Oregon coach Dan Lanning caught the end of the BYU-Baylor game last Saturday night, for obvious reasons.
Lanning’s No. 25-ranked Ducks play host to the No. 12 Cougars on Saturday at Autzen Stadium (1:30 pm MDT, Fox) and he was naturally trying to get a sneak peek at BYU before the showdown of ranked teams.
“Yeah, crazy game. I was hoping they would play eight or nine overtimes, wear them out. But obviously there were two very good football teams battling it out and it could have gone either way down the stretch,” Lanning said at his weekly press briefing Monday night in Eugene, Oregon.
“They are a good team. They’ve got great players across the board. We highlighted a couple of those guys today on our scouting report. They have NFL talent on their roster. They play really well. A lot of returning starters, a lot of continuity there as well.” — Oregon coach Dan Lanning on BYU
“I think good teams find a way to win and obviously (BYU) was able to pull it out. So congratulations to them. I was able to catch the end of that one.”
Saturday, Oregon pounded FCS Eastern Washington 70-14 at Autzen, and Lanning said he was happy with the crowd, but expects more this weekend. Perhaps he took note of the raucous, sellout crowd of 63,470 in Provo that had a role in BYU’s 26-20 win.
Baylor committed four false starts amid the noise and cacophony of LaVell Edwards Stadium; thousands of BYU fans stormed the field to celebrate the Cougars’ first win over a top-10 team since they defeated No. 1 Miami in 1990.
“Obviously, (we are) really excited to play a really good BYU team. They are really talented. About as excited to go play them as I am to see our fans in the seats,” Lanning said. “This is going to be a big game where they can make an impact.”
Autzen Stadium seats 54,000; attendance last Saturday was announced as 47,289.
“I know that they are going to be cranked up louder, more intense, this next week. I think this is the kind of game where the Autzen crowd can make a big, big impact in the game,” Lanning said. “But this team is a really talented team that we are about to play. The more I watch their film, the more respect I have for them and the way they play the game with a certain level of physicality and violence that is fun to see on film and I know it is going to be a fun game for our players .”
Lanning, who was defensive coordinator and outside linebackers coach at Georgia from 2019 to 2021, was told about the last time BYU visited Oregon, in 1990. That game came three weeks after BYU upset Miami. The Cougars took a No. 4 ranking into Autzen and were defeated 32-16.
“I haven’t heard a lot about that game, but I’m looking forward to going back and finding that film,” he said.
Here’s more of what Lanning had to say about BYU and Saturday’s Week 3 game:
• On what advantages BYU has with its returned missionary program and having players who are “24 and 25 years old”: (BYU said last year the average age of its players was 21 years, 4 months; the average age of players on this year’s roster is 21.78).
“I have never really thought about it from that angle. They certainly have some older guys on their team because of that. I don’t know that it will necessarily present an advantage to them outside of they might have some maturity because of that. We will see.”
• On what BYU QB Jaren Hall brings to the table:
“They have been one of the most explosive offenses as far as getting the ball down the field and distributing the ball down the field. They really stretch the field. Hall does a great job of distributing the ball. He throws a good ball. He also has the ability to run. So he presents challenges with his ability to scramble. I would say he is a quarterback that looks to throw it and keeps his eyes downfield.”
• On BYU’s size and physicality displayed against Baylor:
“They are a good team. They’ve got great players across the board. We highlighted a couple of those guys today on our scouting report. They have NFL talent on their roster. They are a good team. They play really well. A lot of returning starters, a lot of continuity there as well.”
• On what Oregon will look to do offensively against BYU after Baylor put up only 289 total yards:
“BYU has a really good defense. I think they present some really unique looks. They are not a cookie-cutter defense. They do a lot of different stuff and I think that showed up. Obviously I think coach (Jeff) Grimes had some really good plays. It was kind of a defensive battle until it got to the end of the game there and even then it was still coming down to field goals — tit for tat.
“They do a really good job. There are certainly some similarities (between) Baylor and us, what they do on defense. (BYU) did a good job of controlling the passing game and stopping the run.”
Cougars on the air
No. 12 BYU (2-0) at No. 25 Oregon (1-1)
Saturday, 1:30 pm MDT
Radio: KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM/1160 AM