When the Oregon Ducks take the field at Scott Stadium in Charlottesville, Va. on Saturday afternoon, it will be the furthest they have played from home since a trip to Hawaii to play in the 1998 Aloha Bowl against Colorado. As for the regular season, Hawaii is also the place where the Ducks last traveled as far as they will this week when they take on the Virginia Cavaliers (1-0).
This time around, the Ducks are headed the opposite direction. The last time the Ducks played a game this far east was in 1977, when they fell to Georgia, 27-16. That was Rich Brooks' first game as Oregon's head coach. This Saturday will be the first road game for the Ducks' new head coach Mark Helfrich.
Things have changed a bit in the past 26 years and now the No. 2 Ducks have been installed as more than a three-touchdown favorite over an ACC opponent. The contest will also mark the Ducks' first ever regular season matchup against an ACC opponent.
While the Ducks are known for their domination in the friendly confines of Autzen Stadium, they have actually been better on the road in recent years. The Ducks did lose neutral site games to No. 2 Auburn in the BCS National Championship Game in 2010 and in the season opener against No. 4 LSU in 2011. Aside from those two setbacks, the Ducks' last loss away from Autzen was a 51-42 setback to Stanford in 2009.
Throughout his head coaching tenure in Eugene, Chip Kelly lost three neutral site games (Ohio State 2009, Auburn 2010 and LSU 2011), and two road games (Boise State and Stanford in 2009). Having not lost a true road game since Kelly's first season as the Ducks' head coach, Oregon is riding a nation best 15-game winning streak.
With a long-tenured coaching staff, a veteran team that features an unflappable quarterback, the most dynamic playmaker in college football and a huge overall talent advantage over the Cavaliers, the Ducks shouldn't feel any ill-effects from the long plane ride. Games featuring a west coast team traveling to the east coast and an early start time heavily favor the home team. Ask Cal what it's like to travel to ACC country for an early start time. In 2008, the No. 23 Golden Bears traveled to Maryland, who was coming off a 10-point loss to Middle Tennessee State, and found themselves down 28-6 before they finally woke up in the 4th quarter.
With the game scheduled to kick of at 3:30 p.m. ET, the Ducks should be able to make it 16 straight as the start time is just an hour difference from last week's season opener.
Here are the Ducks' other results from games played in the Eastern Time Zone since 2007.