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Kalen DeBoer on stopping Bo Nix: 'Easier said than done'

20200517_134556by:Justin Rudolph10/10/23
Oregon vs. Washington Preview and Prediction

Saturday’s Pac-12 showdown between two of the conference’s top programs this season, Washington and Oregon, will have huge implications on just about everything. Both teams are currently ranked in the AP top 10 at No. 7 and No. 8, are looking to capture the conference title and punch their ticket to the College Football Playoff, and have quarterbacks jockeying for position in this year’s Heisman Trophy race. 

As Washington prepares for this monumental showdown, their head coach Kalen DeBoer was interviewed by the ESPN team covering Tuesday night’s matchup between Coastal Carolina and Appalachian State. During the interview, the Huskies headman was asked about stopping the Ducks’ star quarterback, Bo Nix. But instead of revealing his plan for Saturday, DeBoer chose to take a different route instead. 

“He’s doing a great job this year again, in year two, running the offense there. And (he) has a skill set that’s tough to defend,” said DeBoer. “So, it’s no easy task, and we got to do a good job of trying to slow down a physical run game and try to get pressure on him. That’s not an easy task — easier said than done. But, you know, that’s where I think you start.” 

Last season, when these two programs faced off in Eugene, OR, Washington’s defense did just enough to slow down Nix and pick up the win. The Ducks quarterback was able to complete nineteen of his 28 pass attempts with two touchdowns and zero interceptions, but it was not enough for them to avoid the upset as the Huskies took the game 37-34. 

As DeBoer mentioned, it will be no easy task slowing down Nix on Saturday. For as good as Nix last season, a strong case could be made that he’s playing even better in 2023. This season, he has completed 131 of his 163 pass attempts with an astounding 80.4 percent completion rate for 1459 yards, 15 touchdowns, and just one interception. Nix has taken a slight step back in his rushing attack, but it’s still very much a threat when running the ball. This year, he has 19 carries for 87 yards and one touchdown. 

If Washington is to pick up the victory against their fellow top 10 ranked Pac-12 rival, as DeBoer points out, stopping Nix is a great place to start. And it is also true that it is easier said than done. But it’s a good thing the Huskies have one of the more dominant defenses in the Pac-12 this season.