Bo Nix: Dan Lanning Isn’t Playing Around Entering Year Two With Oregon Ducks

By Judah Newby

The questions surrounding the Oregon Ducks this fall have little to do with the offense.

23-year-old quarterback Bo Nix returning for his fifth collegiate season and second in Eugene is the main reason.  The Heisman hopeful considerably raises the floor of a unit that welcomes a new playcaller in Will Stein, but whom many expect to be among the best in the conference, and perhaps the nation.

The defense? The coaching staff? The ability to win close games?

These are a few of the questions Dan Lanning will answer in year two as head coach.

At Pac-12 Media Day, Nix told John Canzano that Lanning has already raised the level of intensity from his first season.

“He’s not playing any games,” Nix said on 750 The Game. “He’s really devoted this thing. He is really putting everything into it. You can see it from afar.”

In his first season — in his first game — Lanning was tasked with facing the reigning national champions and his former program in Georgia. Oregon lost 49-3.

The Ducks responded with an 8-game win streak.

“His first year he was so into getting the team together, working, getting after it.” Nix said. “But this year he’s taken it to a whole other level.”

Nix is as motivated as anyone. A late-game leg injury against Washington contributed to a 38-35 defeat at home to their rivals. Two weeks later, a still-recovering Nix and the Ducks coughed up a big second half lead in a 38-34 loss at Oregon State. Just like that, the Ducks let slip their chance to face USC in the Pac-12 Championship Game.

The Ducks QB says the goal is to get back to Vegas, and Lanning is demanding excellence out of every player this offseason to make that a reality.

“That’s going to be an important part of our success is just to have a head coach like that who kind of demands it out of us,” he said.  “That’s his job.”

Nix has developed a strong off-field chemistry with Lanning and his family, sometimes even babysitting the three boys and driving them to basketball practice. But even Bo knows Lanning can be quick with the tough love, and for good reason.

“He would tell you he’s not supposed to be your best friend, he’s supposed to be your coach. And sometimes that’s bringing the tough part out of it.”

Oregon’s toughness will be called upon early this season with a Sept. 9th road trip to Lubbock, Tex. where they will face former Oregon quarterback Tyler Shough and the Texas Tech Red Raiders.

Listen to the full interview with Bo Nix and John Canzano from Las Vegas below. Canzano delivers the Bald Faced Truth afternoons 3-6 p.m. exclusively in Portland on 750 The Game.