Ranking the Oregon Ducks’ best cinematic recaps from the 2023 season

There were a lot of great things that came out of the Oregon Ducks’ 2023 football season. Whether it was another year of double-digit wins, a Heisman campaign for quarterback Bo Nix, or a solidification of the Ducks as one of the premier teams in the world of college football, I think many fans would tell you after all is said and done that it was an incredibly successful season for Dan Lanning and his team.

In the end, I think one of the ways we will remember this season the most is for its introduction of the cinematic recap in Eugene.

For the first time ever, the Ducks deployed a video team to put together highlights in movie-like fashion after each win, giving fans a look at locker-room access, sideline conversations, and of course, touchdowns.

The recaps started after the Week 2 game vs. Texas Tech, and continued throughout the season, arguably getting better and better as time went on. We continually got more and more access, with the eventual introduction of coaches’ headset audio on the sideline and multiple looks at positional meetings throughout the week.

To help celebrate the year of the recap, I went through the 13 videos that were released by the team and ranked them from best to worst. Of course, the recaps that came in at the bottom of the rankings were not bad by any means, but they simply weren’t as spectacular as those at the top of the rankings.

Here is my definitive cinematic recap ranking from the 2023 season:

"I'm Not Leaving"

Does it officially count as a cinematic recap? No, I don’t think it technically fits the billing. However, it is a Scott Anderson production, and it gave Oregon fans an inside look into quite possibly the most important team meeting that was held in the Hatfield-Dowlin Complex during the 2024 offseason.

This gave us Dan Lanning officially turning down the Alabama Crimson Tide head coaching job, and showed us delivering the news to his players. I don’t know what more you could want.

Memorable Moments

  • “It Was a Good Day” drop from Ice Cube

  • Sound bites from Dan Lanning turning down past jobs

  • A return of the Cigar Video.

Top Quotes

  • “Everyone has goals and aspirations. You know how you get those? You be the best at where you’re at.”

  • “There are a lot of starters, but the world doesn’t have a lot of what? A lot of finishers. We’re finishers.”

  • “If you’re scared your coach is leaving, then come play for us. The Ducks aren’t going anywhere, and I’m not leaving.”

Game 8 at Utah Utes

Obviously, the No. 1 spot on this list is highly contested, and I wouldn’t be shocked if many said that the Week 4 game vs. Colorado was deserving. However, I think the recap after the Utah game was the best we saw all year. From Dan Lanning on ESPN’s College GameDay, to the introduction of coaches’ headset audio, it was a masterclass in editing. On top of that, we also got to see how incredibly prepared the team was, routinely seeing clips from game plan meetings playing out in the game, showing exactly what was going to happen. In the end, it was complete and utter dominance for the Ducks, and a cinematic recap that takes the crown for me.

Memorable Moments

  • Dan Lanning on College GameDay

  • Introduction of Game Broadcast with Joel Klatt and Gus Johnson

  • Introduction of Coaches’ Headset Audio

  • Breakdown of game plan showing up on game day

  • Multiple shots of sad Utah fans

  • Ben Roberts waving to Utah fans leaving in 3rd Quarter

Top Quotes

  • “Did you know that in 29 of the last 30 home games that have been played here at the University of Utah, the Utah Utes win? And today, they ain’t losing.” — ESPN’s Pat McAfee

  • “Shout out to Dan Lanning, I love you. But today, you go home a loser.” — ESPN’s Pat McAfee

  • “It’s almost as loud as Autzen Stadium right now.” — Dan Lanning on ESPN’s College GameDay

  • “People don’t look at you as tough. What do those 30 games have to do with this game? Not a *bleep* thing. It has absolutely nothing to do with this game.” — Dan Lanning

  • “I feel like nobody in the world recognizes who we are. You know what? I like that. Our job this weekend is to let everybody in the nation know what we already know.” — Dan Lanning

  • “It’s a 15-round, heavyweight fight, and we’re throwing punches non-stop. We’re bringing the fight today, that’s why we’re taking the ball if they give us the opportunity. I hope they give us the ball first.” — Dan Lanning

  • “This is a great environment folks, they do not lose here.” — FOX Sports’ Joel Klatt

  • “I have never been more proud to be a team’s coach than I am right now. That’s our first four-quarter game. That’s business, standing on it.” — Dan Lanning

Game 4 vs. Colorado Buffaloes

This recap has a very legitimate claim for the top spot, since it is probably the most well-known video in the college football world after going viral upon its release. The inside look at Dan Lanning’s locker room talk pregame, and the revelation that Colorado players were talking a MUCH bigger game than they should have been was complete gold. Colorado plays for clicks, and Oregon plays for wins, as Lanning says, but the Ducks certainly got their clicks with this video.

