Will Oregon QB Bo Nix Play Against Utah?
SALT LAKE CITY – The big lingering question about the Utah, Oregon game is if Ducks quarterback Bo Nix is going to play and at what capacity.
Nix suffered a knee injury in the loss against Washington.
Since that loss, it has been all secretive around the Oregon program and head coach Dan Lanning isn’t saying much about Nix’s status.
Putting together a bigger picture of what Lanning, players, and media members have said about his status just might make the picture a little more clear.
During Lanning’s press conference on Monday, he gave the typical coach speak about just being beat up after the loss to the Huskies.
“I’m not going to share really any update with anyone,” Lanning said. “We came away dinged in that game. I will say that I feel a lot more positive today getting to hear some news on where things are at right now.”
Later in the week when Lanning spoke to the media after practice, he shifted his comments toward backup quarterbacks Jay Butterfield and Ty Thompson and being confident in their abilities.
“Ty has consistently been right there for us. He’s been that guy. Jay has done a really good job too. I think everybody on our team has confidence in Jay. He throws a really good ball and does a good job. Anybody whose number is called, I think will be ready,” Lanning said.
Thompson and Butterfield have hardly played this year. The former has 11 of 20 for 72 yards with two interceptions this year, with 63 of those yards coming against Eastern Washington. Butterfield is third on the depth chart and has just one pass this season.
During Lanning’s weekly radio show appearance, he did mention that Nix has been practicing and is encouraged by that.
“We’re being really conscientious of him and his reps and we wanna do a good job taking care of him, but he’s preparing himself as if he can go,” Lanning said “We prep year-round for those situations. That’s why you get reps with the twos and why you get reps with the threes and the development group throughout the season for situations like that.”
All of that is coach speak to not tip off the Utes about Nix’s status for the game. However, wide receiver Kris Huston talked about the backup quarterbacks this week.
“Obviously, Bo is down, so it’s the next man up. [Ty’s] good at decision-making. He has a great arm,” Huston said. “He can extend plays. He’s learned a lot from Bo, so he’s kind of taken his game to the next level also. Ty is a good player, a great quarterback; very smart. I can’t wait to see him out there ready to go.”
Those comments seem to suggest Nix may not play.
Oregon beat writer Erik Skopil who covers the Ducks for DuckTerritory.com joined Unrivaled and noted that while Ducks practices are open, there was a new update on how to report on injuries.
“Oregon’s practices are open to the media and I’ve been able to see every Tuesday and Wednesday practice for about 30 minutes each,” Skopil said. “This week we were told to not report on injuries, which is something that is different than the past. They are being very careful about controlling the information out there.”
“I genuinely don’t know one way or another how to really approach this if you are handicapping it if he will play or not. On one hand, you got a player saying one thing and a coach saying something completely different. Read into it how you want.”
Lots of people will be interested to see who takes the field at quarterback for the Ducks on Saturday.
What Is Utah Saying About Bo Nix?
On the Utah side, head coach Kyle Whittingham clearly said the difference from last year’s team to this year’s Ducks team is the quarterback with the upgrade from Anthony Brown to Nix.
“The QB,” Whittingham said. “Without a doubt. Bo Nix is a tremendous player. He’s second or third in QBR in the country. We have five Pac-12 quarterbacks in the top 12 of QBR, which speaks to the level of quarterbacks in this conference. That is absolutely the single biggest difference between last year and this year.”
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Utah stud defensive back Clark Phillips is ready for Nix and is up for the challenge.
“He’s a good passer,” Phillips said. “I think he has the ability to escape the pocket and throw the ball. I think he has a lot of weapons.”
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