No. 8 Oregon laments 4th-down failures in loss to No. 7 UW Huskies

Oct 14, 2023, 7:23 PM

UW Huskies Oregon...

Elijah Jackson of the Washington Huskies celebrates after beating the Oregon Ducks 36-33 on Oct. 14, 2023. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

SEATTLE (AP) — Oregon coach Dan Lanning said he’ll have to reassess some of his decisions after the Ducks failed on three fourth-down attempts that became a deciding factor in their loss to the No. 7 UW Huskies on Saturday.

Late TD by Penix lifts No. 7 UW Huskies to wild 36-33 win over No. 8 Oregon

“This game’s 100% on me. I don’t think you guys have to look anywhere else but me,” Lanning said.

The eighth-ranked Ducks fell 36-33 to Washington and Lanning’s decisions about fourth down calls will be at the forefront of debate surrounding the loss.

Oregon went for it twice on fourth down inside the Washington 10 rather than attempt field goals. One came on the final play of the first half and the other came late in the third quarter.

The third decision Lanning made about fourth down came in the closing minutes. Instead of punting and making Washington go the length of the field without any timeouts, Oregon went for it on fourth-and-3 from the Huskies’ 47. Bo Nix’s pass was incomplete and two plays later, Washington scored the winning touchdown on an 18-yard pass from Michael Penix Jr. to Rome Odunze.

If Nix’s pass had been completed for a first down, Oregon likely could have run out the clock. Even without making the conversion, Oregon had another shot in the final seconds, but Camden Lewis’ 43-yard field goal try on the final play was wide right.

“You can’t prevent second guessing,” Nix said. “Wish we did something different. It’s part of coaching. It’s part of football. You can’t expect everything to go your way. I just think it’s part of the game.”

Lanning said the decision he may have liked back came at the end of the first half. Nix couldn’t connect with Traeshon Holden on third-and-goal from the 3 and instead of kicking, the Ducks called a roll-out pass for Nix on fourth down. The play was covered and Nix’s throw was batted away.

Oregon was 8 of 10 on fourth downs for the season entering Saturday.

“We felt that was an opportunity for us to get a touchdown and a touchdown changes the game. And obviously we’re probably not talking about if we get a touchdown,” Lanning said. “That being said, you know, the one before half is one where you really could go back and say, let’s take that field goal.”

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