Oregon Ducks Football: Don’t Count Bo Nix Out Yet

Let’s face it. Last Saturday wasn’t just lousy. That embarrassing afternoon in Atlanta, Georgia was perhaps one of the worst outings in recent memory for the Ducks, and on paper it looks even worse.

But that’s no reason to lose faith in this team and which coach Dan Lanning built. Realistically, that’s about as difficult as any first assignment you could be given in college football. It looked like the Ducks tried to take the final exam on the first day of the semester.

Fortunately, we have a long season ahead of us and there is plenty to be excited about. Again tomorrow Our beloved ducks are to come out against a much less talented roster in eastern Washington.

But today we’re going to go over some areas of concern with our Ducks so far, as well as areas where we should brake if we overreact.

Ranking my concern in three core areas of our Oregon Ducks football program

Tom Corno

While Nix had a horrible day against Georgia, we shouldn’t discount him just yet.

1. Bo Nix and the Oregon quarterback

Concern: Down

This may surprise some of you who just watched the box score. I like what I saw from Nix in a few flashes.

While we can’t win football games with flashes, we can’t attribute this loss to Bo either. He had moments that seemed to give me glimmers of hope, and that was against a tough, tough team. I expect the coaching staff to regroup on this loss and install the skill position elements around him in order to achieve more offensive continuity as a unit, rather than just focusing on Nix himself.

However, he is going to have to clean up the decision-making if we are to succeed this year. I can see him turn the tide tomorrow and show us why he’s starting our superstar talents of the future all over again.

Tom Corno

I love what I’ve seen of Byron Cardwell, but we’ve seen far too little of him.

2. The racing game

Concern: Medium

To be fair to Oregon, the Bulldogs came in with some serious skill on the defensive line (even after several declared for the NFL Draft this past offseason). It was the biggest test the offensive line will receive all year, and given the score, they had to drop out of the race early anyway. I’m not so concerned about the score right now.

What worried me the most was the rotation. It seemed like all that offseason preparation was for naught, and we never got to see what this team was capable of on the field, in part due to poor rotation. Byron Cardwell ended up with four door assembly (and two catches for eight yards), and Seven McGee had of them total hits (both captures). While I was not expecting a “cow bell back“To emerge by all means, we have to be more creative in getting the ball to our playmakers.

Jordan James can no longer lead the backfield in runs (and especially not Nix, who made eight carries against Georgia, leading the team). This translates to our Ducks staff needing better offensive line play, but also more confidence in our emerging point guards. Spreading the ball is only good if it turns into points.

Tomorrow I need to see the offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham putting his best foot forward with our attack. There’s no excuse not to run against Eastern Washington in Autzen.

Georgia dominates in the passing game against Oregon in Atlanta, GA

Tom Corno

The defense was outplayed in the passing game, but what worried me the most was the tackle (or lack thereof).

3. Defense

Concern: High

At the start of the season, we expected our defensive line to look a little weaker. But What was it the tackle performance on Saturday? The entire defense seemed to have missed drills for the better half of the last five months. We have to be better on the open ground if we want to win football games this year.

I don’t expect a difference between night and day tomorrow, but I do expect at least an afternoon. Noah Sewell and justin flowe need to play more controlled and take initiative as leaders in this defence. Our pass rush looked like they were trying hard, but proved to be as ineffective as possible. Our core linebacker and secondary are going to have to step up in a major way to help this defensive line get under their control.

All in all, there is a lot to improve and a lot to learn. Let’s get in shape, Ducks. That’s it “focus” game that should not be taken lightly. Set the tone early and let’s see what this team is capable of this year.

What do you think? What bright spots are you looking for tomorrow? At what point should are we talking about Nix, the racing game and defense?

Alex Huh
Los Angeles, California
Top photo by: Tom Corno

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