By STEVEN VAUGHAN, 750 THE GAME
Oregon has played some huge games over the years. Last season they had all eyes on them as they got whipped by Georgia in Week 1. The Ducks are used to playing in the spotlight and having to deal with so-called distractions.
But this week the Ducks take on Colorado and Coach Prime. There has never been a potential distraction like this. Last week the Colorado vs. Colorado State game set records by having over 9 million people tune in to the game. Celebrities’ like The Rock, Kevin Hart, Lil Wayne, Chauncey Billups and more were in Boulder to watch the rivalry game. There are lots of reasons for the Ducks to be distracted.
Oregon head coach Dan Lanning joined the Bald Faced Truth with John Canzano on Thursday. The head coach knows that all eyes will be on the Ducks in Eugene when the game kicks off, but Lanning wants to make sure the players are not distracted by the Colorado circus.
“It’s only a distraction if you let it be a distraction,” Lanning said on 750 The Game. “I think our guys are really narrow focused right now with what they have to accomplish. That’s part of this job and that’s part of being a player at this level is learning how to manage outside expectations and the reality that they don’t really matter to much.”
This will be the conference opener for both teams after both schools had a tough non conference schedule. The Ducks non-con stretch included a remarkable 38-30 win on the road at Texas Tech and Lanning says he learned a lot about his team in that game.
“I learned we don’t have to play our best game to win. But I don’t think that will always be the case. We have to be able to perform better at times. We learned a lot and we’ve been able to adapt from that game and carry that over to some success for us in the future and some starting last week against Hawaii.”
Lanning was asked how Autzen Stadium is going to be on Saturday. Will the fans be ready for Deion Sanders and the Buffaloes? Lanning kept it short and to the point.
“The fans are about to be real at Autzen,” he said. “I don’t even have to hype them up. They’re gonna come ready.”
The hype is real for this game. Even though Oregon is a 21-point favorite over Colorado, this is a must-watch game. Coach Lanning knows that there are plenty of reasons for him and his team to be distracted. Ducks fans and players sure hope the Ducks don’t fall into the Colorado trap and end up losing the game.
Listen to the full interview with Oregon head coach Dan Lanning by clicking the podcast below. Catch the Bald Faced Truth with John Canzano weekdays 3-6 pm in Portland exclusively on 750 The Game.