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Lanning defends pregame speech vs. Colorado

Dan Lanning Oregon Dan Lanning - Getty Images

Oregon head coach Dan Lanning hit back at critics of his now-viral pregame speech ahead of the Ducks' 42-6 thrashing of Colorado on Saturday.

In the viral clip, Lanning told his players that they were "rooted in substance" in a seeming shot towards the Buffaloes and head coach Deion Sanders.

"The Cinderella story is over, man," Lanning said. "They're fighting for clicks; we're fighting for wins. There's a difference, right? There's a difference, right? This game isn't going to be played in Hollywood, right? It's going to be played on grass, right? It's going to be played on the grass."

In a Monday night press availability, Lanning defended his remarks and took special exception to Fox Sports' personality Skip Bayless's suggestion that there is "deep-rooted, venomous vengeance" against Sanders from other coaches.

“I don’t know Skip at all, I’ve never had a conversation with him," Lanning said. "I’ve watched him enough to know how often he gets it wrong, so that sounds about right, but ultimately, we're trying to win the game, right? And you saw a 15-second clip from a window view outside the house and what happens in the locker room, right? I know our locker room. I'm in the house 100 per cent of the time. I know how our players felt going into that game and I know what it takes to motivate our players. That's my job, to motivate our players, right? He has a job. I have a job, too, to get out there and perform on the field. Inside that house, they felt a certain way. They felt a certain way about a group stomping on the 'O' [logo at midfield]. They felt a certain way about guys talking to them in the pregame. I'm proud of those guys because what they decided to do was talk with their pads, right? They didn't wanna do anything extra afterwards - they wanted to talk with their pads and they did that on Saturday."

Lanning added that the extra attention paid to the team was because of Coach Prime, who has been a net positive for the game.

"[I'm] grateful and can clearly acknowledge that the attention we got [last] Saturday was in large part due to Deion and what he's doing to college football," Lanning said. "If anybody can't see what he's done for college football and how he's bringing excitement to college football, you're crazy, right? And I said that last week, as well. He's done a lot for the game. He's building something over there. I think that's really, really clear. There's no secret there."

Still, Lanning insists he wasn't attempting to show up Sanders or his team.

"It wouldn't matter if I was playing my 10-year-old son on the other sideline - I'm going to do everything I can to win," Lanning said. "If I'm playing Bill Belichick, I'm doing everything I can to win. Did I go for it on fourth down? Yeah, I have every game this year. I've gone for it nine times. Did I go for a two-point conversion? Yeah, I've done it three out of four games this year. And if we play again tomorrow, I'm gonna do the same thing. I'm going to do everything I can to win a game and everything I can to motivate my team, so I think it's pretty classless what [Bayless] is saying there, but I'm not really worried about it."

Lanning, 37, is in his second season with the Ducks, having come over after a National Championship as defensive coordinator with Georgia.

The No. 9 Ducks (4-0) visit Stanford as they continue Pac-12 play on Saturday.