Oregon head coach Dan Lanning met with reporters Monday night for his weekly press conference ahead of the Ducks’ Week 10 trip to Boulder to battle the Colorado Buffaloes. Lanning offered a brief update on a few injured Ducks, talking about what he’s seen from Colorado on tape, and much more.

Here’s everything Lanning said, with video of the press conference at the bottom.

Opening statement

“Obviously, excited to go play another Pac-12 opponent. Second (straight) road game, opportunity to clean up (some things). It should be fun for our guys to go on the road and go get an opportunity to perform. They had a good day of work today. Excited to build off of that tomorrow.”

On WR Seven McGee

“He’s no longer with us. I wish him nothing but the best moving forward, but I won’t speak on it any more than that.”

On the health of WR Chase Cota, DL Taki Taimani, and OL Steven Jones

“To be determined. All those guys are working to get back, I don’t know how long some of those will go. So we’ll wait and see. I don’t want to guess too early.”

On whether the third-down defense is starting to find its footing

“I think you saw moments of it. I think there’s still certainly room for improvement for us moving forward but we definitely did some good things.”

On fixing the slower starts on the road

“We have to try and figure out ways to recreate that more for us in practice. I know that’s something I always say but we’re really trying to relate that to more periods in practice. We’ve been really good in the middle of games, and something we have to improve on is the way we start and the way we finish games. That’s something we’re going to try to focus on and detail those periods at practice for us and let those carry over.”

On how the Ducks have handled themselves amidst a lengthy win streak

“I think they’re doing a good job of just focusing on the task at hand and continually looking for opportunities to get better. That’s kind of been our mantra from Day 1 and our guys have done a good job of accepting that.”

On whether they appealed LB Jeffrey Bassa’s targeting suspension


On whether that appeal was successful


On what triggered the call

“I think this one was strictly based on how he was trying to tackle and not using proper technique.”

On why he was more reserved about the win on Saturday, and if he was trying to send a message to the team with his tone in the postgame media session

“I’m not like a hidden message guy or anything, I just thought we could have played better. If I feel like we can play better, I don’t mind telling anybody that. No hidden message Just thought we had an opportunity to play better. At times we did that, but we didn’t play a complete one like I thought we could.”

On what he’d attribute fewer penalties in recent weeks to

“I’d like to say it’s because of the focus and attention we put on it. That’s probably not the only piece, but it’s certainly probably part of it. We had more attention to detail. That being said, I think we stalled out some drives and had some moments again where we had penalties that hurt us. We’re not there yet.”

On Oregon being the best ‘Middle Eight’ team in college football

“I talked to our team today and asked them, ‘Are the points in the middle of the game worth double?’ They said, ‘No.’ I said, ‘Okay, exactly.’ Just because we’re really good in the middle, that doesn’t matter if we can’t be better at the beginning and be better at the end. We certainly put a lot of focus on situations. We coach them a lot. I think our guys understand what we’re trying to do with time. I mean, I know it didn’t work out on Saturday but you can see we were trying to get the ball back there at the end of the half to turn that into an opportunity to potentially get points where a lot of teams would just kneel it out. We’re looking to be aggressive and look for a chance to potentially get a couple more points there. We’re always going to push that envelope, given the opportunity, when it makes sense and it’s safe for us to do so. We’ve been good in the ‘Middle Eight,’ we want to be better in the first quarter and better in the fourth.”

On how he’s seen Colorado’s play change since the coaching change

“I think they’ve at times been playing with some resiliency, some new life. I think that happens sometimes with change. I think Coach (Mike) Sanford has done a really great job of trying to rally the troops and obviously they came up with a big win there against Cal in a real battle. You see the tough, you see the fight. I just got done watching some special teams film and I think the field goal block unit goes hard every single rep. That’s one of the first things I like to watch as a coach is how hard do they go on special teams? They’re really well-coached on special teams, do a good job there. You definitely see some fight in these guys and I know the results haven’t always been what they wanted but this team hasn’t mailed it in by any means. They’re still working hard.”

