Nix closes career with 5 TD passes, No. 8 Oregon rolls over Liberty 45-6 in Fiesta Bowl

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Oregon tight end Kenyon Sadiq, right, scores a touchdown during the first half on the NCAA Fiesta Bowl college football game, Monday, Jan. 1, 2024, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Bo Nix threw for 363 yards and five touchdowns to cap a recording-breaking career, and No. 8 Oregon closed out a season that started with national title expectations by rolling over No. 18 Liberty 45-6 in the Fiesta Bowl on Monday.

Nix played like a Heisman Trophy finalist after opting to join his teammates on the field one last time, throwing for 257 yards and four touchdowns as the Ducks built a 31-6 halftime lead. Nix finished 28 of 35 in just over three quarters and completed 77.44% of his passes this season, breaking the NCAA record of 77.36%, set by Alabama's Mac Jones in 2020.

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Tez Johnson had 11 catches for 172 yards and a touchdown, part of a 584-yard afternoon by the Ducks (12-2).

Considered a national title contender at the start of the season, Oregon missed the College Football Playoff by six points — three each in a pair of losses to No. 2 Washington.

Winning the Fiesta Bowl won't erase the disappointment of coming so close to the CFP, but it is a nice way to close out Nix's career.

Liberty (13-1) overcame the death of freshman offensive lineman Tajh Boyd early in camp with the best season in the program's short FBS history.

Playing in their fallen teammate's honor, the Flames had the nation's best rushing attack and an opportunistic defense that led the nation in interceptions.

Liberty got off to a fast start in its first New Year's Six bowl, moving 75 yards in six plays in an opening drive capped by Keidon Salter's 17-yard touchdown pass to Bentley Hanshaw.

The Flames ran into waves of Ducks after that.

Liberty's offense had some small successes after the opening drive, but few big plays.

After limiting Oregon to a field goal on its opening drive, the Flames' defense got pushed around by the Ducks the rest of the afternoon to see their undefeated season come to a crashing end.


Liberty: The Flames were no match for the bigger, faster Ducks, but set a solid foundation in their first season under coach Jamey Chadwell.

Oregon: The Ducks did what they do best after a slow start, improving to 3-1 in the Fiesta Bowl, while Nix added an exclamation point before heading off to the NFL.


Liberty: Salter is a sophomore, running back Quinton Cooley is a junior and a large chunk of the defense should be back to keep the Flames on the rise.

Oregon: Nix, RB Bucky Irving, WR Troy Franklin and DB Khyree Jackson are among the underclassmen who have declared for the NFL draft. Oregon will replenish quickly after pulling in the No. 6 recruiting class in the early signing period, according to the 247 Sports composite.


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