Dan Lanning vows to fix 'extremely alarming' run of penalties for Oregon
Oregon is one of the most penalized teams in the country through five weeks.
Of course, the number is going to be big when you commit double-digit infractions in a single game, as the Ducks did Saturday night against Stanford. Oregon was flagged 14 times in its 45-27 win over the Cardinal. That was the most in a game for the Ducks since committing 14 in a two-point loss to Arizona State in September of 2017
After the game, coach Dan Lanning was blunt in his assessment.
“Extremely alarming and extremely concerning and we’re going to work on it,” he said. “It’s certainly a negative way to end, right? But it’s something we have to get better at and we’re not going to sit here and ignore it. It’s something we’ve got a lot to improve on.”
It began right away. An ineligible man downfield call wiped out a third-and-4 touchdown to Kris Hutson on the opening drive. The Ducks were flagged for false starts twice more on the same possession, forced to settle for a field goal on a drive that reached as far as the Stanford 12-yard-line.
Holding on the next possession negated a third-and-3 conversion. Oregon was forced to punt. Another holding call kept the fourth possession from getting started. The offense was flagged nine times. Five of them were procedural issues. Two more for holding. Wideout Seven McGee was booted from the game for fighting in the closing moments of the first half.
McGee lost control of the football on a second-and-10 play, Stanford’s Patrick Fields recovered it after McGee’s forward progress was stopped and the whistle blew. Quarterback Bo Nix took the legs out from under Fields and lost his helmet in the process. As he lay on the sideline, another Stanford player stood over him before several of his teammates stepped in.
Oregon’s Seven McGee was ejected over whatever this was pic.twitter.com/34vmUtMmAo
— Pac-12 Apostles Podcast (@Pac12Apostles) October 2, 2022
The two teams had to be separated and McGee was tossed. He tweeted an apology after the game. Nix said it was nice to see his team have his back, but urged that they need to be smarter in how they go about defending him.
“It’s an honor to know my team has my back like that and it’s really special to see that,” Nix said. “At the same time we can tone it back a little bit and be a bit smarter. It happened kind of quickly. It goes to maturity. We have to be a little bit smarter and mature, knowing what we do and how we retaliate can get us 15 yards and that’s what happened. Thankfully we got it under control and it wasn’t bigger than what it was.”
As the game went to halftime, Lanning was clearly bothered by the discipline in the first half. In his halftime interview, he called the penalties an “embarrassment” and said the only team that would beat the Ducks was the Ducks.
The game marked three consecutive weeks with at least eight penalty flags thrown on the Ducks. Going forward, Lanning said they’ll look at changing how they handle those types of errors in practice.
“We keep track of them all through practice and have a standard operation, but I think we need to improve that and figure out a different way that we can do it,” he said.
So far this season, Oregon has done well to take mistakes or weaknesses that crop up in games and weed them out of play. Lanning vowed the same would happen with the penalties.
“We’ve got to eliminate shooting ourselves in the foot,” he said. “It showed up in the past and it showed up again this game. We’ve got to do a better job of coaching that. The penalties can’t happen, it has to be something that we improve on. We’re going to take it serious and we’re going to do a good job of it, I can promise that. It’s something that we’re looking to grow from.”