No. 11 Oregon lost to No. 3 Georgia, 49-3, in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game on Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Ducks quarterback Bo Nix, center Alex Forsyth and safety Bennett Williams recapped the Ducks’ loss.
Below is the transcript from Oregon’s postgame press conference.
Q. Bo, walk us through the second interception? What did you see? What were you thinking? Why throw into that area?
BO NIX: We had a good play called, and they rolled right into it, and bad decision.
Q. Bo, obviously, that’s a Georgia program that you have seen a couple of times. Same old Georgia, or did you see some different things out of Kirby’s defense?
BO NIX: It was same Georgia. I’ve seen a lot of those looks. They’re just really good. Really good at the point of attack. Really good playing the ball. Really good at tackling. It’s just tough to move the ball on those guys.
Q. Bo, two turnovers on offensive drives. You are moving the ball. You’re getting closer to scoring position. Can you kind of just take us what’s going through your mind after those two turnovers? Did you feel defeated? What were the conversations with Dan like?
BO NIX: Well, the first one I feel like the guy made a great play. The second one, obviously, bad decision. Stuff like that happens. Unfortunately, it was on back-to-back drives, and that can’t happen on first down.
But my coaches were very encouraging. They kept me in the game. In a situation like that you just can’t be defeated by it. You have to move to the next play and do better.
Q. Two-part question: First off, just about this fall camp and competing and winning the job, and then the second one just a self-evaluation on how you thought you performed overall today?
BO NIX: Well, first off, I have to give credit to Ty. He did a great job. Both really good competitions.
What was your other part of the question?
Q. Just your self-evaluation.
BO NIX: I feel like after the spring and summer you’re more consistent with the offense. You get it a little bit more being in a new system.
Then a relationship with the receivers and tight ends is obviously really good through fall camp. Then it’s just all about competing and just enjoying the time out there and making good decisions and moving the ball.
Q. Bo, there was so much focus on this game for months and months and months and months. Is there an element of just being kind of relieved to be on the other side of it and be able to get back to work? What’s kind of No. 1 on the to-do list for you when you guys get back to Eugene?
BO NIX: It’s unfortunate the opportunity is passed and it wasn’t a different outcome. Obviously, you hate losing, but you have to move past it.
We have a long season ahead. Got a lot of football left to play, so we’re just going to look forward to that and get better. Go back tomorrow and work and see what happens.
Q. You mentioned earlier Coach is leaving you in the game. You didn’t typically see a lopsided game like that that the quarterback stays in. What did it mean to stay in, and do you think that last drive was something to build off of?
BO NIX: Absolutely. I think it was just, obviously, their decision. We just wanted to see how we compete and how we responded in that kind of adversity. It showed a lot about our team. We continued to battle.
I mean, that game was tough. Not going to lie to you, it wasn’t pretty. I can’t sit up here and say it was. Can’t really say much about it. I mean, obviously, it is what it is. They beat us pretty bad.
Q. Bo, Dan has talked a lot about “so what, now what” when adversity hits you guys. How important is that message right now, and how important is what comes next couple of weeks for what this team wants to accomplish?
BO NIX: Yeah, that message is right now. That’s why he says it. It’s for opportunities like this. We have to come back next week, face the next opponent, and keep building on our season.
Q. Bo, you converted pretty well on third down and had your own moments during the game. What did you think of Kenny Dillingham’s play-calling on that offensive flow that you had?
BO NIX: When you look at the game, we moved the ball especially early. Obviously, turnovers got us. It’s just some key third downs we didn’t make to continue moving the ball, but I felt like our third down plan was important for us. We stressed that a lot, and that was one area we did well.
Q. Bennett, when you look at the box score in particular, but even just going through the game itself, when it’s 9 of 10 on third down, what’s going through your mind as that number just keeps getting away from you guys, and they keep converting each time to get the third down?
BENNETT WILLIAMS: Next play. A lot of stuff today that just kept repeating itself. They obviously had a game plan to attack the perimeter, and we did not do well enough at all.
They started to know what was coming, and they executed, and we didn’t, bottom line.
Q. For Alex, Georgia obviously had a lot of key personnel on their defensive front. Can you give us an insight into what they were doing to be effective?
ALEX FORSYTH: Yeah, they were trying to mix up the fronts a little bit, gave us some exotic looks. Coach Klemm prepared us all week for pretty much everything we were going to see.
Just trusted our rules, but at the end of the day it wasn’t anywhere near good enough.
Q. Alex, you said during media days this year that you had been thinking about those final two games of last season and how much they left a memory in your brain. How does that feel in context of this game now and kind of having a similar result as those two games?
ALEX FORSYTH: I hate losing. There’s no moral victories in losing. There’s no small victories. It’s we have to get back to work. You have to be grown men about it. You’ve got to take the medicine.
