Almost 50 days ago, Oregon Ducks head coach Dan Lanning sparked a flame that is yet to die down.
In fact, that flame has only gotten bigger over the past couple of months.
“Not a big reaction, I’m trying to remember what they won to affect this conference when they were part of it,” Lanning said. “I don’t remember.”
On Monday night at his weekly press conference, he once again was given an opportunity to talk about Deion Sanders and the Buffaloes. With Colorado coming to town for a meeting of top-20 teams on Saturday, it should be a week full of entertaining quotes and bulletin board material.
Here’s what Lanning had to say about Sanders and the Buffs on Monday night:
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Dan Lanning: It’s a really exciting week for us here. Super pumped about the crowd that we’re about to see and I think there’s a lot of excitement surrounding these games. I know our players are really pumped to get out there. I think Coach Sanders has done a great job obviously this team he’s created a lot of momentum and they’ve done phenomenally in their first three games. So it’s been a fun one for us.
On the success of the conference
Question: What’s your reaction to how the conference has played in non-conference action?
Dan Lanning: I think there’s a lot of great teams in this conference. And I think that’s really evident with how they’ve performed outside of the conference. We kind of talked to our players about hey, preseason over. You’ve been playing opposing conferences, other teams, but now this is when we get into the meat and potatoes of what really matters for us and our goals that we want to accomplish. So there’s some great teams. I think we’ll continue to see that each week. I think we have a really tough schedule and certainly a tough opponent coming up here this week.
Q: Can you talk about your relationship with Travis Hunter and how he has done at Colorado so far?
DL: He’s a special player. I absolutely hate that for Travis (that he’ll be out). You know he’s a dynamic kid. He’s got a special personality and obviously is tremendous on the football field. He certainly gave thim an edge so I hope he gets healthy soon. You know, like I hate to not to get to see him play in this game because you know, he’s meant for a stage like this that we’re going to have this Saturday.
Buffs on film
Q: How does Colorado look on film both offensively and defensively?
DL: Sean Lewis, their offensive coordinator does a phenomenal job. He creates a lot of issues at the fastest paced team in our conference that obviously they’re passing for a ton of yards, their quarterback’s playing as well as anybody right now. And he has a really good grasp of their system. You know, and I think they do a great job of connecting on balls down the field, having a lot of change ups, creating some efficiencies in their offense with the tempo that they move with. Defensively, you know, Coach Kelly does a great job. We’re kind of cut from the same tree as far as philosophy and how he operates and I think they’re playing with well within their scheme they understand their strengths and their weaknesses. They understand how to utilize their players. I think that shows up you know throughout the film for them.
Stopping Weaver and Horn
Q: With Hunter out, how do you go about stopping their other receivers Weaver and Horn?
DL: They’re both really, really talented. They’re really good. They’re people we have to be aware of, you know, on every snap, and they’re certainly not the only ones. Now, the running back. He’s a guy that we recruited out of Derby, Kansas and he’s probably the fastest man on the field almost every time he’s on the field. If not, every time he’s on the field on Saturday. He’s got to lead speed. Weaver has been performing at a really you know, high level, but they’re dynamic. We got to make sure we know what those threats are and we can take care of them.
Q: What has made Shedeur Sanders so successful coming from the FCS level?
DL: I think he always keeps his eyes downfield and looks for opportunities to find receivers. That’s why hasn’t done a great job of when he’s had several scramble opportunities, but I would describe him as a guy that scrambles to throw not necessarily to run with his feet. He can extend plays and when you extend plays, it’s hard to cover for a long time. We have to do a good job of not allowing him to extend plays, but also make sure that we plaster guys in the back end when he does front.
Q: Can you talk about the linebackers and how much they’ve improved?
DL: I think they’ve gotten a lot better game to game. You know, there’s been a lot of improvements in general just in our tackling and execution. I think they’ve been really good communicators, as a whole. You know, they’re really the signal callers on your defense. Certainly some more levels. For growth for them but I won’t get into specifics on things that they can do better they know exactly what I expect from them.
Q: Can you give an overall evaluation for the first three games?
Q: I think our coaching staff has done a phenomenal job just in general in adjustments and understanding what we want to accomplish but even better, and having a critical eye on themselves and where they can improve the next week. I think that’s one of the best things that we do is how we approach a Sunday and not looking at just the result or the scoreboard but looking about where we can improve moving forward so well and everybody on the offensive staff and tossing around the defensive staff and in special teams with Joe I mean I think all units are really done a good job of that.
Patrick Herbert's play
Q: Can you talk about Patrick Herbert’s play and his emergence?
DL: I think what he’s proven is he’s got that we can trust on the field to execute at a high level to do his job. He’s always very assignment sound. He’s done some great things. He’s gotten the ball in his hands or when he’s, you know, challenging him for an opportunity to block. I mean, really that entire tight end unit and I’m really proud of them. I know there was a moment in the game on Saturday where I wanted to Terrence (Ferguson) and I gave him you know, a hard time about what catch or something he goes ‘coach, I don’t care about any catches, I just want to control the C-gap’ and when you start hitting your players to talk about things like that start saying the right things about what they want to accomplish for their team. It doesn’t necessarily matter who gets the glory or who gets the praise. You know, I think that unit is a great example of you know, guys taking care of their job and doing what they have to do for the team.
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Question: Because of the bulletin board material it offered, do you have any regrets about your comments on Colorado from media day?
Lanning: “No, I don’t regret anything that I’ve said for this program. At the end of the day, obviously, I wasn’t talking about Deion’s team. I was talking about the past and the future for our team. But if that serves as material for them great. I don’t think it’s going to have any bearing on the game or the success of the game.”
(Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Question: Pro Duck Brenden Schooler had an impressive field goal block on Sunday night. Did you see that, and do you plan on implementing that play into your playbook?
Lanning: “That was the one with the short motion on the right? Yea, I saw that on Twitter. Maybe, yea. We’ll see. I hope they don’t go on two or change the cadence, that might make it a little bit harder. But it feels like they had a good beat on what that was gonna look like. We always love to see our Ducks have success.”