Georgia Football 2022

Four Keys to Oregon Football Beating Georgia

Alex Heining Editorials

Our Oregon football program has been through a lot in the last ten seasons. With highs and lows underneath each new coaching staff, Dan Lanning has arrived. After a promising foundation has been set with coach Mario Cristobal, will Lanning be the one to take us to the championship?

In 2022, it’s not likely. However, this will be a huge season for the Ducks, and our opener in Athens will tell us a lot about what kind of offseason the team has had. Despite all the changes, there are a few big things the Ducks can do in this game to give themselves a big chance to win. I believe if they accomplish all of these together, they’ll be in a position to upset the Bulldogs at home.

1. Pound the Football

Several things went well last season in Oregon’s defeat of Ohio State. One of the game changers of that victory was a committed, efficient running game. On top of the offense keeping control, they were able to run down the clock against a highly talented, young Buckeyes team. Keeping control of the game clock and possessing the football will be Our Beloved Ducks’ biggest key to winning.

JJ Greenfield Oregon Football Spring Game 2022 Autzen - Eugene, OR

Greenfield and a handful of Ducks players were able to make huge turnovers in the spring game. Let’s hope this translates to in-season success.

2. Win the Turnover Battle

Turnovers have been a welcome surprise from the Oregon defense over the last few seasons. Jevon Holland, Verone McKinley III, and company have been able to force significant game-changing plays throughout their time at Oregon. Our recruits will have to step up their game to match Verone and Jevon’s presence. Additionally, a fresh front seven (missing Kayvon Thibodeauxwill have to find a way to force turnovers as well. Usually, I’d immediately look at our front four. In the opener, I believe our front seven’s success will depend entirely on the performance of Noah Sewell and Justin Flowe. With these two firing on all cylinders, expect the Bulldogs to be stunned early.

3. Kenny Dillingham and Bo Nix

This relationship MUST work from day one. I don’t mean throwing for 400+ yards and setting team records. I just need Nix to be able to play at a high enough level and mistake-free football enough to give the team a shot in Athens. To do this, Nix will have to have some kind of number one target to hit downfield.

That means in this new offense, someone’s going to need to step up as a deep threat. I see that being Troy Franklin and Dont’e Thornton. Their play against Oklahoma in the 2021 Alamo Bowl was a huge fresh air for me as an Oregon fan. Having a big body red zone threat and Kris Hutson as a consistent possession receiver for Nix to go to battle with? Sign me up.

Troy Frankling Alamo Bowl Catch 2021 Oregon Football Eugene, OR

Troy Franklin had a strong showing against a tough OU team in the Alamo Bowl.

4. Don’t Settle For Field Goals

Yes! It’s great to get points in the red zone. But if I’m Lanning, I’m going for it on fourth (at least, inside of the ten-yard line) every time. Field goals aren’t going to help our case against a national champion team. They can extinguish a lead too quickly. If you can’t get a touchdown, force them to drive 95 yards down the field.

As a side note, let’s have some fun this season, shall we? One huge takeaway I had from Lanning’s influence on the spring game was the fun factor. Football needs to be fun for Our Beloved Ducks. Let’s see them have some fun on September 3rd and shock the world in Athens.

Alex Heining
Los Angeles, California
Top Photo Via: Twitter

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