Oregon's Nix won't commit to bowl game after Pac-12 championship loss
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Oregon quarterback Bo Nix couldn’t move, sitting in shock, slumped in distraught for several minutes with a towel over his head after his Ducks lost 34-31 to Washington in the Pac 12 Championship on Friday.
“Football is a tough game and sometimes you put it all out there and you come up short,” said Nix, who finished 21 of 34 for 239 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. “I think that’s what sometimes hurts, is when you put it all out there, it's still not good enough.
“And there at the end, it was just one of those things where you want the moment to last longer than what it can. Even though we lost, it was one of those types of games that was really fun to play in.”
Which is why he gathered himself, walked across the field and embraced his counterpart, Washington quarterback and fellow Heisman Trophy contender Michael Penix Jr.
“When it ends, it just happens very quickly,” Nix added. “I've got all the respect in the world for Michael. He’s played his butt off this year. I respect him a lot because I know how it is to play through some adversity, to play when you’re not necessarily feeling your best, and he showed up tonight and he did a really good job of making the explosive play when he needed it.”
Closely resembling the teams’ shootout during the regular season, also won by Washington, the Huskies and Ducks put on a show in front of 61,195 fans.
Oregon (11-2) had its chances after falling behind by 17 in the first half.
The fifth-ranked Ducks scored 21 straight points to take a 24-20 lead late in the third quarter, but couldn’t thwart Washington’s late surge.
The No. 3 Huskies (13-0) outscored Oregon 14-7 down the stretch to seal the win and almost certainly solidify a spot in the College Football Playoff.
With both teams headed to the Big Ten next year, along with USC and UCLA, Oregon leaves the Pac-12 with a mark of 4-2 in conference championships, having lost its last two trips to the title game after winning its first four.
Nix, meanwhile, is one step closer to closing the book on one of the most decorated careers in NCAA history.
His 4,145 yards passing this season marked just the second time an Oregon quarterback threw for more than 4,000 in a season, joining Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota (4,454) in 2014.
A transfer from Auburn, Nix has racked up 7,738 yards passing in two seasons with the Ducks to rank fifth in school history, and his 40 touchdown passes are second to Mariota (42).
As Oregon shifts its sights to a New Year’s Six bowl, the most likely landing spot being the Fiesta Bowl, Nix’s next decision will be whether to play for the Ducks one last time or begin preparing for the NFL Draft.
“That’s not today, that decision,” Nix said. “I have no idea. I’m looking forward to whatever bowl game that is chosen for us. I’m just trying to get over that loss. So I’m not really thinking about anything after today.
“I played five really long seasons in college football. Each year was something different, each year was something new. I'm going to miss college football.”
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