Oregon Football Looking To Start 4-0 For First Time Since 1998

Sept. 25, 2001

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Sept. 25, 2001

TAKING THE SHOW ON THE ROAD . . . Oregon kicks off a three-game swing away from home with its final non-conference tilt of the year looking to transport a touch of its home-field magic. The team looks to ease the statistical impact on its pass defense while preserving the efficiency of keeping the opposition out of the end zone when it faces an offense which put 42 points on the scoreboard a week ago as well as sports the nation's receptions and all-purpose leaders. An Oregon quarterback continues to add to a near-Elwayesque reputation of last-minute heroics as he inches upward on the Pac-10's all-time touchdowns passing list. The Ducks prepare for their first visit to Logan and their first to the state of Utah since traveling to Salt Lake City to christen Mike Bellotti's first year of his Oregon head coaching tenure.

NATIONAL RANKINGS . . . After breaking into this year's pre-season rankings for the first time ever, the Ducks are tabbed No. 6 this week in both the Associated Press and the USA Today/ESPN polls. Oregon 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 (52-22-0), 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 31-18 record in Pac-10 encounters (.633), which moves him into 15th all-time among conference circles in terms of career winning percentage and tied for 20th in career league victories. He has played a vital role in assembling better than 18 percent (91 wins) of the University's all-time triumphs (494) 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 70.3% 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 75-47-2.

UTAH STATE'S MICK DENNEHY . . . After producing a trio of Big Sky Conference championships in four years at the University of Montana, Mick Dennehy has accumulated a 5-9 record is in his second season at Utah State. The Butte, Mont., native and former Montana all-Big Sky Conference safety headed into this year experiencing only one losing season in eight previous campaigns as a collegiate head coach. He has put together a 54-34 head coaching ledger in stops at Western Montana (1988-90), Montana (1996-99) and Utah State (2000-current) following assistant coaching stints at Montana (1991-95) and Montana State (1980-81). In 1999 he was named a finalist for the Eddie Robinson award (given to the Division I-AA coach of the year) as the school finished as the national runner-up in his first year as head coach of his alma mater. Known for producing high-powered offensive attacks, Dennehy was in his third year as offensive coordinator at Montana when it traveled to Eugene and fell short of the Ducks, 35-30.

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