Bill Oram: Finding the positive in Bo Nix’s Oregon debut, a big win for Oregon State, more weekend notes

You don’t want to overreact to a game, especially the massive mismatch that Oregon-Georgia proved.

But boy, how frustrating.

Ponnyx made some frustrating pitches that would keep Ducks fans going, especially with two interceptions in the first half that killed any hope for the Ducks versus the Bulldogs. But there was also a deep ball that caused receiver Chase Scotta to collide badly with Georgia’s safety.

The turnover made it easy to overlook some of the Knicks’ finer moments in his Ducks debut.

Take that, because Dan Lanning has no doubts who he’ll be relying on to keep going.

“There are other quarterbacks on our team that can obviously compete,” Lanning said, “but Beau is our quarterback.”

Ty Thompson will continue to wait, and so will the fans for the former five-star recruit.

The Knicks looked comfortable under pressure from Georgia. The mistakes were obvious, no doubt, but he also moved the ball effectively and made smart decisions to get a head start.

Credit most of that to a decent game plan from Ducks offensive coordinator Kennedy Lingham, who knows not to ask too much of the Knicks and play to his strengths.

Things moved quickly, but the Ducks still amassed 313 yards and 21 starts. They just suffered from some brutal driving killers.

As the Ducks began to build up strength, the Knicks came down first on both interceptions. The second is a particularly bitter pill. Trailing 14-0, the Ducks just got to Georgia’s 29-yard line after Marques Irving finished for 16 yards and became a 31-yard catch after a horse collar free throw.

then the Knicks Attempt to introduce passing into triple coverage. That would be an interception for Georgia, Eastern Washington, or Nestka High.

“Bad decision,” the Knicks said.

Before that miss, it might have been the first time the Ducks felt motivated. Would the results have been different if the Knicks just read better? maybe not. Georgia is too big, too fast, too good. But that’s where the duck challenge ends.

In the closing minutes of the fourth quarter, the Knicks stepped up bravely, trying to lead the Ducks to a consolation touchdown. But his fourth pass and goal from the No. 2 missed Terrence Ferguson. The Knicks’ play was uneven, unobtrusive, and frankly not surprising.

Ultimately, we need to see more from the transfer before making a final judgment. But if the quarterback can’t get you over the goal line, it doesn’t matter if he can get you to the goal line.

had to take a trip Go to the Waffle House when in Atlanta.So I was understandably inspired tweet After Georgia eased past the 17 1/2 spread: “Ducks choked, Dougs covered.” I’d probably go a step further, though, because Oregon’s defense was scattered, sliced, and lumpy. The person who came up with the menu for the Waffle House should be a sports reporter.

I am here saturday night column, but…who are Oregon’s offensive playmakers? No one had more than four catches, and the Knicks targeted 11 different receivers. Likewise, the Ducks deployed five running backs. Is this a function of mixing it with a strong Georgian defense? Or is it a sign that no one has been able to separate themselves over a month of practice? Those of us who thought Byron Caldwell would be the No. 1 defender were seriously fooled. He only had four carries for 28 yards.

Rotation is amazing From Lanning’s solid commitment to the Knicks despite two interceptions in the first half to Boise State coach Andy Avalos yanking fourth-year starter Hank Bachmay at Corvallis after a pair of early picks you.

The Beavers’ defense was as advertised Saturday night. Enough to inspire regime change in Boise.

Jayden Grant, Rezon Wright and Alex Austin all had interceptions, while the Beavers recovered a pair of turnovers. It’s also a good thing, because by the third quarter, the offense stalled and Bachmeier’s backup, Tyren Green, found some running ball magic.

It could have been a different outcome had the Beavers not built up an early buffer.

I note on twitter It feels like a must-win game for OSU, which seems crazy considering it’s just their season opener against a good opponent. But three of the Beavers’ next four games are at Fresno State, against USC and Utah.

They may not be favored by anyone. If Jonathan Smith’s team doesn’t handle things well against Boise State, it’s easy to imagine a 1-4 start and suddenly all preseason optimism will evaporate.

Now? The Beavers will knock on the door for the top 25.

Chance Nolan looks better Pitching is lower than it was a year ago, especially when targeting tight end Luke Musgrave. Musgrave hauled for 89 yards on six catches. This is obviously Beaver’s most reliable connection. One wonders what the Beavers will do when a better defense takes it away.

Smith must have played around with the vest Freshman running back Damian Martinez.

When Oregon State released its depth chart last week, Martinez was third behind DeShawn Fenwick and Trello.

By the end of Saturday night, he led the Beavers with 11 runs, beating Fenwick, who had 10 rushing runs. Martinez completed 40 of the Beavers’ average 178 rushing yards.

It won’t necessarily lead to a lead, but it’s clear the Beavers have bigger plans for Martinez than they may have revealed throughout training camp.

During his final two years at Texas high school, Martinez rushed for 57 touchdowns and nearly 2,800 yards. You can see why on Friday. He looks like part of the Oregon powerhouse, taking defenders and rushing for extra yards.

“Physically, he doesn’t look like 18,” Oregon State running backs coach AJ Steward said last week. “It’s just the commitment he has to be a great player that makes you really believe he’s going to be that.”

Jack Colletto is still the most unique player Anywhere in college football. He recovered a turnover and finished with a 41-yard touchdown for the Beavers when they needed it most. Love all the ways Smith uses him against Boise State. He’s the guy the team doesn’t seem to have an answer to.

Expanded College Football Playoffs The Pac-12 isn’t fast enough.

Or maybe the meeting after Saturday would rather sit for a while.

It’s a good day for critics who believe that 12 teams making the playoffs will only lead to more outbursts and delay the inevitable.

The disparity between Georgia and Oregon is staggering.Utah, Pac-12 considered the best, can’t handle business against a team selected for fourth in its division.

Just a brutal performance by the Pac-12 on the national stage.

Just losing to Georgia isn’t going to take Oregon out of the playoffs if they continue to dominate. But it was such a complete blow that the Ducks couldn’t win the approval of other teams that lost in a single game.

Duck? A single losing team? Not likely, based on what we saw Saturday. So anyway, this is a controversial issue.

At least Utah went head-to-head with the Gators in a desolate setting. And seemed poised to pull the win before Cam Rising’s head-scratching interception. Utes will remain a force this season. Some of their national brilliance has just faded.

Of course, this resulted in USC and UCLA not being able to get out of the dismal Pac-12 fast enough, although I’m not sure if that was before or after UCLA had to band together to beat Bowling Green.

Saturday’s result was unbearablethe Pac-12 is backflipping Friday’s decision to expand the playoff field.

Do you want to stop teams from abandoning meetings? A direct path to the playoffs will likely do just that, and whenever expansion is implemented — whether it’s 2026 or earlier — more teams will have more chances to play. That’s a good thing for the sport and the fans.

The four-team playoffs are always too exclusive. The bigger problem in college football is the lack of equality near the top. National semifinals are usually only procedural. The hope is to give more teams a chance to raise the bar in the sport in the playoffs.

Oregon has found ways to improve before that.

— Bill Oram | [email protected] | Twitter: @billoram

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