On Monday, head coach Dan Lanning said Oregon’s opponent this week was Oregon.

The Ducks will play Eastern Washington on Saturday — the first home game of the Lanning era in Eugene — but there’s work to be done before the game arrives. Namely, Lanning wants to see the team attack a practice week in such a way that the game on any given Saturday becomes a reprieve.

“I think it’s really clear that practice wasn’t harder than the game was for us,” Lanning said Monday. “The game was harder for us than in practice. So we’re trying to figure out how we can create those moments where practices are harder than the game, and we hadn’t done that yet.”

Fourth-year running back Sean Dollars was part of the 2019 team that lost its first game of the year but rebounded to earn a spot in the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day. Coincidentally, that team also opened its season with a neutral site contest against an SEC opponent. Not to the caliber of Georgia, but Dollars and some of his teammates who were also part of that team can draw from the experiences in the aftermath of a huge ramp-up to the season and then an emotional crash.

It takes leadership, Dollars said. He’s been one of the guys taking that role on.

How does he see Oregon turning up the intensity in practice?

“Up the tempo,” he said without hesitation. “Practice has to always be harder than the game. When practice is harder than the game, you go out there in the game and you’re comfortable. When you up the tempo in practice, (when you) hit harder than you’re supposed to, thud up like we need to, we’ll have good results on Saturday.”

Does Dollars think the team is working toward that?

“I feel like all the guys are on track with flipping the page and making sure we move on, understanding our pillars of connection, toughness, growth, and sacrifice,” he said. “We’re gonna play for one another. We have a long season ahead of us so I think this is very crucial for us getting wins later on.”

When players start echoing coaches, you know they’re on the right track. Dollars seems to be one of the guys working to hold the team accountable in practice. After a 49-3 loss, accountability is key.

“We’re Oregon,” Dollars said. “We’re meant to play fast.”

The Ducks kick off against Eastern Washington on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. PT. We’ll find out then how this week of work looked.