The Oregon Football season may be very far away, more than 215 days away. However, we are so excited that we can’t pass up the opportunity to write about the schedule that has been released and which games we are most excited about.
After winning ten games and finishing third in the PAC-12, the expectations are sky-high for Dan Lanning in year two. Bo Nix is returning to Eugene for one more year, hoping to boost his draft stock, and the transfer portal was friendly as could be to the Ducks, who are looking to prove themselves.
Before we jump right into the three most exciting games that Oregon will play in 2023, let’s give a brief overview of this season. The good thing is that right off the bat, the Ducks don’t have to face Georgia in Atlanta. I chalk that up as a win in its own right.
Instead, the Ducks face the likes of Portland State, a game that shouldn’t cause too much trouble. Out of the three non-conference games on the schedule, the Ducks will play two of those at home. Oregon will play seven games in Eugene during the season and hope to play another road game in Las Vegas for the PAC-12 Championship Game. With all that said, here are the top three games that fans should be excited about.
Oregon vs. Texas Tech – Lubbock – Week 2
This is a really fun non-conference game for the Ducks and one that Oregon fans should not overlook. Lubbock is no easy place to play. In fact, there are small gates that sit behind the visitor’s bench at Jones AT&T Stadium because fans get quite rowdy and like to throw things…nonstop. We are talking frozen tortillas, beer cans, whatever they can get their hands on. So the atmosphere will not be friendly when the Ducks come to town for what might even be a night game.
Outside of all that, Tech is an excellent opponent for the Ducks early on in the season. Joey McGuire is a legit head coach who has breathed a breath of fresh air into the Red Raiders program. This team finished fourth in a really competitive Big 12 this year with eight wins and capped off the year with four straight victories. It’s always a fun time when fans can get a look at an opponent from another conference, and for this game to be played on the road will be an early test for Lanning’s squad.
Texas Tech Player to Watch: Jerand Bradley
He was an absolute stud as a freshman this year, leading the Red Raiders in receiving yards with 744 to go along with his six touchdown catches. He is a massive part of this Texas Tech offense, and it will be a challenge for Oregon to stop a future NFL prospect.
USC vs. Oregon – Eugene – Week 10
For the final time as PAC-12 opponents, the USC Trojans will travel to Eugene to face the Ducks. There is no telling when this team will be back to Oregon to play a game, and we might have to wait half a century for it to happen, so Ducks fans should enjoy this game. USC is a true heavyweight this season with Heisman winner Caleb Williams returning and Lincoln Riley eager to get the bad taste of the PAC-12 Championship Game out of his mouth, which cost them a trip to the College Football Playoff Semis.
This could be a look at a potential rematch in Vegas just a few weeks later, and I am sure that there will be plenty of playoff and conference championship implications on the line when this game rolls around. The two teams haven’t faced each other since 2020, and it’s the first time this rivalry is being played in Eugene since 2015. The Ducks will go for their third-straight win against the Trojans in what would be a fitting farewell.
USC Player to Watch: Caleb Williams
Anytime a Heisman winner comes to town, the game will have a lot of buzz around it. Williams will enter 2023 as the favorite to be selected first overall in the NFL Draft in 2024. Oregon hasn’t had a look at him yet since he transferred to Los Angeles, and this could be a huge game for him as he looks to mount another Heisman run.
Oregon State vs. Oregon – Eugene – Week 12
How could we not include this wonderful rivalry game which should be even more fun in 2023, as the Beavers fielded a really good team in 2022 and also picked up some legit talent in the transfer portal this offseason? Weird things happen in rivalry games; we certainly saw that this past year. The Ducks had to face the Beavers amid their four-game winning streak, which led them to 10 wins this past year. To jog your memory, Oregon State scored 21 points in the fourth quarter, mounted a massive comeback, and knocked off the Ducks.
This will be a different look Oregon State team, who will now be led by former Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei who never seemed to find his rhythm with the Tigers, but that could all change in Corvallis … just look at Nix. To say there will be a lot on the line when this game rolls around is an understatement. The Ducks could be playing for the right to go to Vegas. Hey, maybe the Beavers will be too. Who’s to say?
Oregon State Player to Watch: DJ Uiagalelei
Anytime we have a high-profile quarterback change, there will be a lot of noise surrounding it. While DJ Uiagalelei didn’t play his best in Clemson orange, he might bring his A-Game in Oregon State orange. He was a highly-recruited prospect out of high school for a reason.