Nix puts up 5 TDs, No. 25 Oregon takes down No. 12 BYU 41-20

BYU v Oregon
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EUGENE, Ore. – Bo Nix likened himself to a point guard for Oregon.

He certainly scored like one. Nix threw for two touchdowns and ran for three more to lead No. 25 Oregon to a 41-20 victory over No. 12 BYU on Saturday.

The victory extended Oregon’s winning streak at Autzen Stadium to 21 games, the third-longest in the nation.

Nix, a transfer from Auburn, completed 13 of 18 passes for 222 yards and ran for 35 yards on nine carries. Terrance Ferguson caught both of Nix’s touchdown passes and finished with 24 yards receiving.

“I felt like I didn’t do anything different, just went out there and played the game, let it come to me,” Nix said. “At the end of the day I’m a point guard, with some great positions around me, great skill players. So my job is kind of easy: Knowing what to do with the ball, knowing who to give the ball to, and then letting those guys do their thing.”

Jaren Hall threw for 305 yards and two scores for BYU (2-1), which was coming off a big win at home over then-No. 9 Baylor that moved the Cougars up nine spots in the AP Top 25. They struggled on the ground against the Ducks, mustering just 61 rushing yards.

“We just didn’t play as good as we should have starting off. Had a good first play, had some momentum, just didn’t finish the drive, and just kind of let things get out of hand offensively the next couple of drives,” Hall said.

The Ducks (2-1) rebounded from a season-opening loss to Georgia with a 70-14 win at home over Eastern Washington last weekend.

Nix ran two yards for a touchdown to give the Ducks an early lead. Camden Lewis added a 28-yard field goal to give Oregon a 10-0 lead after the opening quarter.

Isaac Rex hauled down a pass from quarterback Jaren Hall for a 28-yard BYU touchdown early in the second. Oregon answered on the next drive when Nix found Troy Franklin with a 50-yard pass to get close, then ran on another 2-yard keeper to make it 17-7.

Nix fired a 15-yard TD pass to Ferguson in the end zone to give Oregon a 24-7 lead heading into halftime. Nix added a 6-yard keeper early in the second half and found Ferguson for a 9-yard scoring pass to make it 38-7.

Ty Thompson replaced Nix late in the third quarter.

BYU closed to within 38-14 on Hall’s 18-yard scoring pass to Kody Epps – Epps’ first touchdown as a Cougar.

BYU intercepted Thompson on the Oregon 30 and were helped by a pass interference call, leading to Hall’s 2-yard scoring pass to Chris Brooks. A 2-point conversion attempt failed.

Nix returned on Oregon’s next series and the drive was capped by Lewis’ 25-yard field goal to cap scoring.

“One of my past coaches told me that pressure is a privilege, and so I’ve really taken that to heart, and there’s nothing more true in my opinion,” Nix said. “When you have a lot of pressure it means that people believe in you, people believe you can do it, or you wouldn’t have pressure at all.”

THE TAKEAWAY

BYU: The Cougars were shorthanded because of key injuries. Starting receivers Puka Nacua and Gunner Romney remained out. Nacua was a game-time decision because of a sore right ankle. The Cougars were also without starting defensive linemen Tyler Batty and Earl Tuioti-Mariner. … Jake Oldroyd missed a 38-yard field goal in the opening half, his third straight miss. … BYU was 5-0 against the Pac-12 last season.

Oregon: BYU honored Oregon tight end Spencer Webb, who died in an offseason accident, by running out of the tunnel with an Oregon flag with Webb’s No. 18…. Oregon now leads the series with BYU 4-3. The previous meeting between the two was in 2006 at the Las Vegas Bowl, a 38-8 victory for the Cougars.

THE LAST TIME

Saturday’s game was the first between two ranked teams at Autzen Stadium since 2018. And the last time BYU and Oregon played here was in 1990, when the unranked Ducks upset No. 4 BYU 32-16 in a meeting that featured two big-name quarterbacks. Oregon’s Bill Musgrave threw three touchdowns and ran for another. BYU’s Ty Detmer was sacked five times. It was one of just three losses for the Cougars that season.

