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Sports >  WSU football

Difference makers: Oregon wins quarterback battle as Bo Nix and Cameron Ward shine

Sept. 24, 2022 Updated Sat., Sept. 24, 2022 at 10:09 p.m.

By Colton Clark The Spokesman-Review

Difference makers

Bo Nix

The Oregon senior quarterback showed poise in the late stages of the game, guiding the Ducks out of a 12-point hole in the final 7 minutes of the game. Nix shredded the Cougars’ secondary throughout the day, completing 33 of 44 passes for 428 yards and three touchdowns against one turnover. He connected on 12 passes that went for 15-plus yards, including completions of 55, 50, 42 and 38 yards. On his last two possessions, Nix completed 9 of 12 passes for 124 yards and two touchdowns.

Cameron Ward

The Cougars’ transfer quarterback carved up the Ducks’ pass coverage for much of the day. He completed 29 of his first 33 passes before an interception stopped his hot streak. Ward dazzled on a scoring drive early in the fourth quarter, producing two improvisational highlights that went viral on social media. Ward scrambled to his left and was wrapped up by an Oregon defender, but as he fell, he flipped a shovel pass to Nakia Watson for a big gain. Later in the drive, on a fourth-and-7, Ward rolled right and avoided traffic, scurried back to his left and threw a check-down to Watson for a 12-yard gain. The Cougars capped the 12-play, 81-yard drive with a TD to go up by 12. Ward finished the game 37 of 48 for 375 yards and two touchdowns against two interceptions.

Troy Franklin

The speedy Oregon receiver presented a coverage nightmare for WSU’s defensive backs. Franklin sped past the Cougars’ secondary on deep routes and often found himself wide open. He totaled 137 yards and a touchdown – a game-changing 50-yard score – on only five receptions.

Turning point

Trailing 34-22 with 6:42 left, Oregon’s offense made a clutch play in a crucial situation. Facing a fourth-and-2 from midfield, Nix hit Bucky Irving for a 21-yard gain. Five plays later, Nix had a short TD run. The drive sparked the Ducks, whose defense forced WSU into a quick three-and-out. Franklin caught a 50-yard TD shortly after and Oregon had captured the momentum.

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