BYU’s football game against No. 25 Oregon at Autzen Stadium on Saturday will be historic, and not just because the Cougars haven’t been to Eugene, Oregon, since 1990 — the year Ty Detmer won the Heisman Trophy. but lost 34-16 to rival QB Bill Musgrave and the Ducks.
This will almost certainly be the last time BYU plays what is called a “cash game” or “payday game” or, as it did when Utah State went to Alabama two weeks ago and lost 55-0, a “body bag game”. .”
“What comes to mind when you think of the Ducks is the ‘wow’ factor. You are delighted to be here. They have a culture there, which has always existed in college football. It’s just, ‘wow.’ It’s, ‘dang, I want to play against them. I want to play with them. ‘” – BYU cornerback Kaleb Hayes
It’s gambling as the Cougars will receive $1.1 million for making the trip, according to the official playing contract signed in 2015 (as reported by Matt Brown’s Extra Points newsletter). Oregon won’t be heading to Provo for the foreseeable future, so it’s not the typical home deal BYU has played as an independent college footballer for the past 12 seasons.
When the Cougars accepted the game in 2015, athletic director Tom Holmoe said Oregon had an opening in its 2022 schedule “and the circumstances were right” for BYU.
“We hope to develop a long-term relationship with Oregon,” Holmoe said at the time.
According to the contract, the ranked teams showdown (1:30 p.m. MDT, Fox) will be run by a Pac-12 crew and the replay review officials will also be from the Oregon conference.
Aside from 2020, the year of COVID-19 when everything was scrambled, BYU generally pays one set of money per year. This year, the Cougars will pay Utah Tech $425,000 to play at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Nov. 19.
Next year, BYU will pay Southern Utah $475,000 to play Sept. 9, 2023, in Provo. The contract was originally for $425,000, but BYU is paying SUU an additional $50,000 to move the game to that date from its original November date.
As of midday on Wednesday, some 2,000 tickets remained available for Saturday’s game at the 54,000-seat Autzen stadium. On Monday, new Ducks coach Dan Lanning called on Oregon fans to create home-court advantage.
“I know they’re going to be stronger, more intense, next week,” Lanning said. “I think it’s the kind of game where the Autzen crowd can have a big, big impact in the game.”
Meanwhile, BYU players and coaches have expressed excitement about playing a historic program in its home venue.
“What comes to mind when you think of the Ducks is the ‘wow’ factor. You’re thrilled to be here,” said BYU cornerback Kaleb Hayes, a former Oregon State player. “They have a culture there, which has always existed in college football. It’s just, ‘wow.’ It’s, ‘Dang, I want to play against them. I want to play with them.
Hayes said Oregon’s colorful and creative jersey combinations are always the talk of college football.
“You know, I’m jealous,” he said. “I always used to say that at Oregon State we used to get Oregon helping hands, which made us play a little bit better, made us have a chip on shoulders and made us play a little harder. No, I like Oregon. Like I say, I’m a fan. I like it.”
BYU Safety Malik Moore is also a big fan – of Oregon’s uniforms.
“Same thing – jerseys,” Moore said, when asked the first thing that comes to mind when he thinks of Oregon. “I keep it real. Jerseys, you know. Oregon is obviously a good team. But we go into the game like it’s another game. We don’t go into games fearing anybody. … It’s just another game for me. But whenever I think of Oregon, I just think of the cool uniforms.
Cougars on air
No. 12 BYU (2-0) vs. No. 25 Oregon (1-1)
Saturday, 1:30 p.m. MDT
Radio: KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM/1160 AM