The Oregon football team should win big on Saturday against Portland State.
The Vikings are a Football Championship Subdivision team — the subdivision below the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), which Oregon is part of.
Without a single win in 2017, Portland State has struggled week in and week out.
This past weekend, Portland State was trounced 72-19 by Nevada, but things have changed a bit for the Vikings going into this season.
“Portland State has done a tremendous job in the last couple years,” Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal said. “Their head coach is calling the plays again, and when he was calling the plays, they were a really good football team.”
The Vikings have also added a new defensive coordinator, who has brought a different style that Oregon has struggled to read and prepare for.
“It’s a scheme that we have never seen and have not practiced against,” Cristobal said. “Even though it gave up a lot of big plays on Saturday, it made a lot of big plays.”
While the Ducks will work to break down the Portland State defense, Oregon’s defense will have a challenge containing quarterback Davis Alexander.
Oregon defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt compared Alexander to former South Florida quarterback Matt Grothe, who Leavitt coached during his time there.
“He really moves around. He throws on the run,” Leavitt said. “You better not underestimate him.”
One of Alexander’s main targets will be tight end Charlie Taumoepeau. He totaled 673 yards and 45 catches last year and is a threat in the attack for the Vikings yet again. Leavitt complimented the junior, saying that he “can play for anyone in Pac-12.”
The Ducks are heavy favorites. With Oregon coming off a season-opening win against Bowling Green, the Oregon players will play again in front of the home crowd. This time, it will be an early kickoff at 11 a.m., which Cristobal says doesn’t negatively affect the team.
“For the players, I think it’s a great thing to get up and hit the ground running,” Cristobal said. “This is a scenario where you wake up, go through your walk through, then hit the movie projector to watch the highlight film and go play football.
Follow Shawn Medow on Twitter @Shawnmedow