No. 7 Oregon Opens Pac-10 Play at Arizona
Oct. 1, 2002
CONFERENCE OPENER . . . Oregon makes its 2002 road debut seeking to extend the Pac-10's current longest winning streak to 10 games while looking to equal the most extensive successful string in school history. The Ducks also place their five-game road winning streak on the line in front of a national television audience as they strive for their sixth straight conference-opening victory. Two of the league's better scoring defenses square off but it will be a trio of Oregon offensive stalwarts who will attempt to keep personal streaks alive as it works to remain as the Pac-10's lone unbeaten representative. The Ducks hope to continue their good fortune when having an added week to prepare during the regular season as they vie for their third 5-0 start in five years.
NATIONAL RANKINGS . . . Finishing last season second in the country in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN polls, Oregon has moved up to seventh in the country in the coaches' USA Today/ESPN rankings and eighth in the writers' ratings after breaking into the preseason rankings at 15th.
HEAD COACH MIKE BELLOTTI . . . Ranking third on the Ducks' all-time winningest coaching list (64-23-0), Mike Bellotti now has accumulated a better winning percentage (73.6%) than any other football coach in school history with a tenure longer than two seasons. Leading the program to more overall wins during his reign than any other school in the Pacific-10 Conference, he stands as the winningest active coach in the Pac-10 based on conference winning percentage (66.1%), and 11th all time. Oregon's eighth-year head coach has accumulated a37-19 record in Pac-10 encounters, which ties him for 18th in career league wins. Bellotti has played a vital role in assembling more than 20 percent (103 wins) of the university's all-time triumphs (506) in his 14-year Oregon association (six as offensive coordinator and eight as head coach). The 51-year-old former Cal State Chico mentor owns an 87-48-2 13-year career head coaching mark.
ARIZONA'S JOHN MACKOVIC . . . The Wildcats' former offensive coordinator (1973-76) and NFL head coach has encountered success everywhere he has gone, accumulating a 15-year collegiate head coaching record of 93-71-3. The 33-year coaching veteran has amassed an 8-7 record in his second year as Arizona's head coach, including an 0-1 record vs. Oregon. He has guided eight teams to post-season appearances and has garnered coach-of-the-year accolades in three different conferences.
ROAD WARRIORS . . . While Oregon's success in Autzen Stadium has been well documented (the Ducks have won 29 of their last 30 games at home), its prosperity on the road has become lost to some. It has won eight of its last nine road games (not counting post-season), including a league-leading five-game winning streak in hostile venues. The Ducks have accumulated a 21-14 road record under Mike Bellotti (not counting a 4-2 bowl record), including a 16-12 Pac-10 road ledger.
ON THE TUBE . . . Both of Oregon's next two road games have been selected to be televised, with this week's game in Tucson chosen for a 7:15 p.m. showing by Fox Sports Net, followed by next week's game at UCLA scheduled for a regional telecast by ABC Sports, beginning at 12:30 p.m.