Is EWU a No-Win Situation for Oregon?

When Oregon takes the field this upcoming Saturday at 5 p.m. (Pacific) to take on FCS Easter Washington University, is it a trap game? After all, Oregon is heavily favored; was the runner-up in the NCAA Championship last season and is playing at home – with EWU’s former quarterback.

On paper the game is completely one-sided and it is hard to imagine that when the two teams face each other at Autzen Stadium, Oregon not having its way with Eastern Washington. Looking at the Duck roster, it is filled with blue-chip athletes who are experienced and have played many big games. EWU made a valiant showing of itself last year in Husky Stadium before falling 59-52.

In 2014, Oregon beat Washington by 25 points (45-20).

Oregon won the Pac-12 Champions, the Rose Bowl and competed in the National Championship game.

Don’t get me wrong. EWU is a fine program. It is ranked 6th in the pre-season FCS polls. The Eagles had a record of 11-3 last year before bowing out of the FCS quarter finals to Illinois State. EWU runs the spread offense, similarly to Oregon and in fact Oregon’s starting quarterback this season, Vernon Adams, was the starter for the past three seasons at Eastern Washington.

Like all first games, both teams are ready to get the season going. Fall camp is in the books and now the two teams can go out and hit somebody with a purpose.

“At some point you have to go keep score against somebody else,” said Eastern head coach Beau Baldwin. “That’s just the bottom line. You get tired of going against each other in fall camp – it’s that way everywhere in the country. Everybody is ready to go play somebody else and we’ll be ready to do that on Saturday.”

Oregon must play hard in order to be successful against EWU and not take the Eagles for granted just because they play in the FCS and not the FBS.

Oregon has not lost an opening game since the 2004 and no one is expecting the Ducks to lose this one. Still though, Oregon must not take EWU lightly and must play as hard in the opening game as they would in a championship game.

Kickoff for Saturday’s match up is at 5 p.m. at Autzen Stadium and the game will be carried on the Pac-12 Networks.


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