can do damage to defenses using not only his arm but his legs. In fact, Nix averaged 5.7 rushing yards per attempt in 2022 and tallied 14 rushing touchdowns which are both career highs.
Despite the Ducks losing in dominant fashion against the reigning national champions Georgia Bulldogs in week 1 of last season (49-3), the Ducks 2022 campaign was largely a success which gave fans and players optimism to have an even better year in 2023.
Oregon head coach Dan Lanning and the Ducks open the season ranked No. 15 in the Preseason College Football Rankings, respectively. The 2023 season is the final one the Ducks could win the PAC-12 championship, as they will be heading to the Big-Ten conference in 2024. Oregon hasn’t participated in the College Football Playoff since its inception in 2014, when former Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota was under center. The Ducks open their season with a relatively easy schedule, as they don’t play a ranked team until they challenge No. 10 Washington on October 14. After they face the Huskies, they are set to do battle against No. 14 Utah (Oct. 28), No. 6 USC (Nov. 11) and perhaps the final “Civil War” matchup with in-state rivals No. 18 Oregon State (Nov. 18).
Nix and the Ducks have a manageable schedule that features teams with shaky defenses, so expect Nix to continue to post prolific numbers as he strengthens his heisman bid.
Featured image courtesy of Oregon Athletics.com