The anticipation is palpable for the season opener between No. 11 Oregon and No. 16 Auburn.
Auburn named true freshman Bo Nix as starting quarterback. Tigers coach Gus Malzahn announced Nix beat out redshirt freshman Joey Gatewood in a competition that began during the spring and lasted the duration of fall camp.
Nix is not your typical freshman. A former five-star prospect and top-rated dual-threat quarterback in the 2019 class, Nix enrolled early in January and is poised to have a great career with the Tigers.
He’s looking to start his Auburn career with a bang. Oregon junior cornerback Deommordore Lenoir is looking forward to meeting Nix in his college football debut.
“It actually makes me happy. I want to welcome him to college football," Lenoir said.
I asked, what would be the best way to welcome him to college football?
"Oh a pick-six. Easy," Lenoir said.
Nix has earned the respect of senior linebacker Troy Dye already. Dye has studied Nix’s high school film and will begin a deeper dive on Sunday to start game week.
“Congratulations to him for winning the job. But the game knows no age," Dye said. "Doesn’t matter if you’re a freshman or senior, if you’re ready to play, you’re ready to play. We can’t look at him like ‘oh he’s a freshman.’ He’s a great athlete. Top school in a Division I program. He’s the starting quarterback for a Division I team so we can’t ever overlook that stuff. We got to go out there and prepare like he’s been there for four years.”
Optimism is high for Oregon football’s 2019 season and beating the Tigers will essentially make or break the team’s College Football Playoff hopes. A win sends the Ducks and the Pac-12 Conference into national relevancy, and a loss initiates an uphill fight; no team has ever rebounded from a week one loss to make the final field of four.