ESPN's College GameDay says Oregon was written off too early
ESPN’s College GameDay crew got an up-close-and-personal look at the Oregon Ducks’ football operation under Dan Lanning a week ago.
From dusk until dawn, Oregon was spotlighted. Early, it was about what the Ducks had done to stabilize things after a Week 1 loss to Georgia. Once kickoff happened, everyone in the country got a taste of the Ducks’ team Pac-12 folks have been seeing in the weeks since that loss.
Oregon is for real.
That was the takeaway. And a week later, ESPN’s Pat McAfee labeled the Ducks as the team that was written off too early.
“Oregon’s one of those teams that, early they lose by 2,000 points and the conversation is the ‘Bo Nix transfer portal (pickup) does not matter, Bo Nix is still Bo Nix like Bo Nix was at Auburn.’ It’s a roller coaster,” McAfee said. “Then he gets up there in Eugene amongst the trees, they get hot, big win over UCLA last week. Oregon can go. I think they were written off way too early.”
The question posed on the traveling pregame show was exactly that: who was written off too soon?
A 49-3 loss still sticks in the craw of some as Oregon has forced its way back into the College Football Playoff discussion, but with six straight wins since — all of them featuring at least 40 points — Oregon has become impossible to ignore.
Quarterback Bo Nix is playing at a Heisman level. In last week’s 45-30 win over then-No. 9 UCLA, Nix completed 22 of his 28 passes for 283 yards and five touchdowns.
“You can’t watch a football game right now and say that guy’s not elite,” said coach Dan Lanning after the UCLA win. “He’s an elite competitor, he’s an elite leader, he has phenomenal character, he’s throwing the ball really well, and he’s making great decisions. He’s humble and I think everybody on our team is excited about his success.”
Nix and the eighth-ranked Ducks (6-1, 4-0 Pac-12) return to the field Saturday against Cal (3-4, 1-3 Pac-12) at 12:30 p.m. PT on FS1.