The Oregon football team will be waddling (that’s a Duck joke) into Rice-Eccles Stadium this afternoon to face the Utah Utes. Both Oregon and Utah have one loss and each are still very much alive for a conference title in the absolutely loaded Pac-12. Despite coming in as nearly a touchdown favorite over the Utes, the Ducks will have their hands full in Salt Lake City, where they’ll be met by a very hostile crowd and an underrated Utah football program that has won an astounding 27 consecutive games at home.
There are plenty of sensational quarterbacks in college football right now, many of which are in the Pac-12. But in a game like this, you want a seasoned upperclassman who has played in his fair share of hostile environments. Enter Bo Nix, the Ducks’ Heisman candidate who has started more games at quarterback than any other player in college football history.
What a journey it’s been for Bo Nix 🙌 pic.twitter.com/f2hsXfrJbD
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) October 22, 2023
On College Football Gameday, ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit made the case for how Nix and the Oregon football team could break the Utes’ 27-game home winning streak.
“He’s gotta be a distributor, because in front of this crowd, and with that defense and how electric they are, one thing about Bo Nix – the guy’s played so much football. And coming out of the SEC, he’s seen every environment. He will not be intimidated.” (h/t Matt Connolly of On3.com).
Herbstreit went on to provide a little more analysis of what Bo Nix will need to do against a Utah Utes defense that is among the best in the country.
“His ability to make plays, I think, with his arm, and really, his ability to create, I think, will be the biggest thing today. It’s going to be tough to run the football in the trenches against Utah, especially in between the tackles. Look for him to get the ball out on the perimeter quickly, and then [make plays scrambling].”
This is a classic case of “easier said than done.” The Utes defense is fast, ferocious, and well-coached by one of the brightest minds in college football, Kyle Whittingham. But on the Oregon sideline, Dan Lanning has proven he knows what he’s doing too. Consider this game between Oregon and Utah one of the contenders for Game of the Year.