Memorable Moments

  • First Team Meeting Footage

  • Introduction of “Rooted in Substance”

  • Paratrooper footage delivering the game ball

  • Colorado players stomping on the midfield logo

  • Shedeur Sanders Sack Montage

  • Terrell Owens looking sad on the sideline

  • Traeshon Holden truckstick on Shilo Sanders

Top Quotes

  • “Make no mistake about it, this is a Cinderella story. Some people think that a Cinderella story always goes a certain way. This is not about the Cinderella story, it’s about ending one.” — Dan Lanning

  • “Today, we talk with our pads. When they talk, you don’t say *bleep*. You don’t say *bleep*. You talk with your helmet.” — Dan Lanning

  • “I’ll beat the *bleep* out of any one of y’all and y’all coach. We gonna run through y’all *bleep*.” — Shilo Sanders

Game 2 at Texas Tech Red Raiders

Do you remember where you were when you watched this video for the first time? It’s the first cinematic recap that the Ducks ever put out, so it’s special in that sense. It’s also one of the best that they ever put out, featuring an immaculate music drop from Merle Haggard. The newness of it all is special looking back, but I’m not sure that Duck fans understood the gravity of the moment when this was released.

Memorable Moments

  • Merle Haggard’s “Silver Wings”

  • The Tortilla Throw

  • Tez Johnson’s first Oregon touchdown

  • A Camden Lewis Highlight

  • The Silver Wings Drop on Jeffrey Bassa’s INT

Top Quotes

  • “60 minutes, or as long as it takes.” — Dan Lanning

  • “It’s not adversity when you plan for it.” — Dan Lanning

  • “Tortillas might be good and all, but they don’t work against these Oregon Ducks.” — Tez Johnson

  • “We’ve got an opportunity to be a hell of a team, and I can’t wait to get better.” — Dan Lanning

Game 12 vs. Oregon State Beavers

After the way that the 2022 season ended at the hands of the Oregon State Beavers, there was a lot of bad blood going into this Civil War, with a spot in the Pac-12 Championship on the line. It was great to see how much Lanning played into that throughout the week, with literal “bulletin board material” taped up across the HDC, as well as the 4th quarter from last year’s game playing on a loop throughout facilities. The Ducks certainly got the last laugh, and this video showed that.

Memorable Moments

  • HDC Film of Civil War 4th Quarter on a loop

  • OSU Billboards taped up throughout facilities

  • Brandon Dorlus setting “Trenches” billboard as screen saver

  • Thanksgiving Day at HDC

  • The “Enter Sandman” Drop

  • A Sendoff for Seniors and Spencer Webb

  • Bo Nix insane cross-body TD throw to Troy Franklin

  • “Ain’t nowhere to run, ain’t nowhere to hide” introduction

  • Matayo Uiagalelei sacks DJ Uiagalelei

Top Quotes

  • “This isn’t a 3-quarter game it’s a 4-quarter game. We played 3 quarters last year. It’s time to play four quarters.” — Dan Lanning

  • “They think they’re tougher than you, they think they’re more physical. They’ll tell you. In fact, they’ll broadcast it. This is in our neighborhood.” — Dan Lanning, showing billboards.

  • “Nobody has to do anything but their job. Just do your job. You already heard the closer song, let’s close this thing out.” — Dan Lanning

  • “53 rushing yards??? Trenches????” — Casey Rogers

  • “I think it’s time to change the billboards around town.” — Dan Lanning

Fiesta Bowl vs. Liberty Flames

In the last cinematic recap of the season, we got some really heartfelt looks at the final game for several members of this team, notably Bo Nix and Bucky Irving. While we got to watch them prepare for their final bowl game, it also gave us an inside look at the conversations that went into the curtain call for Nix, which was a nice touch. Had it not been such a blowout, the game highlights would have delivered a bit more, but this was an awesome way to end the year of recaps.

Memorable Moments

  • Lanning and team reacting to bowl opponent

  • Bo Nix and Bucky preparing for final bowl game

  • Look at Liberty’s “Duck Hunter” trailer

  • Steve Stephens IV Interception Plea

  • Conversations behind Bo’s Curtain Call

  • Players’ reaction to Bo’s last play

Top Quotes

  • “It’s dreams vs. reality. Here’s the reality: You play at Oregon, they dream of playing at Oregon. You heard them say it, it’s their dream school.” — Dan Lanning

  • “What’s it going to feel like playing next to Bo Nix one last time?” — Dan Lanning

  • “We’ve been writing a book all season, and we’re down to the last chapter. And guess what, we’ve got the pen.” — Dan Lanning

  • “We’ve got one more play, we’ll come out, y’all get in the huddle so I can tell you guys goodbye on my way out.” — Bo Nix

Game 10 vs. USC Trojans

This game was much more appealing before the start of the season than in actuality once it arrived, but the recap was still pretty elite, pitting Bo Nix up against Caleb Williams with a Heisman subplot. We got to see inside the war room, a coaches meeting space that is rarely shown to the public, followed by some dominance from the Ducks.

