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Dan Lanning's Playcalling Ripped After No. 9 Oregon Upset by No. 21 Oregon State

Adam WellsNovember 27, 2022

Oregon head coach Dan Lanning, left, looks up at the scoreboard during review during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Washington, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in Eugene, Ore. (AP Photo/Andy Nelson)
AP Photo/Andy Nelson

An epic second-half collapse resulted in Oregon losing to Oregon State 38-34 and severely damaging its opportunity to play in the Pac-12 Championship Game.

The Ducks were on cruise control with a 31-10 lead after Camden Lewis' 42-yard field goal with 4:46 remaining in the third quarter.

Oregon State proceeded to score touchdowns on its next four offensive possessions to take the lead. The comeback was aided by sloppy play from the Ducks, highlighted by punter Alex Bales mishandling the ball on 4th-and-5 from deep in his own territory.

Pac-12 Conference @pac12

MAYHEM IN CORVALLIS 😳<br><br>πŸ“Ί ABC<br>πŸ“± <a href="https://t.co/3QtYYw4YrX">https://t.co/3QtYYw4YrX</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Pac12FB?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Pac12FB</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/BeaverFootball?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BeaverFootball</a> <a href="https://t.co/VAeh7xv2Qb">pic.twitter.com/VAeh7xv2Qb</a>

The Beavers scored on their second play after the turnover to cut the deficit to 34-31. Head coach Jonathan Smith's defense came up big on the next drive when Bo Nix was stopped on 4th-and-1 from his own 29.

Pac-12 Conference @pac12

What a tackle on 4th down! 😱<br><br>πŸ“Ί ABC<br>πŸ“± <a href="https://t.co/3QtYYw4YrX">https://t.co/3QtYYw4YrX</a><a href="https://twitter.com/BeaverFootball?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BeaverFootball</a> x <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Pac12FB?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Pac12FB</a> <a href="https://t.co/ACcjNgol9l">pic.twitter.com/ACcjNgol9l</a>

Four plays after the turnover on downs, Isaiah Newell's six-yard touchdown run gave Oregon State its first lead since 10-7 in the second quarter.

Pac-12 Conference @pac12

Beavers take the lead!! 🦫 <br><br>πŸ“Ί ABC<br>πŸ“± <a href="https://t.co/3QtYYw4YrX">https://t.co/3QtYYw4YrX</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Pac12FB?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Pac12FB</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/BeaverFootball?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BeaverFootball</a> <a href="https://t.co/gNSpQEoqoP">pic.twitter.com/gNSpQEoqoP</a>

One theme that developed throughout Oregon's collapse was questionable play-calling by the coaching staff.

Head coach Dan Lanning opted to go for it on 4th-and-3 from Oregon State's 15 in the first half. Nix completed a pass to Troy Franklin, but it lost a yard and resulted in a turnover on downs.

Oregon had a chance to take the lead with 4:51 left in the fourth quarter after the offense had a 1st-and-goal from the 5. Lanning called three straight runs up the middle that were stopped and used his second timeout with 3:02 remaining to set up a fourth-down call.

Nix's pass into the end zone fell incomplete, giving Oregon State possession. Deshaun Fenwick's two-yard run on 3rd-and-1 gave the Beavers a fresh set of downs and let them run out the clock.

Needless to say, Lanning's decision-making left throughout the game left a sour taste in the mouth of analysts and Ducks fans:

Jay Henry ⭕️ πŸ‡ β„’  @jayhenry79

This loss is on Dan Lanning. He cost us the playoff against Washington. He cost us the PAC-12 Championship and the Rose Bowl tonight. As a first year head coach you don’t take those kind of risks. Hard to forgive <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/OREvsOSU?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#OREvsOSU</a>

Adam Bjaranson @AdamKOIN6

Safe to say, Dan Lanning underestimated his opponent in 2nd half. And <a href="https://twitter.com/BeaverFootball?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BeaverFootball</a> made him pay big time! Corvallis is gonna be πŸ”₯ tonight πŸ’―πŸ¦«

Jon Wilner @wilnerhotline

Not only does Dan Lanning's fourth-down decision loom large, so does passing on the chip FG early

Mike Martin @HowlinHusky

Dan Lanning looks like a first-year coach

Garret Mueller @mue11er

WAIT DAN LANNING DID THE β€œGO FOR IT ON 4TH DOWN DEEP IN MY OWN TERRITORY” THING AGAIN AND IT ONCE AGAIN DIRECTLY LED TO THE GO-AHEAD SCORE?!?!? <a href="https://t.co/qOmUFWFylh">pic.twitter.com/qOmUFWFylh</a>

Stewart Mandel @slmandel

I need to see Dan Lanning's 4th down chart, because this is getting absurd.

Justis Mosqueda @JuMosq

Dan Lanning lost the three games that mattered this year. Back on the hot seat

Brad Weclowski @bweclowski

I really like Dan Lanning, and refuse to be a prisoner of the moment with some absurd hot takes, but my god his game management has gotten worse as the season progresses. Should be expected as a young, first time head coach but still inexcusable. Has to be better. Way better.

Skyler Waterman @Skyler_Waterman

Oregon was 0/5 on 4th down today against the Beavers. Dan Lanning has to learn when to kick the field goal, when to punt, and when to go for it on 4th down. When you’re losing by 3, take the field goal. When you’re on your own 29, punt.

Josh Furlong @JFurKSL

Dan Lanning what are you doing? Working for Utah and Oregon State, but still.

Lanning's first season as a head coach has been a success with a 9-3 record. The problem has been the missed opportunities for the Ducks in each of their past two losses.

Oregon opened the season with a 49-3 loss at the hands of Georgia, but its two conference losses have come by a combined seven points.

The 37-34 loss to Washington two weeks ago saw the Ducks give up 10 unanswered points in the final 3:54 of regulation. Lanning opted to go for it on 4th-and-1 from his own 34 in a tie game, but the Huskies stopped Noah Whittington to set up their game-winning field goal.

While the Ducks could still make the Pac-12 championship game, they will need Washington State to beat Washington on Saturday night. If the Huskies emerge as victors, though, the Oregon won't play for the Pac-12 championship for the first time since 2018.