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Local Pac-12 teams take to the gridiron in season openers

Both University of Oregon and Oregon State University open their 2022 football seasons on Saturday, Sept. 3.
@OregonFootball Twitter / @BeaverFootball Twitter
Both University of Oregon and Oregon State University open their 2022 football seasons on Saturday, Sept. 3.

College football begins in earnest Saturday and both local Pac-12 teams will be back in action.

University of Oregon is heading into the season ranked No. 11 and opens play on the road to face last year’s national champion, No. 3 Georgia. That’s an all-too familiar place for Ducks’ first-year head coach Dan Lanning, who spent three years as an assistant coach for the Bulldogs before coming to Oregon.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of Saturday’s match up, Lanning said “There’s definitely some feelings of excitement for me to go play a team that I care about and that I was a big part of for a long time, but that’s not the focus. It’s my job just like it’s the players job to focus on the task at hand.”

Lanning also noted that there is “Obviously a lot of mutual respect for this team. It’s one that we have intimate knowledge of. But really excited to get out there and play. I know our guys are anxious. They’ve been working really hard.”

The Oregon/ Georgia game is at 12:30 p.m.

Meanwhile Oregon State opens their season at home against Boise State. This will be the Beavers’ fifth season under head coach Jonathan Smith. Last year Smith guided OSU to a 7-6 record, and the team’s first postseason bowl game since 2013.

Ahead of Saturday’s game Smith said Boise State has a tough team this year and said the Beavers are “Anticipating a real challenge, anticipating a great atmosphere here back at Reser Stadium. Counting on our home field advantage to show up.”

That home field advantage might be just a little quieter as capacity at Reser Stadium is reduced while renovations are underway. Smith commented that “this stadium will be unbelievable in a year, but we’re not going to sit back and wait to have a big-time home field advantage and appreciate Beaver Nation coming out. Anticipate every seat getting taken for our first one.”

Boise State’s head coach Andy Avalos is no stranger to playing Pac-12 teams. He spent two years as University of Oregon’s Defensive Coordinator before being named head coach at Boise State in 2021. Avalos and Smith coached together at Boise State early in their careers.

The Beavers and Broncos game is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Love Cross joined KLCC in 2017. She began her public radio career as a graduate student, serving as Morning Edition Host for Boise State Public Radio in the late 1990s. She earned her undergraduate degree in Rhetoric and Communication from University of California at Davis, and her Master’s Degree from Boise State University. In addition to her work in public radio, Love teaches college-level courses in Communication and Public Speaking.