Everything Dan Lanning said after Oregon's Fiesta Bowl win over Liberty
Oregon won its 12th game of the season on Monday with a 45-6 victory over Liberty in the Fiesta Bowl. After the game, coach Dan Lanning and several Oregon players met with reporters to break things down.
Here’s everything Lanning said:
First, I just want to say to Fiesta Bowl, Vrbo. This has been an unbelievable experience. You talk about the things that are benefits of the bowl game, for us it’s connection. It’s the time that we get to spend with each other one last time. This guy [Bo Nix] on the stage with me, some of these other guys, their last opportunity to get to spend some time with us. And for us to have a great opportunity to spend time together and then go out there on the field and finish it the way we wanted to. We said this season, and really this game, was about unfinished business.
“We said we’re writing the last chapter to our book, and we had the pen. I thought our guys wrote a phenomenal chapter. Started off a little hairy, but they finished it off the way Oregon is supposed to play.
“So, really proud of these guys. And thankful, again, to the Fiesta Bowl and the job they did.”
On what a 12-win season means to the program
“I think it just speaks to the direction, the base that these guys have created for where we’re headed and what we’re about to do. They believed in what we wanted to accomplish. Really, this is all about our players. Our players had a buy‐in. They knew what the goal was and what to accomplish. We’re going to build off that in the future, and they really set the stage for that.”
On QB Bo Nix
“Hopefully everybody out here in the crowd realizes that this guy has the single-season record for passing touchdowns, passing yards, and most touchdowns in an Oregon bowl game right here at quarterback; not to mention set the NCAA passing record for completion percentage. So, he’s done a lot for this program. He’s played a lot of elite ball, and we’re really proud of him.”
On Oregon playing its final game in the Pac-12
“I think Oregon has cemented itself as a premier program in college football. I’ll say, more than anything, certainly grateful for some of the great games that exist in the Pac. But probably just as excited about what’s happening in the future for us, where we’re headed, the direction we’re headed. The clarity, what that brings.
“That’s really a credit to our administration, Rob Mullens and the people around us that have put us in that position.”
On LB Jeffrey Bassa
“Jeff [Bassa] won’t give himself enough credit, but just like Bo [Nix] makes this offense run, Jeff makes this defense tick. We give him an unbelievable amount of defense that he has to process through his mind, getting us in the right call. Obviously, that showed up today, and that’s why he was able to play elite.”
On the atmosphere in the Fiesta Bowl
“Yeah, certainly a unique experience, getting to be a part of a New Year’s Six. I think all of our players realize how special a moment like that, how special this game is. I remember being in college watching the Fiesta Bowl with Oklahoma-Boise State. Getting to experience some of these games and getting to be a part of it is really special, for these guys up on this stage, but also for our team.”
On what clicked after the first two drives
“We just had to settle in. They had some success getting hands up on some batted balls that probably would have been successful plays early. But once we settled in and made sure we weren’t beating ourselves — we talk about how bowl games come down to the team that tackles the best, the team that doesn’t penalize themselves. I think we walked out today with two penalties. That’s a big credit to our guys operating really well. But as long as we operate within sequence, it’s hard to stop the Ducks.”
On whether the blowout changed his analysis of Liberty
“Not at all. They were an undefeated team. They had an elite season. Coach [Jamey] Chadwell has won everywhere he’s been. Yeah, we had the better game today. We played well today. They’re a good team. You can’t discredit a team going unscathed throughout the season, undefeated. It speaks to the quality of the team they are and the quality of coaches they had. They had an elite season. Hopefully this doesn’t overshadow the season they had. I know how I wanted to come out at the end of this thing, and fortunately our players came out and performed.”
On WR Tez Johnson
“Talk about one of the easiest recruiting deals ever is when Bo [Nix] walks into my office and says, “Hey, I think we have this guy who can maybe play for us.” It was like, “Okay, what do you think? We’re going to have to recruit our tail off? What’s it going to take?” Bo says, “No, no, no, Oregon is his dream school.” And today, that guy that walked away with Oregon being his dream school set the single-season record for receptions for an Oregon receiver. Big accomplishment for Tez [Johnson] and nice recruiting job by Bo.”
On Oregon’s next step after a Fiesta Bowl win
“The great thing about football is every team has an individual identity in itself. What these guys built, they created a legacy and created a tradition about what we expect and our standard of play. But the reality is, it has nothing to do with next season. It’s going to be about the next group, going back to the fundamentals and starting from scratch. Starting from zero and figuring out exactly what we have. But they certainly put the building blocks down for what it means to be an Oregon football player and an Oregon football team.”
On holding Liberty to its lowest rushing output of the season
“I feel a little bit different because they had 168 rushing yards, so it still bothers me when we talk about our standard. But I will say this, that our players embrace what it’s going to take to win this game. They understood their strength, which is a big strength. They’re better at running the ball than anybody else in the nation, for a good reason. So, I’m appreciative that our players stepped up to the challenge.”