By STEVEN VAUGHAN, 750 THE GAME
It was Oregon media day and Colorado had just announced they were leaving the Pac 12 for the Big 12. Oregon football coach Dan Lanning was at the podium and was asked about it. Lanning gave a funny yet truthful response.
“Not a big reaction. I’m trying to remember what they won to affect this conference. I don’t remember.. You remember them winning anything? I don’t remember them winning anything.”
It caught the attention of the nation and the college football world, but Lanning wasn’t wrong. It also came at a time when Colorado wasn’t supposed to be very good.
Looking ahead to Saturday the Buffaloes are in Eugene playing the Ducks and are #19 in AP poll at 3-0 on the season. Lanning was asked at his weekly press conference if he regrets anything he said at Oregon media day and if he thinks Colorado will use it as motivation for Saturday.
“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. If that serves as material for them, great. I don’t think it’s going to have any bearing on the game.”
Lanning is over it. We will wait and see how Colorado uses that quote as motivation. But Lanning is more concerned about a Colorado defense that has forced 10 turnovers in the first three games of the season. The 10 turnovers are tied for third in the nation.
“They’re a havoc team. They find ways to make sure their players have good vision of the ball. They have some instinctive players that play with a level of aggressiveness that you can see. They do some challenging things that are going to create that.”
The Colorado defense is not the unit that has been getting all the attention this season. It’s been the offense that has attracted headlines. Quarterback Shedeur Sanders has been excellent this season helping Colorado average 41.3 points per game. Lanning knows Sanders has all the skills to lead an upset and the Ducks defense needs to limit his opportunities to make big plays down the field.
“He’s had several scramble opportunities but I would describe him as a guy who scrambles to throw not necessarily scramble to run, but when he has to run with his feet he can. He’s extended 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 we plaster guys in the back end when he does.”
This game has the potential to be a circus down at Autzen Stadium. Vegas doesn’t believe in Colorado as the Buffaloes are 21 point underdogs to the Ducks even though both teams are 3-0 and ranked inside the top 25. If Colorado can keep this game close and actually wins the game. Maybe then Dan Lanning will regret what he said on Oregon media day.