Dan Lanning was on the Georgia coaching staff for the Bulldogs’ last 4 battles with Alabama. Lanning, a Crimson Tide graduate assistant in 2015, joined the UGA staff in 2018 and remained through the 2021 season and postseason after taking the Oregon head coaching job on Dec. 11.

During Friday’s Pac-12 Media Days, Lanning was asked about his biggest takeaway from finally beating Alabama in the national championship game and how he applies that to coaching the Ducks.

“Obviously, I’ve had great experience in the last several years of my coaching career,” Lanning told reporters. “I spend very little time talking about the past. I’m really focused on the future. The one thing I’ll say about that game, the national championship game, is our ability to adapt and change. You have to go back, when you lose to an opponent, it gives you an opportunity to really reassess yourself.

“When I talk about our theme for this season being growth, I think that’s a big part of it. Being in a growth mindset means you have to learn from successes and failures, right? We talked about it at the program I was at before. We’d go to the doctor after a win on Monday morning. We’re going to do the same thing here at Oregon. We have to figure out what we can get better at. Hopefully, you go to the doctor before you get sick. That’s certainly the goal for us.”

In his first game with Oregon, Lanning will be coaching against Georgia.

“Get to play a really familiar opponent in Georgia in a neutral-site game in Atlanta. Certainly excited about going back and seeing some familiar faces going there, getting to compete against a mentor and a friend in Kirby Smart,” Lanning said during his press conference.

Though Lanning facing his former team is the lead storyline, he downplayed its impact.

“Honestly, we haven’t spent a ton of focus on game one,” Lanning said. “I know our players are certainly excited to be on a national stage early and get to play obviously an elite opponent in Georgia that we’re really familiar with. Guess what, they’re also familiar with me.

“That being said, we’re really focused on right now. You can’t play game one until you have practice one, right? That’s our next approach.”