Dan Lanning’s second season will begin on Saturday hosting the Portland State Vikings to Autzen Stadium. Oregon has a series lead with five straight victories over PSU.
Both teams bring speed into the 2023 season with the Vikings entering the year leading their respective division in speed. The Ducks do the same, but clearly are on a different level. I don’t expect the competitive part of this game to last very long, but some early mistakes could make it interesting, at least until halftime.
Portland State is led by talented Junior Quarterback Dante Chachere who is a dual threat and could have an impact early. Chachere can use both his arm and his legs and last season was responsible for over 2500 total yards to go with 26 touchdowns. Wideout Nate Bennett led the team last season with 47 catches for over 500 yards. Jermaine Braddock is another one to watch with his height at 6 foot 1. The San Jose State transfer had 869 yards receiving last season.
Vikings Head Coach Bruce Barnum is entering his ninth season and has seen the Ducks before, but not this edition of Oregon.
Lanning brings back Quarterback Bo Nix, along with Running Back Bucky Irving. Nix is a clear Heisman favorite and has two billboards in big cities (New York and Dallas) to jump start his campaign. Oregon has a lot of weapons on offense. Year two of Lanning’s Ducks have seen somewhat of a roster turnover. There are 63 newcomers with 18 of them being transfers. Of those, there are plenty of experienced in game reps to go around, which includes 213 starts among them.
The Oregon Offensive line lost some key players to graduation last season and have a reputation to keep up. Last season the men up front gave up just 5 sacks all season. Oregon tied for 2nd in the country in first downs per game with 26.5 and fifth in total yards with over 500 yards of offense per game.
Kenny Dillingham has departed to become the Head Coach for Arizona State and Nix will be working with Will Stein for the upcoming season. I do not expect to see much from the Ducks offense against Portland State, but a spark or two of what this team will look like offensively this season, will leave fans leaving happy.
Oregon and Portland State kickoff on Saturday at Noon on Pac-12 Network.
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