ESPN believes Bo Nix’s Oregon offense could be better without Kenny Dillingham

ESPN's staff believes there's a way for Bo Nix's Oregon offense to be better without his former offensive coordinator with the Ducks and Auburn football Mandatory Credit: Montgomery
ESPN's staff believes there's a way for Bo Nix's Oregon offense to be better without his former offensive coordinator with the Ducks and Auburn football Mandatory Credit: Montgomery /
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Former Auburn football quarterback Bo Nix and his Oregon offense could be better without the offensive coordinator who helped him have both one of his best seasons on the Plains and a career-best season in Eugene in 2022, Kenny Dillingham, this upcoming season — this at least according to ESPN’s Kyle Bonagura in a piece examining the non-quarterback groups that will define the seasons of the Top 25 teams in college football.

Dillingham took the Arizona State head coaching job over the offseason after a year under Dan Lanning at Oregon and thus will leave Nix with the fourth offensive coordinator of his five-year college career, Will Stein.

Despite the switch, though, Bonagura believes in the possibility of the former Auburn football three-year starting signal-caller and the rest of the Ducks’ offense improving due to the running backs:​​

"“Bo Nix’s ability to make things happen with his feet was perhaps the key to the Ducks’ offense in 2022. But running backs Bucky Irving and Noah Whittington provided a reliable duo in the backfield, combining for 1,837 yards rushing. Both of them will be back next season, giving the Ducks a fearsome ground game to contend with. If Jordan James continues to develop, as expected, then the Ducks should be even better offensively next season despite losing offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham to Arizona State.”"

Auburn football hoping to find the right offensive coordinator with Philip Montgomery

Undoubtedly, talent is the most important aspect to what makes a team successful in college football. Having the size, speed, and strength to overwhelm opponents will always be the anecdote to winning games.

With that said, coaching isn’t far behind. While Bryan Bryan found a few diamonds in the rough, he never had an offensive coordinator capable of getting the most out of the skill position talent on a consistent basis. It’s of course tough to do much from the backfield if offensive line play is inferior, but Eric Kiesau’s offense looked obsolete by the end of the season after Cadillac Williams took over it from him with even less OL depth.

Hiring Philip Montgomery was Hugh Freeze’s schematic solution for Auburn’s offense in 2023, and if he can cook up the right packages to help the Tigers win football games, Harsin-recruited talents like Robby Ashford and Jarquez Hunter — and maybe even TJ Finley if enough things break right — could look better than ever with the new regime.