Saturday will be sort of a homecoming for a Heisman hopeful and his former offensive coordinator.
Head coach Kenny Dillingham and his Arizona State Sun Devils (3-7) will play host to Nix and the No. 6 Oregon Ducks (9-1). And Dillingham has played a part in where Nix is today — the betting favorite to win college football’s prestigious award.
Nix has blossomed into one of the better quarterbacks in the nation and is setting himself up for a huge payday.
As for Dillingham, well the first-year head coach played a huge reason in why Nix has blossomed into one of the better quarterbacks in the nation and is setting himself up for a huge payday. He also played somewhat of a role in Nix ending up in Eugene. After a tumultuous tenure at Auburn, which involved some of the highest of highs and lowest of lows in college football, Nix decided to head to the Pac-12, alongside his former coach.
Dillingham was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Auburn, and the 33-year-old took the same job with the Ducks in 2022 after a two-year stint at Florida State.
Now, he’ll face off against Nix. And they’ll have to put their relationship aside for 60 minutes.
“I think he just continued to build on last year,” the Arizona State head coach said of his former QB, via John Canzano. “He was always confident, but I think he’s doing the same process again, in terms of being in control of the offense, changing calls, getting in the correct plays. I think that anytime you repeat a process, you’re better the second time. So, I think the fact that he is — I think coach (Will) Stein is doing a phenomenal job playing to Bo’s strengths and letting Bo play free enough to still have that confidence on the field every time he takes a snap.”
ASU coach Kenny Dillingham talked about the improvements he sees in Oregon Ducks QB Bo Nix from 2022 to 2023.
— John Canzano (@johncanzanobft) November 17, 2023
Dillingham said he just sees a more confident version of what Nix was last season.
This is what he’s done this season: 258 for 332, 3,135 yards, 9.44 Y/A, 29 Pass TD, 2 INT, 38 carries, 121 yards, 5 Rush TD.
We’ll have to see if the road to the Heisman and possibly a spot for the College Football Playoff continues through Tempe, AZ. And standing in the way of both Nix and Oregon’s chances is a familiar face that quite possibly knows him as well as any of his coaches or teammates.