Dan Lanning met with reporters on Wednesday to preview Oregon’s pivotal matchup vs. USC on Saturday.

This game vs. the Trojans has quite a bit of meaning for both programs. For one thing, it’s the last game between Oregon and USC before both teams make the jump to the Big Ten next year. It’s also important for the Pac-12 standings — a USC win would mean the Trojans would jump the Ducks in the race for a Pac-12 title game berth.

It’s also pivotal because of Oregon’s recruiting interests in the state of California. The Ducks have always recruited California heavily, but that’s been especially true under Lanning. Oregon has 24 total commitments so far in the class of 2024, and 9 of them hail from the Golden State.

Lanning acknowledged the importance of this game from a recruiting perspective on Wednesday.

“We want to recruit the best players in the nation, and there’s a lot of great players in California,” Lanning said. “A lot of the best players in the nation are in California. It’ll always be a place that we want to tap into. Obviously this game certainly carries some pieces to that. But more importantly than that, it’s, ‘go out there and execute in the game and continue to recruit great players.'”

Oregon currently has the No. 6 recruiting class in the country and the No. 1 class in the Pac-12, according to 247Sports Composite rankings. Oregon’s class is headlined by 5-star defensive lineman Aydin Breland, who is the No. 1 overall player from the state of California in this cycle.

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. PT on Saturday night.