The Oregon Ducks football program has added three new opponents to their schedule in the coming years in an attempt to iron out just who will be making treks to Autzen Stadium. South Dakota, Southern Utah, and UC Davis have all been announced by the Oregon Athletic Department to have agreed to play play in Eugene in the next few seasons.
The scheduling of these three teams follows a pattern the Ducks have been following the past few years that is marked by an FCS team making a trip to Eugene for a sum of money. A practice that is followed by many other programs throughout the nation, these games are usually used as tune-up games before conference plays begins. Many receiving big payouts for the likely beating they will take, the money and exposure these programs can potentially get pays huge dividends for their teams and athletic departments.
The first of the three teams to make the trip to Autzen will be the University of South Dakota, with the Coyotes scheduled to open Oregon’s 2014 season on August 30. Receiving $525,000 for the trek to Eugene, the addition of South Dakota rounds out Oregon’s 2014 non-conference schedule. After opening the season against the Coyotes, the Ducks will host Wyoming on September 6 and Michigan State on September 13.
UC Davis, meanwhile, has been added to Oregon’s 2016 schedule. The Aggies will play in Autzen on September 3, 2016 and are coached by former Duck Ron Gould. Gould came to Oregon in 1987 for his senior year after the Wichita State football program disbanded. He was a defensive backs coach for the Ducks and a graduate assistant after his tenure as a player. Gould eventually took a position as the running backs coach at California before taking over the head coaching position at UC Davis in 2012.
Southern Utah has been added to the Ducks’ 2017 schedule and will make the trip to Eugene on September 2nd of that year. They are still looking for an FBS opponent to play in both 2016 and 2017.