Dan Lanning reveals Holiday Bowl plan for Oregon quarterback Bo Nix
Dan Lanning lost his offensive coordinator shortly after Oregon’s regular-season finale against Oregon State. It doesn’t sound like Lanning is expecting Kenny Dillingham to coach Oregon in its bowl game against North Carolina.
He’ll still have his quarterback, though.
Lanning met with reporters Sunday shortly after the announcement the Ducks would play in the Holiday Bowl this season. With the destination revealed, the biggest postseason question remaining for Oregon was whether quarterback Bo Nix would be part of the gameplan.
“Bo’s a competitor,” Lanning said Sunday. “He wants to get out there and play in this game for sure.”
Nix had a career year this season for the Ducks. He threw for 3,388 yards while completing 71.5% of his throws for 8.9 yards per pass — all of which were career-highs. He threw 27 touchdown passes and ran for another 14. His 42 total touchdowns (one receiving) were among the most by a single player at the FBS level this season.
Lanning said Sunday he expects tight ends coach Drew Mehringer and wideout coach Junior Adams will take a lead role in calling plays with Dillingham taking the head coaching job at Arizona State.
“I see it being a collaborative effort with the offense but Coach Mehringer and Coach Adams really taking care of the lead role on some of those things,” Lanning said.
With Nix available for the bowl game, the staff will have a veteran quarterback to lean on as they prepare. Oregon’s quarterback spot got a bit precarious earlier this week when reserve Jay Butterfield announced he would be entering the transfer portal. Had Nix elected to sit out the bowl game, Oregon would have been left with Ty Thompson as the only scholarship quarterback.
Oregon is still awaiting a decision on whether or not Nix will be back for the 2023 season, his fifth and final year of college ball.
At the very least, it will have him for one more game.
Cornerback Christian Gonzalez announced on Sunday he would sit out the bowl game to prepare for the NFL Draft. Lanning announced Sunday night that linebacker DJ Johnson will do the same. Beyond that, Lanning doesn’t expect any other major opt-outs.
“The landscape continues to change but right now I don’t anticipate any others,” he said.
The Ducks are scheduled to meet the North Carolina Tar Heels on Wednesday, Dec. 28. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. PT on FOX.