Bulldogs readying to face #11 Oregon in Ducks season opener

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Saturday morning, for the first time as head coach, Kalen DeBoer ran down the ramp at Bulldog Stadium with fans in the stands.

"Yeah I was probably a little too hyped up," DeBoer said at his Monday morning press conference.

It was a slow start for the offense that didn't score in the first quarter but then exploded to life before the break.

"I feel like we could go play anyone out there," DeBoer said.

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That famous line from Pat Hill "Anybody, Anytime, Anywhere" will be put to the test Saturday against nationally-ranked Oregon.

"This is what you call one of those 'Race for Space' teams," said defensive coordinator William Inge. "They're trying to get you in one on one matchups and what they want to do is allow their skill to be better than your skill at the point of attack."

The Ducks are ranked #11 in the AP Top 25 and will be the Dogs first ranked opponent since beating Boise State in 2018.
The number one focus for the Dogs will be stopping "as complete a defensive end" as offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb has even seen. That would be the potential #1 overall pick in the NFL draft, Ducks defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux.

"Yeah, Jake has got to get that ball out on time, right?" Grubb said Monday. "That'll be a big part of it is staying in rhythm and not get into a position where Jake has to hold the ball."

Matching up against the Dogs will also be a familiar face. Former head coach Tim DeRuyter is now the Ducks defensive coordinator and someone DeBoer reached out to when he got the job.

"I told him thanks for everything he's done for this program," DeBoer said. "You don't win two championships by accident, you know? There's a lot that he's given to this program."

Like the Dogs season opener, Saturday will bring the long-awaited return of fans to Autzen Stadium. It'll also be the first true road test for Coach DeBoer given how last year was largely played without crowd noise. "

Jake (Haener) never had to worry about even just the orchestration and how we're going to handle it, and so we did some of that for a few days in fall camp," DeBoer said about the anticipated crowd noise. "We'll certainly have it loud at practice all day tomorrow."

It'll be the 10th overall meeting between the two schools with Oregon leading the all-time series 7-2 (Ducks currently riding a seven-game win streak). Kickoff is set for 11:00 AM on Saturday and will be broadcast from Autzen Stadium on the PAC-12 Network.
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