Oregon Football will hold its annual Spring Game this Saturday at 2pm at Autzen Stadium. For Ducks fans, the scrimmage is one of the best times of the year and provides a little mid-offseason football fix! But, that is certainly not the only reason to attend!
If you are torn between watching the game from the comforts of your own home or heading to the greatest place on Earth, choose the latter. You (and the fam) definitely won’t be disappointed.
In case you need some inspiration, here are just 4 of the reasons why you should make it to Autzen on Saturday
1. Free Family Fun
This is one of the few times fans can watch live Oregon Football action for FREE. As has been the case for many years, admission is FREE and fans are asked to bring 3 cans of food to support Food for Lane County, who will collect donations at the entrance.
(Parking will be available, first come first serve, in the E. parking lot for just $5).
And the free fun doesn’t just stop there.
Beginning at 1pm, kids are invited to participate in a giant Easter Egg Hunt on the HDC practice fields.
Fans can also snag autographs from the men’s basketball team on the Autzen Stadium Concourse, beginning at 1pm.
2. There will be a lot of X’s and O’s, veterans and newcomers to preview
Although Oregon is returning several of last year’s starters, including stars, quarterback Justin Herbert and linebacker Troy Dye, who both decided to forgo the NFL draft to return for their senior seasons, Oregon Football has seen a lot of improvements and additions this off season. The Spring Game provides a great opportunity to preview all the new happenings before the Ducks open the 2019 season against Auburn on August 31st.
A couple of changes were made to the coaching staff, namely the departure of defensive coordinator, Jim Leavitt, and the addition of Andy Avalos, who spent his last seven seasons at Boise State. It will be interesting to see how the defense is shaping up under his leadership.
The Ducks have also added a new wide receivers coach. Javon Bouknight, arrived this February from Texas Tech, after spending over a decade at Utah State. Bouknight took on a huge task of developing the wide receiver group, who many considered one of the weakest groups on the squad last season.
Based on what I’ve seen in practice and heard from players and coaches, things are off to a solid start, especially with the additions of 4 star true freshman, Josh Delgado and Mycah Pittman along with Penn State graduate transfer, Juwan Johnson, who I predict will become an immediate fan favorite.
3. Kayvon Thibodeaux.
It’d be a crime not to mention Oregon’s highest ranked recruit ever. Not only was he a 5 star recruit, Thibodeaux was widely considered the top player in the country. Lucky for Oregon fans, he chose to call Eugene his temporary home. Thibodeaux enrolled early and is already living up to the hype both on and off the field. He has a great personality, a great story and will definitely become an immediate fan favorite. Mark my words.
Saturday will give fans the first real look at what this star brings to an all-around solid and experienced defense.
4. Coaching Staff Commitment
This may seem like a strange addition to the list, but let’s get a little personal for a moment. . .
I, like many have been around and covering the program for some time now and never have I witnessed such dedication and passion from not only the coaching staff, but their families as well. It’s safe to say this group is 110% bought in and committed to making Oregon a regular National Championship contender. They are energetic, passionate, always looking to grow, humble and fully engaged with fans and the community (This is not to say that previous staffs were not engaged, it just seems like Cristobal and Co. are even a step above).
The bottom line: The staff and players are all in and need the fans’ support. Not only to support the team, but to send a message to those they are actively recruiting around the nation that Oregon is the place to be!
There you have it, no excuses. See ya at Autzen!
Follow Nichole on Twitter @UOgridirongirl