'I like guys that are winners': Oregon's Dan Lanning is fine with Bo Nix fighting for extra yards
Most coaches cringe when their quarterback lowers his shoulder into some contact. When the most valuable guy on the field could slide and avoid a hit or charge into the tackle and fight for extra yards, most coaches want to see their quarterback play for the next play rather than those next couple of yards.
Dan Lanning is not most coaches.
Asked this week how he felt about his quarterback, Bo Nix, electing not to slide on a late-game run against BYU with the game in hand, Lanning said he wants to see his players fight.
“I didn’t tell him to slide,” Lanning said. “I mean, I like guys that are winners, the ones who want to get first downs like Bo wants to get first downs. Obviously, want to be smart but you’re a competitor. You want to go get a first? Go get a first. Certainly, at some point, I can be sitting up here and I can regret that I said that, but you don’t tell guys how to compete. Bo wanted to compete and go get a first down. I’m excited to see it.
“I remember being a kid watching (the NFL) — I didn’t like the Broncos, I liked the Chiefs — but I remember John Elway fighting for first downs and spinning into the endzone. You appreciate that as a football coach. I’m glad he’s trying to go get a first.”
Nix finished the game with three rushing touchdowns — marking two straight weeks with five total touchdowns for the Oregon quarterback.
The 15th-ranked Ducks battle the Washington State Cougars on Saturday. Nix will face a feisty Cougar front seven. The game might present a handful of additional opportunities for Nix or his teammates to play it safe or fight for a few extra yards. Given the way the Cougars have played through three weeks, those situations might be game-swingers.
Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. PT on FOX.