Oregon Ducks have trust, confidence in backups QBs if Bo Nix can’t play against Utah

Bo Nix is preparing to play for No. 12 Oregon against No. 10 Utah, but if the Ducks starting quarterback can’t play then the starting receivers are confident in backup Ty Thompson.

Nix’s status this week is undetermined after he took a hit to the right leg during the fourth quarter of last week’s loss to Washington. He later returned for UO’s final drive and went 3 for 6 for 41 yards and was sacked for a loss of four.

Backup Ty Thompson is 11 of 20 for 72 yards with two interceptions this season, with 63 of those yards coming against Eastern Washington, and No. 3 quarterback Jay Butterfield is 1 of 1 for a yard this season.

Ducks receivers Kris Hutson and Dont’e Thornton each expressed confidence in Thompson and Butterfield if they are called upon on Saturday (7:30 p.m., ESPN) against the Utes.

“They both are two good, great quarterbacks,” Hutson said. “Obviously Bo is down so it’s the next man up, but they going to go in like they’ve been there before and we all trust them. We trust both of them.”

While Nix was being evaluated by Oregon’s training staff, Thompson played and handed the ball off four times on a drive that ended with a turnover on downs.

Oregon (8-2, 6-1 Pac-12) has led by at least two scores for all of Thompson’s opportunities to pass this season. He was 7 of 15 for 87 yards with two touchdowns and an interception last season, also only playing when the Ducks were ahead by no less than eight points and mostly by 15 or more.

“He’s good at decision making,” Hutson said. “He has a great arm. He can extend plays and he’s learned a lot from, Bo. He took his game to the next level also. Ty is a good player, he’s a great player, great quarterback, very smart and can’t wait to see him out there ready to go.”

Wednesday night Oregon coach Dan Lanning clarified that Nix, who leads the country in completion percentage (72.9%) and leads the Pac-12 in passer efficiency (173.16), has had his reps managed in practice this week but is preparing as though he’ll be able to play and Thompson and Butterfield will be ready if need be.

“I’m 100% confident in both of those quarterbacks,” Thornton said. “Last year Ty threw me my first touchdown so from that moment on I’ve always been confident in Ty. I’ve had confidence in Jay since I’ve been here.”

Lanning said Thompson, a former four-star recruit and the highest-rated high school quarterback prospect to ever sign with Oregon is the clear backup and Butterfield is third on the depth chart.

“Ty’s consistently been right there for us as that (No. 2) guy,” Lanning said. “Jay’s done a really good job too and I think everybody on our team has a lot of confidence in Jay. (He) throws a really good ball, does a good job. Anybody that’s number is called I think will be ready.”

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