Oregon Coach Dan Lanning Reflects on Controversial Comments Ahead of Matchup with Colorado

Oregon coach Dan Lanning recently addressed his controversial comments about the University of Colorado, but he insists that he does not regret what he said. Lanning made headlines this summer when he questioned Colorado’s success and impact on the Pac-12 conference. However, as the Ducks prepare to face the Buffaloes this Saturday, Lanning is focused on the game itself and not engaging in personal attacks.

During a news conference on Monday evening, Lanning stated, “I don’t regret anything I’ve said. At the end of the day, I wasn’t talking about Deion’s team, I was talking about the past and future for our team. But if that serves as material for them, great. I don’t think it’s going to have any bearing on the game or the success of the game.”

Lanning’s comments were in response to Colorado’s decision to leave the Pac-12 for the Big 12, which was announced in July. When asked about Colorado’s move during Oregon’s preseason media day, Lanning expressed indifference and questioned the Buffaloes’ accomplishments within the conference.

“Not a big reaction,” Lanning said. “I’m trying to remember what they won to affect this conference. I don’t remember. Do you remember them winning anything? I don’t remember them winning anything.”

It’s true that Colorado has had limited success since joining the Pac-12 in 2011. The Buffaloes have only had two winning seasons during that time. In 2016, under the leadership of Mike MacIntyre, Colorado achieved a 10-2 record and won the Pac-12 South. However, they fell short in the Pac-12 title game against Washington and lost in the Alamo Bowl to Oklahoma State. In 2020, Karl Dorrell led the team to a 4-2 record in a shortened season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but they suffered a defeat against Texas in the Alamo Bowl.

Colorado star player Travis Hunter responded to Lanning’s comments during his weekly online streaming show in August. Hunter acknowledged that the Buffaloes hadn’t achieved much but emphasized their determination to prove themselves. He said, “We just basically gotta make them eat their words really. We can’t pick at ’em. He’s not saying anything bad he’s just saying we didn’t win anything. So it’s like, yeah we know we didn’t win anything, but we comin’.”

Interestingly, former Colorado defensive back Nikko Reed transferred to Oregon after spending two seasons with the Buffaloes. Reed’s decision to leave Colorado and join the Ducks adds an extra layer of intrigue to Saturday’s game. However, Lanning downplayed any personal motivations for Reed, stating, “I think every game’s different. I’m sure Nikko wants to go out there and perform really well. He doesn’t have to make the moment any bigger. I think the reality is our team just wants to go out there and perform well, every time they touch the field. I can’t speak to somebody else’s feelings.”

Both Colorado and Oregon enter Saturday’s matchup with undefeated records of 3-0. Colorado has made a habit of using perceived slights from opponents as motivation in recent weeks. Coach Deion Sanders and several players called out Nebraska coach Matt Rhule for his comments about the transfer portal, even though they were not directed specifically at Colorado. Last week, Sanders enlisted the help of his mother to deliver a pregame speech before the Buffaloes’ rivalry game against Colorado State, following critical remarks from Rams coach Jay Norvell.

As the game approaches, both teams will be looking to prove themselves on the field rather than engaging in verbal sparring. Lanning’s comments may have added some fuel to the fire, but ultimately, it will be the performance of the players that determines the outcome.

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