On June 1, the Pac-12 conference announced the start times and TV schedule for the 2013 football season. Two of the Ducks’ three initial games will be televised by ABC Sports, ESPN and/or ESPN2. Oregon’s season opener is against Nicholls State at Autzen Stadium on Saturday, August 31 at 1:00 p.m. PDT. The Ducks host the Colonels in a game televised by Fox Sports 1 – a new sports network being launched in mid-August to rival ESPN in the world of constant sports coverage.
Oregon then heads East to face the University of Virginia – their first regular season Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) opponent since 1958 when they faced the University of Miami (Florida) – a game which they ultimately lost, 2-0. The Ducks played Wake Forest in the post-season 1992 Independence Bowl and 2002 Seattle Bowl, but fell short of a victory in each matchup. With kickoff set for Saturday, Sept. 7 at 12:30 p.m. PDT versus the Cavaliers, the Ducks will look for their first victory over an ACC opponent in school history.
From there it is a quick turnaround for Oregon as the University of Tennessee heads to Autzen Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 14 at 12:30 p.m. PDT. This ABC/ESPN/ESPN2 national broadcast will give the Ducks a chance to hand the Volunteers their second loss in as many meetings since 2010, a game the Ducks won decisively in Knoxville by a final of 48-13.
Oregon’s first three opponents this season posted a combined 10-25 record in 2012, numbers not impressive by any standards. The weaker schedule, however, should pad the stats for Heisman hopefuls Marcus Mariota and De’Anthony Thomas. Not to mention, a 3-0 start would be a strong résumé builder for new head coach Mark Helfrich.