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Bo Nix calls game-winning touchdown to Chase Cota for Oregon Ducks to complete Holiday Bowl comeback

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Bo Nix has a variety of name, likeness and likeness deals and another one may need to be in the works after the Oregon quarterback worked some voodoo magic to claw back the Ducks from a 10-point deficit with 9:13 to go in the Holiday Bowl.

With the two-touchdown favorite Ducks trailing 24-14, Nix capped off a dramatic comeback by going 9-of-10 for 103 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winning six-yard score to Chase Cota on fourth-and-2 with 19 seconds to play. in #15 Oregon’s 28-27 victory over North Carolina Wednesday night at Petco Park.

During Oregon’s timeout with 24 seconds to play, Nix called the play that completed the rally: Donut.

“That’s one of our favorite plays,” said Nix. “We feel very good about this piece. We run it several times. It’s hard to stop against guys in good situations. It puts Troy (Franklin) and (Terrance Ferguson) and Chase and these guys in situations to do what they do best.

“Sure enough, they brought the blitz home. Chase knows repeatedly that this is the thing. If we get the house, he’s a natural choice going through the middle, and Bucky (Irving) did a great job of picking up protection, and we played it down the middle and got a finish for a touchdown.

It was a fitting final act of the 2022 season for Nix, who came to Oregon from Auburn to reunite with offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham and help lead the Ducks to compete for a Pac-12 championship and a potential playoff bid. college football. Until Nix was injured against Washington, those dreams were still possible.

Dillingham left to become Arizona State’s head coach, but Nix retained the autonomy he had all season to make adjustments and set plays. Interim offensive coordinator Drew Mehringer called the plays on Wednesday, but Nix had the final say with the game on the line.

“Bo did a good job calling out what he wanted in that one. But we all agree that you believe in your quarterback,” Oregon coach Dan Lanning said. “Credit to Bo and credit to Drew and the offensive team and all the players on offense. They believed in what we were going to execute and how we were going to execute it, and when the suggestion was made, it was like, ‘Sure, yeah, let’s execute this.’”

It was also fitting for Cota, the Oregon legacy whose career began at UCLA, to receive the clinching score. Cota had all three receptions for 42 yards in the final 9:03.

“All the bowl prep against our defense, we never got that look one time, but then we got here at our practice spot for the bowl one time and we missed and went over it, and it sure showed in the game. it was exactly the same,” said Cota. “It was perfect. Bo saw it, it was an easy touchdown.”

When it came time to make the donuts, Nix delivered.

“It’s an option route and there are a lot of different angles, so it’s hard to stop from a defensive standpoint,” said Nix, who was 23-of-30 for 205 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. “As much as we hit, that’s where my mind went on fourth and 2 from the 6 yard line. That’s what I want to call it because we’ve had more reps and I know exactly where each guy will be.

“Chase did a good job running across the field in man coverage, looking at the ball and catching it and getting into the end zone. Extremely proud of Chase. He deserved it.”

Even after heroics by Nix and Cota, Camden Lewis’ PAT to give Oregon the lead bounced off the left and passed.

“We talked about coming in tonight and really ending the season not with a full stop but with an exclamation point,” Lanning said. “And I would say it was an exclamation point.”

— James Crepea reported from San Diego.