Bo Nix, Ty Thompson and a history of Oregon spring quarterback battles
A veteran transfer pitted against a heralded redshirt freshman? Count us in.
Veteran quarterbacks are good at highlighting their strengths. And in Bo Nix’s first media availability since his transfer to Oregon, the three-year Auburn starter wasted no time making a few connections for everyone.
On a question about Oregon’s offensive line:
“Like me, they’ve played a lot of games,” said Nix, who started 34 games between 2019 and 2021 for the Tigers. “A lot of those guys were playing when I played them as a freshman.”
In case anyone forgot, Nix quarterbacked Auburn to a thrilling win over Justin Herbert and Oregon in 2019. It was his first career start — something Ty Thompson, his main competitor this spring, has yet to make.
Nix has played in big games. Nix has beaten top-25 teams. Nix has a previously strong relationship with Oregon offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham — his OC his freshman year at Auburn.
Thompson, a redshirt freshman, has none of those things. It makes for an intriguing spring quarterback battle, pitting the veteran quarterback up against the freshman with potential.
“I think the main goal is being successful as a team,” Thompson said. “So, whether it’s me giving Bo a tip, or him helping me out — because he’s played a whole lot at a high-level — using Bo, [sophomore Jay Butterfield] and Coach Dillingham as resources is the best thing I could possibly do.”
Thompson lost most of his head start because of the coaching change. But he’s 6-foot-4, 225 pounds and still carries the badge of “highest rated quarterback to ever commit to Oregon.” He will get looks — like he did last week when he spent the early portion of open practice playing with the first-unit.
The two are battling to become the eighth starting quarterback to open the season for the Ducks since 2010.
“I think anybody that plays would like to finish that piece of the puzzle on offense,” Nix said. “All 11 have to be playing together, all 11 have to be playing as one, and regardless of who’s playing quarterback they have to go out there and do their job for their team.”
Only one will start against Georgia in Atlanta. So, what can we learn from the spring? Let’s look back at some of Oregon’s other spring battles since 2010.