Tez Johnson delivers message to the Big Ten after Oregon rolls in Fiesta Bowl
Tez Johnson showed he was more than capable of filling the role of a No. 1 receiver on Monday. In Oregon’s 45-6 win over Liberty, Johnson brought in 11 receptions for 172 yards and a touchdown.
It was possibly a sign of things to come next season. With Troy Franklin headed to the NFL, Johnson coming back would give Oregon one of the best returning receivers in college football. Add Oklahoma transfer quarterback Dillon Gabriel to the mix, along with a healthy Noah Whittington and Jordan James in the backfield, and it’s certainly possible the 12-2 Ducks can be just as lethal next year.
The 2024 campaign will be Oregon’s first in the Big Ten.
Johnson sent a message to the new league after Monday’s Fiesta Bowl win.
“We coming,” Johnson said. “We coming to the Big Ten. The whole team is coming.”
There was a question of whether Oregon would be wholly invested in the Fiesta Bowl after narrowly missing out on the College Football Playoff. The Ducks had a second-half lead in the Pac-12 Championship and were on the doorstep of the Playoff.
When the final horn sounded, Oregon suffered its third consecutive loss to Washington and was relegated to a New Year’s Six bowl against a Group of Five opponent. Rather than lament what could have been, Oregon attacked the challenge.
Johnson was asked if there was disappointment within the team over missing out on the CFP. That answer on Monday was an emphatic no.
“We just need to stay on course and believe in Coach [Dan] Lanning, which, he’s the greatest coach of all time, I feel like. He knows what buttons to push us to get a little bit more out of us to compete every day. We’ve got to trust the process,” Johnson said. “I feel like the Playoffs, with them expanding, is going to put some teams in there that’s really good and going to really try to get to that next championship game. It’s going to be really good.
“You’re going to see some teams in there that’s going to shock the whole world. That’s going to be us next year.”