12 important games for Oregon Duck fans to watch during Week 1

At long last, we have a full slate of college football games coming our way this weekend. It has been a long offseason filled with storylines, from new coaches, new teams, and new conferences. Now, while we still have a couple of weeks until the NFL kicks off, college football is taking over the landscape, filling the weekend with games from Thursday to Monday.

For Oregon Duck fans, the highlight of the weekend will take place on Saturday afternoon when the Portland State Vikings come to town for a noon kickoff.

However, there are a ton of games that Duck fans should pay attention to this week. Whether it’s future opponents like Hawaii and Texas Tech, or notable teams in the Pac-12 Conference, a handful of games will take place this weekend that can give a good look at what’s to come for Oregon.

So are you looking for a guide on the games that you need to pay attention to? We’ve got you covered:

No. 14 Utah Utes vs. Florida Gators

[Doug Engle/Gainesville Sun]

When: Thursday at 5 p.m. PT

Where to Watch: ESPN

Why to Watch: Can the Utes get revenge from last season and beat Florida? At full health, they should be able to, but there are currently a lot of questions surrounding QB Cameron Rising and TE Brant Kuithe at the moment. This is arguably the marquee game on Thursday night, so all eyes will be on Utah.

Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers

Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

When: Thursday at 6 p.m. PT

Where to Watch: FOX

Why to Watch: It’s not a conference game for Oregon fans to watch just yet, but down the road, the Ducks will be playing both of these teams a good amount. It will be interesting to see what Matt Rhule can do with the Cornhuskers in 2023 and if he can get them turned around.

Southern Utah Thunderbirds vs. Arizona State Sun Devils

When: Thursday at 7 p.m. PT

Where to Watch: Pac-12 Network

Why to Watch: What will the Sun Devils look like in the first year under Kenny Dillingham? How good can Jaden Rashada be as a true freshman? Will this be one of the most winnable games for ASU this year? All answers that I look forward to finding out.

Stanford Cardinal vs. Hawaii Rainbow Warriors

Tim Flores-USA TODAY Sports

When: Friday at 8 p.m. PT

Where to Watch: CBS Sports Network

Why to Watch: The Ducks get the benefit of watching a pair of upcoming opponents in this game. Hawaii looked like a frisky team last week against Vanderbilt, and the Ducks play them in a couple of weeks after a bout with Texas Tech. Right after Hawaii, Oregon hosts Stanford, so it will be important to see how both of these teams look early on.

Colorado Buffaloes vs. TCU Horned Frogs

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

When: Saturday at 9 a.m. PT

Where to Watch: FOX

Why to Watch: Who doesn’t want to tune into see what Deion Sanders and the new-look Colorado Buffaloes look like in 2023? They have dominated the news cycle ever since Coach Prime took over in Boulder, and we finally get to see them on the field at long last.

No. 10 Washington Huskies vs. Boise State Broncos

Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

When: Saturday at 12:30 p.m. PT

Where to Watch: ABC

Why to Watch: This is no easy season-opener for Washington. While they are a better team than Boise State, the Broncos went 10-4 with a bowl victory a year ago, and Andy Avalos has things heading in the right direction. Can they give the Huskies some trouble in Week 1? It is worth watching to find out.

No. 6 USC Trojans vs. Nevada Wolfpack

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

When: Saturday at 3:30 p.m. PT

Where to Watch: Pac-12 Network

Why to Watch: We got to see what USC’s offense looked like last week against San Jose State in a 56-28 victory. We also had to see what the Trojans’ defense looked like as well. Can things turn around in their second game against Nevada? We’ll see what Alex Grinch can cook up.

Washington State Cougars vs. Colorado State Rams

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

When: Saturday at 4 p.m. PT

Where to Watch: CBS Sports Network

Why to Watch: I’m excited to see what Washington State can do this year now that QB Cameron Ward is a bit more established in the system. The Cougars were feisty a year ago, and if the defense can be good once again then WSU could be a tough out in the Pac-12.

Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Wyoming Cowboys

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

When: Saturday at 4:30 p.m. PT

Where to Watch: CBS

Why to Watch: A week from now, Oregon will be getting ready to head down to Lubbock for a big-time game against Texas Tech. It will be important to tune in and see how Tyler Shough looks in 2023, and see what type of test the Red Raiders can give the Ducks.

Coastal Carolina Chanticleers vs. UCLA Bruins

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

When: Saturday at 7:30 p.m. PT

Where to Watch: ESPN

Why to Watch: There’s a good chance that we might see some Dante Moore at QB if UCLA gets up big enough over Coastal Carolina and can put some backup players in. Of course, if they aren’t able to build that big of a lead, it will be a story as well.

No. 18 Oregon State Beavers vs. San Jose State Spartans

(Photo by Ali Gradischer/Getty Images)

When: 12:30 p.m. PT

Where to Watch: CBS

Why to Watch: There is a solid slate of games on Sunday this weekend, starting off with the premiere of DJ Uiagalelei as Oregon State’s quarterback. The Beavers are expected to be a really solid team this year, so it will be interesting to see exactly how good the offense can be with their new passer.

No. 5 LSU Tigers vs. No. 8 Florida State Seminoles

Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

When: Sunday at 4:30 p.m. PT

Where to Watch: ABC

Why to Watch: The finale on this list is arguably the game of the weekend. You get a pair of Heisman contenders in Jayden Daniels and Jordan Travis, and two top-10 teams that will likely be in the College Football Playoff hunt come November. It may not be a game that has direct impacts on Oregon, but it’s worth watching high-level college football after a long offseason.

Story originally appeared on Ducks Wire