Kalen DeBoer says he can't go anywhere without being told 'how important it is to beat the Ducks'
Kalen DeBoer is expecting Autzen Stadium on Saturday to be the loudest road environment Washington will be in all year.
It’s Oregon week, and that means a bit more in Seattle. Some coaches will play the “nameless, faceless opponent” card. They’ll tell anyone and everyone that a rivalry game is just something for the fans, that no game is more important than another, that they can’t get caught up in the emotion of it.
Washington-Oregon is a rivalry. It’s a heated rivalry. There’s no way around it, so there’s no point in avoiding it.
“It’s a huge game,” DeBoer told reporters on Monday. But that doesn’t mean the process of prep changes. “Why would it be any different as far as our process than it was Week 1 or Week 2? But it doesn’t mean it’s not a huge game for us. It’s a big rivalry game. It’s a fun game to be a part of. There’s a different vibe, a different feel to it. It is a huge game, but our process needs to be something where it’s consistent with what we do and how we prepare each and every week.”
DeBoer knows what to expect because he hasn’t been able to go anywhere without being told how important it is to beat the program down south.
“I don’t know if there’s a speaking engagement I’ve went to where they haven’t emphasized how important it is to beat the Ducks,” he said. “It’s certainly important. It’s going to be fun because we’ve put ourselves in a spot where it means something. They’ve got themselves in a spot where it means something. You’ve got the rivalry on top of it, and it looks like it’s going to be a great week weather-wise come Saturday. So it’ll be a fun weekend.”
Oregon will enter the game ranked sixth in the AP Top 25. Washington sits at No. 24 in the latest media poll. It’ll be a ranked matchup with significant Pac-12 title implications. On top of all that, UW will be looking to snap a three-game slide in the series.
“We’ve got to represent, right? The alumni who have poured so much into this program, we want to make them proud,” DeBoer said. “We want to make our fanbase proud. I can promise you we will give it everything we’ve got. All week long these guys want to continue to make this a great season, want this program to be better than it was when they got here. We’re still writing the story for the 2022 Huskies.”
Kickoff in Eugene is set for 4 p.m. PT on FOX this Saturday.