When you look on the film, Hey, I need to do better, we all need to do better, and we have to find that. Not shy away from it. Not pretend like it’s not there. You have to go attack it head-on, and that’s the only way we’re going to improve.
We have to really take control of this team and make sure everybody knows that 100%. Once we land in Eugene, it’s a short memory. “So what, now what.”
Q. Alex, no touchdowns scored today. We can dig into the box score and take out whatever we want to, but from an offensive lineman, what is the biggest thing you guys have to improve on as a unit from Week 1 into Week 2?
ALEX FORSYTH: Establishing the run game. Being able to, I guess, get to that early and have them trust us to put the game kind of on our backs. We’re a bunch of vets up there.
We just didn’t do a good enough job today. Obviously, the score says that too. We just have got to be better, and pretty much being able to take over a game and being able to run the ball and just execute the plays. That’s all it is.
Q. Just pretty simple one, Alex. Is that the best team you’ve played against? And just actually seeing that physicality after people have been talking about it for months, what was it like actually playing in that game?
ALEX FORSYTH: I think you had this game circled on the calendar since the end of last year. I know I have. I think throughout fall camp, peeking at film and seeing what we were going to go up against.
They’re, obviously, a really, really great team. Really talented; played really hard; played smart. I don’t know what their penalties were, but I don’t think they had a whole lot of them.
Yeah, they were a really good team, and they were really, really talented up front.
Q. Bennett, does a loss like this create any doubt just about this team and the direction or anything like that?
BENNETT WILLIAMS: No. No, and I’m sure there’s guys, right, on the team where doubt starts to creep in, but that’s our job as leaders to help them understand that we are a really good team. We didn’t show it today, yeah, and Georgia was, obviously, really good, right? We didn’t play like we were supposed to, and it got out of hand. The score shows that, but we just have to go to the next game.
That’s one loss, right? I know the score says 49-3, but it counts as one loss whether we lost by a point or lost by that much. Now we’re to the next game, and our job as leaders and all of us is to make sure that we’re on to the next game, like he said earlier.
Q. Following on that for both of you guys, you are two of the older players. You are two of the leaders of this team. You talk about being a player-led team. No matter how much you may not like it and I may not like it, we live in a world in college football where what’s going to be said in the next 72 hours is that you guys are out of the playoff already, that there’s no way, that the best you guys can do is win the league, a Rose Bowl maybe, and that’s it. As older guys who have been through it and seen it, how do you prevent that message that’s going to be said in the national conversation all week from permeating and being the, all right, what are we playing for all season for the next three months?
ALEX FORSYTH: Yeah, I think we just have to reiterate to the guys that there’s not one person that’s on the college football playoff — there’s not one person that ranks these teams that will ever play a down for Oregon Football. The only people I care about are behind that door, and that’s the only people that are really going to make a difference this season.
Just continue to block out the outside noise. They’re going to try to tear you down and backstab you and smile in your face and all that stuff when you do good, but just continue to move to the next play, on to the next game. Just not even worry about that.
Q. Bennett, there was a lot of missed tackles today. What was being said on the sidelines to try to clean that up?
BENNETT WILLIAMS: That was one of our main goals going into the game is we had to be good tacklers, and we certainly didn’t do that today.
I know it’s a first game. We show stats, and Week 1 is where there’s the most missed tackles across all of college football. We didn’t do a good enough job today.
They brought physicality. I think sometimes we I don’t want to say shied away from it, but many instances where we need to finish. Two more steps through, whether we’re leaving our feet and diving and stuff. So that’s improvement that we just have to make going into next week.
Q. Bennett, following up, from a scheme standpoint, Georgia has obviously got some unique talent at tight end and the running back. What did they do that presents such a challenge from a scheme standpoint as you guys try to match up with them?
BENNETT WILLIAMS: Honestly, today they ran, I mean, you guys saw it, just a ton of stuff on the perimeter. It was all-out quick screens. I think they had one deep ball over our head, and they weren’t running the ball up our throat like crazy. It was all perimeter screens.
We schemed for a lot of different stuff. When it comes down to it, we didn’t play the perimeter screens well enough, and they know that, so they just kept going to it. So we really just need to look at the film, take our medicine, like he said, and make those adjustments next week.
Q. Bennett, Alex brought it up, the “so what, now what” mentality that Dan has tried to instill in you guys. How important is that for this next five or six days before Week 2, and do you feel like the team is embracing that mentality, or is it going to take some coaching from you guys, the leaders, to get that team into that mindset?
BENNETT WILLIAMS: I’m sure there’s going to have to be some encouraging, right, from the leaders, but overall, honestly, I really am proud of this team for the way that we have been resilient. I think that this is another opportunity.
It looks really bad. It looked terrible. Nobody is going to deny that, but now what can we do about it? How can we bounce back? I truly believe in this team, and I believe in our talent, and I know we have the talent. It just takes, execution, going back to the drawing board, and understanding what we’ve got to work on.