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What Oregon coach Dan Lanning thinks about Kyle Whittingham, the Utes program and QB Cam Rising

Among other things, the Ducks coach says Rising is ‘a linebacker playing quarterback’

SHARE What Oregon coach Dan Lanning thinks about Kyle Whittingham, the Utes program and QB Cam Rising
Oregon coach Dan Lanning and quarterback Bo Nix celebrate a TD against Washington during game, Nov. 12, 2022, in Eugene.

Oregon coach Dan Lanning and quarterback Bo Nix celebrate a touchdown against Washington during game Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in Eugene, Ore. The Ducks and Utes will tangle Saturday night.

Andy Nelson, Associated Press

First-year Oregon coach Dan Lanning has nothing but praise for Utah coach Kyle Whittingham, his program and quarterback Cam Rising.

The Ducks and the Utes square off Saturday at Autzen Stadium.

When asked about Whittingham, Lanning expressed this week how much he respects the longtime Utah coach.

“I’ve followed him from a distance for a long time as a coach that just has admiration for the way he handles his business,” he said. “When I was at Georgia as the defensive coordinator, we actually crossed over with their staff and met with them. We always look for other teams that did some things that we thought were good. They do a lot of stuff that’s innovative and different. I have a lot of respect for what they do. I respect Kyle and the job he’s done there.”

Lanning likes Rising’s style of play, too.

“Their quarterback, I can’t say enough good things about. He’s a relentless competitor. He makes it tick for them. He can get them in great run checks,” he said. “He understands what defensive look he’s looking at and he’s able to take advantage of it. He’s a smooth operator and he plays with great toughness. He’s like a linebacker playing quarterback.”

Lanning, the former defensive coordinator at Georgia, calls Utah’s defense “very unique.”

“Defensively, they’re one of the more aggressive teams in our conference. They’ll six-man pressure, five-man pressure over 28% of the time, which is a really high percentage,” Lanning said. “They’ll challenge you, they’ll blitz zero on either side of the 50. They play with relentless effort. They pursue. They’re obviously smart and well-coached. You see the technique show up consistently.”

What stands out to Lanning about Utah’s offense? 

“At times they can really pound the ball. They’ll hop into some unique personnel groups — they’ll get into 14-13-12-personnel and run it down your throat and then when you get too aggressive, they’ll hit you over the top,” he said. “They’ve got a really good team and they do a lot of things really well. They’re one of the best-coached teams in our conference. Coach (Whittingham) has done a really good job for a long time.”


Utes on the air

No. 13 Utah (8-2, 6-1)

at No. 6 Oregon (8-2, 6-1)

Saturday, 8:30 p.m. MST

Autzen Stadium

TV: ESPN

Radio: ESPN 700