During his pre-Oregon press conference this week, Gus Malzahn was questioned regarding the current dynamic between the Tigers’ two freshman quarterbacks.
Since publicly naming true freshman Bo Nix the team’s starting quarterback last Tuesday, the head coach has been asked, repeatedly, how much playing time redshirt freshman Joey Gatewood will receive.
When questions regarding Gatewood again, Malzahn said stayed firm in his stance that the former 4-star prospect could be crucial piece for the offense as soon as this Saturday.
"You know, there could be," Malzahn said of there being a role for Gatewood against Oregon. "Each game will probably be different. Of course, Joey is our backup quarterback, too; one play away from playing. But he's an electric-type player, there's no doubt. Each game, we'll have different plans."
What's clear after Tuesday is that Nix has earned the respect of both his coaches and his teammates. According to offensive guard Marquel Harrel, the true freshman turned heads and gained the attention of his teammates in fall camp.
"(Nix) has that leader mindset that we need," Harrell said.
From the coaching perspective, it appears as though the focus for Nix in Week 1 will be to both give him the opportunity to gain experience, and to refrain from giving him an overwhelming workload.
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“Just asking him to play and be himself," Malzahn said of Nix, "and we (the coaching staff) are going to try to do some things that he feels comfortable with."
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