Positives, Negatives For Utah Football Playing Oregon In 2020
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – According to reports, the Utah football team will add the defending Pac-12 champion Oregon Ducks to their conference-only football schedule in 2020.
UteZone and It’s Utah’s World podcast host Steve Bartle first reported the Utes facing the Ducks including in the season opener. Stadium’s Brett McMurphy reported the additional conference game for each Pac-12 school.
The Pac-12 announced early in July that they will release the schedule details by no later than July 31.
The positive things about Utah playing Oregon especially if it is in the season opener as stated in the reports, Utah will have a chance to get a signature win right out of the gates and doing it in Salt Lake City.
It gives fans, coaches and staff a chance to see what these players are made of and how they tackle the task of beating the Pac-12 favorite.
Last season, Oregon had a very good offense with a good defense but this year with the departure of Justin Herbert while returning starters on defense and bringing in top recruits for that side of the ball, it will be a good matchup because for Utah, the roles will be reversed as well.
The Utes will have a very young defense after losing 9 starters from last season but will have a veteran group returning on offense.
If the game is played at Rice-Eccles Stadium in the fall, it is very likely that it will be played without fans or a limited amount in attendance. It won’t have the same feel as a jampacked stadium that fans have grown accustom to. It’s still a game at home but it would be a better home field advantage with a packed Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Another negative for Utah playing Oregon is playing the Pac-12 favorite in the opener (if it is indeed the opener). Normally the non-conference schedule prepares teams for a rigorous conference schedule, in most cases. Playing Oregon in the opener is forcing the coaches to speed up the process to prepare these players for a season where they didn’t have spring ball.
Had this situation happened last season with so many pieces returning and a loaded defense back, it would be a completely different story. Although, we did see these two teams square off in the 2019 Pac-12 Championship game which did not bode well for the Utes.