On the play of wideouts who went in for WR Chase Cota in the Cal game, and who fills his role against Colorado if he’s unavailable

“We saw a few different guys. Dont’e Thornton had a bigger role there in the second half. Kris Hutson got to move positions a little bit. I thought that was really positive to see him be able to change positions within a game and have some success and not have a lot of mental errors and busts. He was able to go out there and do something he didn’t necessarily practice as much during the week and execute at a high level. We’ll continue to see more players — (Josh) Delgado and a few others — moving forward, depending on how long it looks like Chase will be out with us.”

On LBs Keith Brown and Jackson LaDuke having a role this week

“I think those guys have got an opportunity to make an impact on this game, for sure. I think we’ll see. Those guys that are able to help us, they’ll have a chance to come in and make an impact.”

On what he’s seen from Colorado’s QBs on film

“They’re obviously trying to establish an identity and what they want to do and accomplish. They want to set up the run game and use the run game to set up some of the shots downfield. They’re a team that takes a lot more shots down the field. I think they’re averaging six to seven shots down the field a game, which is a higher percentage than a lot of the teams that we played. When they hit on those, they can have a lot of success. Regardless of who the quarterback has been, that’s something they want to be part of the identity of what they do, whether it’s a seven-man, six-man protection, to really throw the ball down the field. I think you see more of that. And then they have a variety run game they use to set that up.”

On DL Keanu Williams against Cal

“I think he did some really good things. He’s continued to grow as a player and when his number was called, he was ready to go out there and play at a high level. He did a great job. I’m looking for him to continue to grow in his role.”

On Colorado’s defense

“They’re more pressure-oriented at times. You’ll see a good amount of zone pressure where they’ll bring more than you can actually block, but that also means they’re gonna be a little bit short at times in coverage as well. They’re aggressive. They’re really solid at corner outside. They’ll play more man than a lot of teams we’ll see on early downs. And they have some big bodies up front. There’s some real size and girth up there. It’ll be a fun team to attack.”

On the lack of red zone success

“It was a combination of things. Ultimately, more self-inflicted wounds than anything. Things that we can do better is decision-making. We made a wrong decision at one point, a play later that leads to an interception, dropped ball. Also had a penalty on an early drive that bumped us out of the red area. Just can’t really hurt ourselves as we get down there. We’ve had some hiccups earlier in the year and did a really good job of attacking those throughout the year. Later on, as we continue to play, we have to continue to improve in those areas.”

On special teams improvement

“We always felt like when we got here that we can change the game in special teams in certain areas with the way we played. And I feel like all that value and all that time that we’ve put into it, some of it is starting to pay off and we’re looking forward to it continuing to pay off moving forward.”

On CB Christian Gonzalez facing his former team

“I love Christian being part of our team. You don’t know when you bring a guy in that’s been somewhere else what they’re going to be like, and we’ve been really fortunate to be able to bring great players in that have been at other organizations. What makes Christian special is he has phenomenal character. I know he wants to go perform well, at a high level. To think that he doesn’t acknowledge where he’s going to play this week, I’m sure he’s aware, (has) a heightened awareness of that, but that doesn’t change the way he prepares, that doesn’t change the way he works during the week.”

On what he says to his team regarding the first set of College Football Playoff rankings

“Control what you can control. I’m not going to spend any time worrying about that.”

On a possible trap game

“You just go out there and try to play to the best of your ability. I think our team knows that we still have better football to play and that’s the approach. You always like going on the road to prove you can do it. It’s a lot easier to do it at home. To be able to go somewhere else and perform at a high level, it takes a lot of focus and attention to detail.”

On DB Steve Stephens

“I think he had some shining moments. I think he had some that he’d love to have back. Overall, Steve’s played really consistent for us throughout the year. I think there’s a couple guys who’ve done a good job there. BA (Bryan Addison) had his second interception there in the back end and has done a good job back there as well, Jamal (Hill)’s done a good job back there as well for us at times. I think every one of those guys have moments where they’ve been pleased and then some opportunities for growth.”

On how he’d define success this weekend


On what allows Andrew Boyle to handle both punts and kickoffs

“I think that’s something we’ll continue to assess. Obviously, we’ve shuffled around a lot at the punt position, trying to find some consistency there, and I think we’ll probably continue to do that. Andrew’s done a good job with a lot of things that we’ve put on his plate. I think he wishes he could have a couple of those punts back, and we’ll probably continue to evaluate that position until we find some clarity there.”