UP NEXT

BYU: The Cougars host Wyoming next Saturday.

Oregon: The Ducks visit Washington State next Saturday.

Minnesota football players’ discrimination lawsuit dismissed

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
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MINNEAPOLIS — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by nine former University of Minnesota football players who were accused of sexual assault in 2016 in a case that roiled the school’s football program.

The lawsuit against the school claimed that the players faced emotional distress and financial damage after being falsely accused of being sex offenders. The players, who were identified in the lawsuit as John Does, sought unspecified damages for willful and malicious discrimination.

A woman alleged up to a dozen football players raped her or watched and cheered at an off-campus party in 2016. None of the players were ever charged.

The university found that 10 football players committed sexual misconduct. Five of them were expelled or suspended for violating student conduct codes, and the others were cleared on appeal.

In their lawsuit, the players alleged that the woman initiated the sexual encounters with players and an underage recruit.

U.S. District Court Judge Donovan Frank dismissed the lawsuit last week, saying the former players did not prove any of their claims, including allegations of bias by university investigators or pressure from Athletic Director Mark Coyle and former President Eric Kaler, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported.

David Madgett, an attorney for the players, said Tuesday that they are considering an appeal but have to determine if it makes sense financially and in terms of letting the former players get on with their lives. He said it was disappointing that the outcome was determined by the judge’s version of events and not decided by a jury.

“It’s disappointing to see disputes decided in this way,” Madgett said. “That’s the way things are decided more and more these days. … It’s disappointing you don’t get your day in court.”

When the allegations became public in 2016, players threatened to boycott the team’s trip to the Holiday Bowl. But after a graphic report of the investigation was released, the players agreed to play in the game.

University of Minnesota spokesman Jake Ricker said the school appreciated the judge’s decision affirming the actions taken in the case. He said the university would continue its work focusing on sexual misconduct awareness, prevention and response.

Frank dismissed the lawsuit in 2019, but an appeals court reinstated part of it in 2021 and returned it to Frank.

The players, all of whom are Black, also initially claimed racial discrimination, but that claim was previously dismissed.

The only remaining claim alleged Title IX gender discrimination. The former players noted that they never faced criminal charges, but Frank’s ruling said that “is certainly not evidence of a judicial adjudication or that plaintiffs ‘were proven innocent.'”

The men also claimed that an investigator for the university’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action used “manipulative tactics” with them in interviews and that their accuser helped draft the report. The players also alleged that “prior failed investigations motivated” the the school to punish them.

Frank said all the claims were unsupported by the evidence and “no reasonable jury could find that the University disciplined plaintiffs on the basis of sex.”

Michigan State player who swung helmet gets probation

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A Michigan State football player who swung his helmet at a Michigan player in a stadium tunnel expressed regret Tuesday and said he’s “just looking forward to wuppin’ some maize and blue” on the field.

Khary Crump, a defensive back, was sentenced to probation. He was one of seven Michigan State players charged in a skirmish that followed a loss at Michigan Stadium on Oct. 29.

Crump was the only Spartan facing a felony, but that charge was dismissed in an agreement to plead guilty to misdemeanors. His record will be scrubbed clean if he stays out of trouble while on probation.

“Unfortunately, an exchange of words (took place), I felt attacked and unfortunately I did what I did,” Crump said of the tunnel altercation involving Michigan’s Gemon Green. “I’m not proud of that. I’m looking forward to moving forward.”

Crump was suspended by coach Mel Tucker. In addition, the Big Ten has suspended him for eight games in 2023.

“I had difficulties trying to stomach my actions … on that fateful day, but it happened. I can’t take it back,” Crump told MLive.com after the court hearing. “Honestly, I’m just looking forward to wuppin’ some maize and blue in the future — on the football field, of course.”

At least four other players charged with misdemeanors Will Likely have their cases dismissed in exchange for community service and other conditions. The cases against two others are pending.