Franklin’s ‘crazy catch’ on Saturday highlights connection with Nix


Late in the second quarter of Oregon’s 45-27 victory over Stanford, Bo Nix rolled out to his right, hoping to find an open receiver in the endzone. Instead, his options were blanketed by coverage.

Troy Franklin was his lone “open” target near the front pylon, but Nix knew either throw the ball away or put a pass only where Franklin could catch it. Nix’s pass was heading out of the endzone before Franklin reached out with two hands and made a spectacular, toe-tap grab along the sideline.

To be honest, when I threw it, I was expecting it to be a throw-away, or he’d have to make a crazy catch, and that’s what he did,” said Nix. “I was really pleased with that — just his effort. He’s really turned it on this year.

To be honest, I wasn’t surprised he caught it. It just happened so fast that I thought he might have been out of bounds, but the fact that he caught it and it was close, I wasn’t surprised, but I was really pleased that they called him in. Obviously, that’s a great play for him and for Troy, that’s kind of usual. He just hasn’t had a chance to showcase that enough to the rest of the country.”

Nix also mentioned that catches like the one Saturday are something Oregon fans should get used to as the season moves along.

“He makes a lot of catches like that. You should’ve seen the one he made today,” said Nix. “When the ball comes to him, he has a knack for catching it. It’s what receivers do, and that’s just what he does. Every once and a while, he’ll have close ones where he doesn’t haul it in, but you’re like, ‘Wow.'”

For Franklin, he described the catch as “routine,” attributing his ability to make that catch to what the Ducks go through in practice on a daily basis.

Nix and Franklin have turned into a formidable duo for Oregon, as Franklin is putting together a career year in just his second season in the program. Through five games this season, Franklin has 24 receptions, 391 yards, and three touchdowns. Spread that out over a 12-game season, and Franklin is in line for 58 receptions, 938 yards, and seven touchdowns. The last time a receiver at Oregon put together over 900 yards in a season was Dillon Mitchell in 2018, where he posted an absurd 1,134-yard season.

Before Mitchell, you’ll have to go back to 2014 when Byron Marshall had another one thousand yard season, finishing with 1,003 yards. Simply put, Franklin is a surefire No. 1 receiver on a potent offense.

“It’s playing out really well,” said Franklin about Oregon’s offense. “I think everybody likes it way better than they’re used to.”

The connection between Nix and Franklin has given the Ducks a primary option on a team loaded with wide receiver talent. For Nix, it was clear that Franklin has always had these characteristics, and it was only a matter of time before he showcased them.

“He’s a very savvy guy. I’m sure coming out of high school, he was like that. It’s one of those you can’t really teach,” said Nix. “You’ve either got it or you don’t. He’s a really good, smart football player. I think he’s got great football instincts, and that’s one of the great things that he has. That allows him to be even better on the field. When you put his talent with his instincts and his awareness, he’s able to do things like that. Like on Saturday, he knew exactly where he was on the field, he knew how he was going to catch the ball and he was going to anticipate the catch. Things like that just make great plays and great players. I expect a lot out of Troy because he’s shown a lot already and he’s proven that he can handle a lot.”

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