Portland State coach Bruce Barnum couldn’t miss Oregon’s spring game earlier this year.

“They are more popular than us, so their spring game was all over the TV,” he said this week ahead of their clash with the Ducks. “So we watched that even though they didn’t really show much.”

And, of course, the Vikings have watched plenty of film of Oregon in the months since to try and prepare. They’ll meet on Saturday at Autzen Stadium for a noon PT kick.

What does Barnum expect? Lots and lots of speed.

“We’re going to go down there and play our asses off and see what happens at the end,” he said. “You talk about speed, I think we have speed. I don’t know if we have the speed to hang with Oregon. They are pretty damn fast.

“It’ll be curious. They have speed. I think they have the fastest team in what was the Pac-12. I think we are the fastest team in our FCS conference. We’ll see how it matches up.”

Speed has been synonymous with Oregon football for years. The 2023 iteration of the Ducks hopes to keep the tradition alive and well.

Gary Bryant Jr., Nikko Reed, Rodrick Pleasant, the Ducks prioritize quickness on the trail. Track star Micah Williams joined the team in camp. The “fastest player on the team” competition inside practice is a bit competitive.

And the Ducks have the perfect guy to get their offensive speedsters the football.

Last season, UW quarterback Michael Penix Jr. ripped the Vikings apart in a 52-6 game. He completed 20 of his 27 passes for 337 yards and two scores.

Oregon quarterback Bo Nix will look to open his Heisman candidacy on Saturday with a similarly efficient performance.

“We saw with Penix last year. I thought he was as accurate as you could get, big arm, and then I saw Bo Nix in one of their games toward the end of the year,” Barnum said. “He’s dynamic. He’s fast, along with everything (else) he does. He’s got speed.”

Good luck.