Oregon Fans Should Brace for Lanning’s Mudslinging Strategy

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck Editorials

All the changes to college football with the portal, NIL, conference realignment and media rights have created discussions we never dreamed of having as Oregon fans even five years ago. The change has been so rapid as to easily surpass our patience with much of it, and yet when you have movement one direction–there are equal repercussions in other directions, some of which can be unforeseen. I had to take some time from my NFL picks, as fun as it was, leading up to this weekend’s Super Bowl to ponder another paradigm change about to happen for fans of Our Beloved Ducks.

I believe Oregon fans are about to experience some of that “response” to the seismic changes in CFB, of which will require more patience and tolerance with the evolving state of the game we love. Is Coach Dan Lanning going to be throwing media-mud at the opposing coaches and teams of the conference? No, but the shock upcoming is not what any of us have witnessed at Oregon before, thus media-mud might end up being preferable.

Recruiting is Selling, and Salesmen “Throw-Mud-Against-the-Wall”

Anyone in sales, or even business knows that much of it is simply percentages. See “x” amount of people and thus make a percentage of sales; you don’t know who in advance will do business with you, but you play the odds by throwing-lots-of-mud-on-the-wall to see what sticks. It is a lesson I would pass on to young UO Journalism school students, because life often operates in percentages. Why did that writer quit after only three months? Because a percentage of them always do, Charles.

The amount of work it takes to recruit globally in 2023 is exhausting.

This concept applies to recruiting in football, because you don’t know who is going to work out in advance. You only know you need four deep at each position to allow for the best to prevail, and to build the depth with future starters. We have our hearts set on certain players, but other factors come into play–hence we are surprised often by who is starting. But bring in tons of players and find out who can play is the new strategy with recruiting. Whoever are not the best players can transfer, and the Ducks will just go get more.

The way both coaches and players move among teams has created a callousness among them, and towards the process. Fans have yet to get caught up emotionally with this new reality, especially with what is about to occur.

NEVER This Many Defensive Linemen…

Look at how Oregon has 12 defensive linemen for three positions of which is normal, but has 12 Edge Rushers for one position? Sometimes two may be on the field, but that kind of depth is not only not needed and over-kill, it is a classic throw-mud-against-the-wall-and-see-who-is-the-best-pass-rusher.

Defensive Linemen
Popo Aumavae (Rs.)
Brandon Dorlus
Casey Rogers (Rs.)
Taki Taimani (Rs.)
Keyon Ware-Hudson (Rs.)
Maceal Afaese (Rs.)
Ben Roberts
Johnny Bowens
My’Keil Gardner
Terrance Green
Sir Mells (Rs.)
Tevita Pome’e

Popo Aumavae closes in on a game-winning sack.

Edge Rushers
Mase Funa
Jordan Burch
Treven Ma’ae (Rs.)
Jake Shipley
Anthony Jones (Rs.)
Jaeden Moore
Ashton Porter
Blake Purchase
Teitum Tuioti
Matayo Uiagalelei
Emar’rion Winston (Rs.)
A’mauri Washington

The number of edge rushers is insane, and this is where some transfers will occur to get Oregon to the 85 scholarship limit. I believe the Ducks will have freshmen transfer out for the first time ever of which will rock the fans like never before. Yet after Spring Football, it may become apparent to a few players the significant number of edge rushers who reside higher on the depth chart. Ditto for after next football season, as this fallout was planned.

Coaches Lanning and Tosh Lupoi must have a great pass rush, and the way to solve it is to bring tons of players in and see who is the best.

The Problem? Oregon Needs a FREAK for the Mint Defense

Oregon’s 4-2-5 Mint defense is patterned after what Georgia has won two National Championships with, but Lanning/Lupoi do not have the freak that is needed at the Jack linebacker, of which was called the Joker by DC Tim DeRuyter, and Stud by DC Andy Avalos. Why do I call this player a freak? Because he has to be able to set the edge in run defense, be an elite pass rusher, and be able to cover receivers leaking into his zone.

Very few athletes can do that…

The dilemma Oregon had last year is how Mase Funa was superb at setting the edge, so-so at pass rushing, and a liability in pass coverage. DJ Johnson could pass rush well, was so-so at setting the edge, and was also a liability in zone coverages. Bradyn Swinson was OK at pass coverage, and decent at pass rushing, but he could not set the edge in run defense.

Oregon did not have the freak needed at the Jack linebacker, so now we see why so many were brought in?

The only way to stop a 5-Star like Kayvon Thibodeaux is to tackle him?

A Kayvon Thibodeaux is rare, and either you recruit a 5-Star who fits that profile or you develop one that you believe has upside to become this unique player in the Mint defense. This weakness of the Ducks in 2022 really prevented so much of what Coaches Lanning and Lupoi wanted to accomplish, and thus was clearly a priority in recruiting. The success in numbers at recruiting the edge rusher is one that has never been seen at Oregon before.

Are you ready to watch the mud fall off the wall? Discuss with me in the forum-with-decorum because…

“Oh, how we love to ponder about Our Beloved Ducks!”

Charles Fischer   (Mr. FishDuck)
Eugene, Oregon
Top Screenshot from Fox Sports Video

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