No. 7 Oregon Football Hosts Utah In Second Game
Sept. 5, 2001
HERE WE GO AGAIN . . . The last non-conference foe to enjoy success at Autzen Stadium some seven years ago as well as the school which served as the opposition when Oregon kick-started its current home winning streak pays its first return visit. Some familiar fourth-quarter magic continued Saturday vs. Wisconsin as the home team posted its sixth win of eight points or less in its last seven opportunities. The Ducks look for continued contributions from a handful of newcomers while seeking to get several key veterans untracked. Oregon's vaunted quarterback personally accounted for four touchdowns for the second straight game, yet his value was never more evident than his execution on its decisive scoring drive. The University will take take to honor eight former athletic standouts as part of the weekend's Athletic Hall-of-Fame festivities.
NATIONAL RANKINGS . . . After breaking into this year's pre-season rankings for the first time ever, the Ducks are tabbed No. 7 in the Associated Press poll and eighth in the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll. They climbed to an all-time high of fifth last season by AP before dropping the regular-season finale at Oregon State.
HEAD COACH MIKE BELLOTTI . . . Ranking third on the Ducks' all-time winningest coaching list (50-22-0), Mike Bellotti now stands as the winningest active coach in the Pac-10 based on conference winning percentage, in addition to leading Oregon to more overall victories during his tenure than any other program in the league. Oregon's seventh-year head coach has accumulated a 30-18 record in Pac-10 encounters (.625), which moves him into 15th all-time among conference circles in terms of career winning percentage and tied for 22nd in career league wins. He has played a vital role in assembling better than 18 percent (89 wins) of the University's all-time triumphs (492) in his 13-year Oregon association (six as offensive coordinator and seven as head coach). Only Hugo Bezdek (72.7 -- 1906, 1913-17) has accumulated a better winning percentage than Bellotti's 69.4% among the program's mentors who have coached the Ducks a minimum of three seasons. The 50-year-old former Cal State-Chico mentor owns a 12-year career head coaching mark of 73-47-2.
UTAH'S RON McBRIDE . . . The Utes' second-winningest coach of all time (76-53-0), Ron McBride has led Utah to nine winning seasons in his 11-year tenure. The former Arizona assistant head coach (1987-89) has posted a 2-3 bowl ledger and has led teams to a pair of conference titles in his third tour of duty in Salt Lake City. Prior to becoming Utah's ninth head coach since the end of World War II, McBride served as offensive coordinator or line coach at UC-Riverside (1972-73), Cal State-Long Beach (1974-76), and Wisconsin (1983-84) since playing at San Jose State (1959-62).
SERIES RECORD . . . Although Oregon owns an all-time 16-7 advantage, the two teams have split their last four meetings over the past 10 years. Winning the last two meetings, the Ducks have compiled an 8-4 record in games played in Eugene as well as a 4-2 mark in Autzen Stadium. Utah head coach Ron McBride owns a 2-2 mark vs. Oregon while the Ducks' Mike Bellotti is unbeaten in two meetings against the Utes.