The scoreboard will show an 18-point victory for the Oregon Ducks. A victory in a game where they put 586 total yards of offense — the most ever allowed by California head coach Justin Wilcox — and an impressive 6 total touchdowns from quarterback Bo Nix.
If you look at the stat sheet and saw only the numbers, you’d walk away with the impression that it was a dominant showing from the Ducks, who won their seventh-straight game and scored more than 40 points for the seventh-straight time.
If you watched the game, though, then you know that this was far below the ceiling for Oregon football.
This is a team that can play a lot better than they did on Saturday should they mitigate a few mistakes, like dropped passes, empty red zone trips, and frustrating penalties. After the game, head coach Dan Lanning talked with media members about the game and where the team can still improve. Here are some of the most notable quotes from that press conference:
Lanning: “Always great to go on the road and get a win. It’s never easy to do that. That being said, I think our team can play a lot more consistent at times. I thought we had some moments of getting consistency. I think our players are growing to where they want to own the standard regardless of the situation. And at times, we really had it and at times, we didn’t. We struggled a little bit at times during in the red area, gave up some big pass plays that we don’t want to see on defense. So I think all around, there’s moments of improvement for our team. I think our guys are hungry to improve. With that being said we’re going to build off of this one and keep rolling.”
Question: What allowed the offense to be so productive today?
Lanning: “I think it’s hard to stop our team right now when we’re consistent and operating at a high level, regardless of really who the opponent is. And again, when we did get stopped, it was really more so us stopping ourselves.”
Question: What did you see from your defense today?
Lanning: “Regardless of who’s in, our standard doesn’t really change. We didn’t finish the game how we wanted to finish. I think in the first half they had eight yards rushing, so that was nice to be able to choke out one side of the ball. We gave up a big pass. I would have loved to see that carry over into the second half. We did at times. I think we were much better on third downs, I don’t know what the final count was. That’s somewhere we’ve been looking to have some improvement. I think we did a better job there. But we have to continue to keep playing better ball and be more consistent throughout an entire game.”
Question: What’s your biggest takeaway from this win?
Lanning: “Just that we haven’t seen our best yet. I was hoping this would be a game where we could walk away and see our best and we haven’t seen it yet. I’m excited to see where we can go but we have to tap into that and it’s a choice we have to make. Hopefully, that’ll carry over into the future.”
Question: What are your thoughts on how Bo Nix played today, especially early in the game?
Lanning: “I think Bo did a good job today. But I think if you ask Bo right now, he’d say he can perform better. And I think our entire team probably feels that way. There’s some moments that we can play at a higher level. I have to go back and watch the film and see if there were any balls in jeopardy plays for us. Look at what our decision-making looks like. Bo has been really consistent and really good player all year. I think that he’ll come away from this performance, saying he wants to do better than he did.”
Question: Were you surprised at all by your RB’s ability to be so effective in the passing game?
Lanning: “We felt like this was a game that we could get the ball to our backs out of the backfield. And ultimately, we were looking to take some shots. And I thought that’s where Bo made some good decisions in taking the check down.”
Question: What can you take away from the slow start?
Lanning: “Ultimately, what I’d say is that I know we can play better than we played today. And that’s what I walk away with, is ‘Okay, let’s go focus on what we can play better.’ I don’t look at it as an overcome, not overcome. We have to prepare ourselves to play better ball down the stretch. And we did that at times. I don’t want people to come away and think that I’m not excited about a win. I’m glad we won the game. I still think that we can play better than we did.”
Tight End Success
Question: How big of a boost is it for your offense when the tight ends are playing as well as they are?
Lanning: “So what I like to talk about, I like to talk about how that group of men really love each other. And they’re unselfish. And sometimes it’s their turn, sometimes it’s not. They know when a certain guy comes on the field or comes off that that plays designed for them. You never hear a complaint from that group. I know every one of them would love to touch the ball every snap. But you never ever hear anything otherwise. And the fact that, I think you could see how excited our tight ends were when Pat scored that touchdown, last week when Cam scored his, that’s a group that’s really unselfish. That likes to see other people have success. And that’s what I’m really proud of with that group.”
Question: Do you have any injury update on Chase Cota?
Lanning: “I haven’t heard yet. No, I don’t know. I’ll have to wait to get feedback on him.”
Question: Where do you think you guys can get better going forward?
Lanning: “Pre-snap penalties, finishing in the red area, shot plays on defense, substitution patterns on defense, there’s a lot of things I walked away with thinking we could do a better job of and we will get better at them.”
Question: What was the mentality going into this game after last week?
Lanning: “Humble and hungry. We wanted to come into this game focused on who was here at the beginning with us and not who came in afterwards. And the reality is, we talked about after game one, that really all of our goals are in front of us. And we want to continue to approach it that way and keep growing and getting better. And I think there’s some things we got better at today. But overall, there’s still some things that we can definitely improve.”
Question: What are your thoughts on how Kris Hutson has grown this season?
Lanning: “I trust Kris, I think he’s done a really good job for us. He did a good job in the return game for us today as well. Caught the ball well. Obviously, that one he’d love to have back but that’s going to happen sometimes. And you gotta grow back and go back to the next play.”
4th Down Conversions
Question: Any thoughts on the lack of 4th-down conversions from your offense today?
Lanning: “It was probably a good thing that happened to us. We probably got humbled a little bit and it’s an opportunity for us to go work at it and see if we can move pile on the next team.”