We’ve talked to Oregon Ducks head coach Dan Lanning a lot over the past month. Starting with the annual media day at the end of July, we’ve had a chance to chat with Lanning once or twice a week throughout the month of August while fall camp rolled through, getting updates on young players, returning players, and the process of schematic implementation over time.
To be completely honest, we’re running out of things to talk about.
Fortunately for all of us, meaningful football is around the corner. The Ducks kick off their 2023 season on Saturday afternoon by hosting the Portland State Vikings at noon in Autzen Stadium. The team is ready to hit someone not wearing green and yellow, and we all are ready to watch some football that actually matters.
On Wednesday, Lanning gave his final press conference of the week, giving one last update on the injury report and looking ahead to the weekend. Here are some of the most notable quotes from that interview:
“All right, another day closer. Really physical practice today. Thought our guys got some good situational work in the red area and third down. Had a good two minutes scenario there at the end. Guys are prepped, guys are excited and ready to get to work. We still got a couple more prep days before we get there.”
Question: How many bench guys are you hoping to play on Saturday?
Lanning: “I’m hoping to win the game, hoping to win the game. We’re gotta go win the game the rest kind of takes care of itself. We got enough players that can play at a high level, then we’ll make sure we get them in the game.”
Question: Have you guys decided on a punt returner or are you waiting to see them in game situations before you finalize the depth there.
Lanning: “We have a good group. We feel really good about it. I think we know who our first guy is who’s going to run out there.”
Excitement for saturday
Question: Are you excited about anything on Saturday?
Lanning: “Yeah, there’s a football game coming up. Definitely excited to see those fans in Autzen. When those fans pack Autzen, it’s a different environment. I know they’re all anxious to get in the stands, just like we’re anxious to see them.”
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Question: You have a slot of scheduling similarities with Wyoming this season, where as they will see Texas Tech this week. Will you reach out to their coach to share any notes?
Lanning: “Know him well, in terms of who he is. Obviously, I haven’t got an opportunity to visit with him much but I’m sure we’ll bounce some thoughts off each other before the next game.”
Question: What is the status of Jestin Jacobs and Nishad Strother going into Saturday?
Lanning: “I’m not going to spend time talking about injuries. But we’re going to attack the field with everybody we got. I think it’ll be a good group ready to go.
(AP Photo/Young Kwak)
Question: How has Marcus Harper approached the competition at LG this fall?
Lanning: “Every one of our guys have been really competitive. I think competitive you know reps bring competitive excellence right? So our guys have been people that can push them across the board makes us better. And what we know about football is there’s gonna be other people who play beyond just game one who plays within the season.”