After Another Loss To Washington, It’s OK To Nitpick Dan Lanning As A Head Coach


The Oregon Ducks were big favorites over Washington on Friday night. Then they played the game. And it was the Huskies who came out and dominated the game early in the first half that put the Ducks in a big hole that proved to be to tough to win.

In the first matchup between the rivals the Ducks went 0 for 3 on 4th down conversions. There were some arguments that understood why Lanning was going for it on 4th down. In the Pac-12 Championship, John Canzano said that it’s fair to nitpick Lanning’s decisions as this wasn’t the first time Lanning has made controversial decisions on the field.

“I think it’s fair to nitpick Dan Lanning a little bit,” said Canzano on 750 The Game. “That’s what the money’s for. He’s making the money. You can nitpick him to a certain extent because we can all see what was wrong. The first game at Washington. He should have taken the points. He should have kicked a couple of field goals it would have been a different outcome.”

Canzano says that while the loss was disappointing for the Ducks, he sees it as a stepping stone for what’s to be expected in the upcoming seasons.

“I’m a believer that as a program you’ve got to sniff around success before you finally break through with it,” Canzano said. “I’ve seen it time and again. Programs or NFL teams that will get to the NFC Championship game or the AFC Championship game and they’re just not quite ready yet and Oregon had that feel to me on Friday.”

It wasn’t just Lanning that had a rough Friday night. Heisman Trophy finalist Bo Nix also had his worst game of the season while another Heisman finalist, Michael Penix Jr., was excellent once again. Canzano was shocked that Nix played so poorly in the Pac-12 Championship game.

“Michael Penix Jr. was better under the big lights and the bright stage, and with all the marbles on the table, Michael Penix Jr was just better,” said Canzano. “Bo Nix looked a little shell shocked. He was wide eyed a little bit in the early part of the game. He did some things that he normally doesn’t do. He threw an interception that was a foolish throw. I have not seen Bo Nix do that all season.”

Up next for the Ducks is a matchup in the Fiesta Bowl against 13-0 Liberty while the Washington Huskies are in the CFP taking on Texas in a rematch from last season’s Alamo Bowl.

Listen to the full segment from the Bald Faced Truth at the very start of this podcast. Catch the Bald Faced Truth with John Canzano weekdays 3-6 p.m. in Portland exclusively on 750 The Game.