No. 5 Oregon Football Returns Home To Host Stanford
Oct. 16, 2001
HOMECOMING . . . Two of the top scoring offenses in the country collide in a regionally televised contest for the right to remain among the conference's elite contenders. Oregon returns home for the first time in four weeks riding the backs of an offensive line which looks to extend the first trio of three straight 200-yard rushing efforts in more than two decades. The Ducks take the longest winning streak in the Pac-10 Conference against a foe it hasn't faced in two years in a venue that now boasts of the longest home-field advantage in the country. Oregon faces the prospects of having to do battle without the services of one of its top defenders as the university welcomes the return of past graduates for a 56th homecoming weekend. Assuring itself of an eighth-straight winning season for the first time in more than 65 years, Oregon seeks its first 7-0 start since 1933.
NATIONAL RANKINGS . . . After breaking into this year's pre-season rankings for the first time ever and finding themselves secured among the country's Top 10 ever since, the Ducks have equalled their highest national ranking in school history with a No. 5 rating in both of this week's Associated Press and 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 (55-22-0), 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 33-18 record in Pac-10 encounters (.647), which moves him into 13th all-time among conference circles in terms of career winning percentage and 20th in career league victories. He has played a vital role in assembling better than 18 percent (94 wins) of the University's all-time triumphs (497) 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 71.4% 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 78-47-2.
STANFORD TYRONE WILLINGHAM . . . One of four Pac-10 coaches to have led teams to the Rose Bowl as head coach at their current school, Tyrone Willingham has guided the Cardinal to a 38-34-1 record in his seventh season as head coach. The two-time conference coach-of-the-year has tutored Stanford to three post-season appearances after serving as running backs coach at Stanford (1989-91) and with the Minnesota Vikings (1992-94), receivers coach at Rice (1986-88), and defensive secondary coach at North Carolina State (1983-85) and Michigan State (1980-82).
AUTZEN MAGIC . . . Based on Florida State's 49-27 loss to Miami (Fla.) Saturday, Oregon has inherited the claim as the nation's longest active home-field winning streak. The Ducks' 23 straight wins in Autzen Stadium trails only California's 26 victories (1919-23) in their quest for the league's longest home winning streak ever, as they already own the Pac-10 record for most consecutive conference home wins (14). Under Mike Bellotti, Oregon has accumulated a 33-6 record at home (84.6%).