090322 Atlanta.: Oregon Ducks head coach Dan Lanning talks with quarterback Bo Nix (10) during the second quarter against the Georgia Bulldogs in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game at Mercedes Benz Stadium, Saturday, September 3, 2022, in Atlanta. (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

Dan Lanning dishes on Oregon game plan, what went wrong in 49-3 loss to Georgia

ATLANTA — Oregon coach Dan Lanning knew exactly how he wanted to attack the Georgia offense.

Scary thing is, Lanning’s Ducks forced the Bulldogs outside like he intended and held All-American Brock Bowers in check and still lost 49-3.

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“They out-coached us,” said Lanning, the former Georgia defensive coordinator turned Oregon head coach.

“They outplayed us today, and they did a really good job.”

The No. 3-ranked Bulldogs dominated every facet of the contest against the No. 11-ranked Ducks at Mercedes-Benz Stadiumm, holding a 571-313 yardage advantage.

Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett enjoyed arguably the best performance of his career, completing 25 of 31 passes for a personal-best 368 yards.

RELATED: Kirby Smart comments on Stetson’s blazing performance

Bennett passed for two touchdowns and ran for another, engineering seven consecutive scoring drives before giving way to back-up Carson Beck in the third quarter.

Lanning had seen Bennett perform the past three years on the practice field and in games, and he knew there were certain throws he had to take away.

Bennett, who has worked this offseason to improve his footwork throwing from within the pocket and adding velocity to his intermedia throws, showed just how much better he has gotten by executing.

“Stetson played really well, they have good guys, you can’t afford to play poorly against a good team,” Lanning said.

“We certainly emphasized Brock,” said Lanning, whose Ducks held the Georgia record-breaking tight end to 2 catches for 38 yards.

“Stetson did a good job of being able to move the ball on the perimeter, and he’s elusive, so even when you do pressure at times you’re not always able to get home.”

To Lanning’s point, Bennett’s first touchdown throw came when he spun away from a would-be sack and found Ladd McConkey open in the end zone on the scramble drill.

“I felt like we wanted to make sure we did a good job of making sure the ball got outside,” Lanning said.

“Unfortunately, they won on the perimeter more than we won the perimeter.”

Georgia scored touchdowns on its first seven offensive drives and converted the first nine times it faced third downs, not punting until the fourth quarter.

Lanning also gave UGA offensive coordinator Todd Monken credit for being able to handle the Ducks’ pressure with his play calls.

“I think they were able to take advantage of some of our (pass) rush, when we rushed up the field they were able to put the ball back behind us,” Lanning said. “We have to do a better job of retracing and show relentless pursuit on defense.

“They’re a good team. We didn’t play as well as we want, but credit to them for having a good plan.”

Lanning saw some positive signs from his offense in its first start with Auburn quarterback Bo Nix.

Despite scoring only 3 points, the Ducks rushed for 140 yards and Nix was 21-of-34 passing for 173 yards along with his two costly interceptions.

Oregon also converted 7-of-15 third downs against what Kirby Smart said was more of a bend-but-don’t-break defense.

“We moved the ball down the field at times, we just didn’t finish drives,” Lanning said. “You get to the red area, you have to score touchdowns. We had a couple of chances down there we didn’t capitalize.”

The Ducks’ final drive ended at the UGA 2-yard line with Nix throwing incomplete with 1:22 left in the game.

Lanning likened the feeling of leaving Mercedes-Benz Stadium to last December, when he was part of the Bulldogs’ disappointing 41-24 loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game.

“I was a part of one of these last year, we felt pretty dis-shelved last year walking off an SEC Championship game where we didn’t play well,” Lanning said, “and we turned that into an opportunity to get better.

“Everyone knows I have a ton of respect for Kirby. I told our coaching staff this morning before we played this game, that every single one of our goals will be ahead of us regardless of how this game comes out.”

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