Memorable Moments

  • Top Gun “A little bit more” in team meeting

  • First look inside the “war room” with coaches

  • Heisman emphasis with Bo Nix and Caleb Williams

Top Quotes

  • “You are competing today not against USC but against the man in the mirror. How can you challenge yourself to focus a little bit more?” — Dan Lanning

  • “There ain’t nowhere to run to, ain’t nowhere to hide, because the *bleep* Ducks own the night.” — Dan Lanning

  • “What we will always do is find a way to get better. What we will always do is find a way to not be satisfied.” — Dan Lanning

Game 7 vs. Washington State Cougars

Coming off of the brutal loss to the Huskies a week earlier, this was a bit of a cathartic recap for Oregon, giving fans their first glimpse at the locker room up in Seattle. It also gave a great look at the throwback uniforms for the Ducks, and used the retro vibe very nicely.

Memorable Moments

  • Our first look back at the Washington loss

  • Throwback uniforms/retro warmups

  • The Patrick Herbert blindside block

  • Retro NFL Films theme song drop

Top Quotes

  • “I know how much you hurt right now, because you care.” — Dan Lanning

  • “It’s like we’re back in 1985. It’s like we went back in time with these uniforms, it just gives me goosebumps.” — Jerry Allen

  • “You control your destiny in this room. What decision are you going to make?” — Dan Lanning

Game 11 at Arizona State Sun Devils

This was understandably one of the lesser games of the year in terms of matchup, but the Ducks made up for that lack of buzz with their play, setting records all across the field. The recap gave us the introduction of the “FEBU” slogan — *Forget* Everyone But Us — and offered a deeper look into what Kenny Farr and the EQ staff do every road trip to get this show on the road. In the end, it was a very good showing of the behind the scenes guys, as well as some young depth players who got a chance to shine in the game.

Memorable Moments

  • Introduction of FEBU Shirt

  • Deeper look into equipment prep for a road trip

  • Past clips of losses in the desert

  • Jackson Powers-Johnson track speed

  • Troy Franklin’s record-breaking performance

  • Bo Nix 6 first-half TD passes

  • Ty Thompson dart to Case Kelly

Top Quotes

  • “Arizona State, some of you know this, where dreams go to die. What would you do to prevent that?” — Dan Lanning

  • “I’ve never been this dialed in before.” — Bo Nix

  • “What an awesome atmosphere, I felt like I was in Eugene South down here.” — Dan Lanning

Game 5 at Stanford Cardinal

The Stanford game was classified as a “bring your own juice” game for the Ducks, where a lack of atmosphere could be a factor, and the recap was certainly a “bring your own juice” recap. There weren’t a ton of highlights to go off of because it wasn’t a great game. However, we got some great editing, a very nice soundtrack, and a look at sad Andrew Luck. All fun in my books.

Memorable Moments

  • Introduction of “20 Mile March” slogan

  • Terrance Ferguson’s Incredible TD catch

  • Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Money Trees’ drop

  • Sad Andrew Luck

Top Quotes

  • “What’s our standard? 1A: Win the game, 1B: Play to our standard.” — Dan Lanning

Work Week

Obviously there wasn’t any game footage to go off of, but this “work week” recap was enjoyable, giving us a look at the extra work the Ducks were getting in during the bye, as well as Dan Lanning going on class checks, and a pretty impressive magician who came to the facilities.

Memorable Moments

  • Post-Practice Work

  • The Magician

  • Class Check

Top Quotes

  • “Everyone in the nation right now thinks we are going to bye week. We’re doing to work week.” — Dan Lanning

  • “It’s not about what you’re capable of, it’s about what you’re willing to do.” — Dan Lanning

Game 9 vs. California Golden Bears

Much like the Hawaii game, there wasn’t a ton of hype for this Cal game, so the cinematic recap gave things that were valuable off of the field, like Bo Nix’s preparation off the field and a new look at position meetings rather than just team meetings. In the end, we got a lot of really great clips of Tez Johnson and Bo Nix in what was a high-scoring game for the Ducks.

Memorable Moments

  • Deeper look at Bo Nix’s preparation

  • Offensive and Defensive team meetings

  • Coaches using Kayvon Thibodeaux film as teaching tape

  • The Bo Nix Houdini act

Top Quotes

  • “Why not just score? Tez Johnson, touchdown!” — Jerry Allen

  • “He’s hot today!” — Troy Franklin, on Tez Johnson

Game 3 vs. Hawaii Rainbow Warriors

There wasn’t a ton of content in this cinematic recap simply because there wasn’t a lot to go on from the game. While the video team was still basking in the success of the Silver Wings video from a week earlier, Oregon completely blew out Hawaii, a lesser opponent who didn’t offer much resistance. It’s okay, there had to be a video at the bottom of the rankings, and this one was it.

Memorable Moments

  • Maui Strong stickers on helmets

  • Dive into the Polynesian connection at Oregon

Story originally appeared on Ducks Wire