No. 6 Football Returns Home To Host Arizona State
Oct. 16, 2002
BATTLING FOR THE PAC-10 LEAD . . .. Two of the three unbeatens in conference play vie for a share of the Pac-10 lead when Oregon returns home to begin a three-game stay in the friendly confines of Autzen Stadium. Two programs whose similarities of attacks may be a little more than just coincidence collide as the Ducks seek to extend the nation's second-longest winning streak to 12 games. A trio of former Oregon assistants return to Eugene for a second straight year with the hopes of putting together their best start in five years. One of the nation's top running backs, as well as one of Oregon's all-time best, attempts to continue his run behind a quarterback who has developed into one of the most efficient in the country. Yet it is an underrated defense which continues to fly under the radar and benefit from its bend-but-don't-break philosophy.
NATIONAL RANKINGS . . .. Finishing last season second in the country in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN polls, Oregon has moved up to sixth in the country in both rankings after breaking into the preseason ratings at 15th.
HEAD COACH MIKE BELLOTTI . . .. Ranking third on the Ducks' all-time winningest coaching list (66-23-0), Mike Bellotti now has accumulated a better winning percentage (74.2%) than any other football coach in school history with a tenure longer than one season. 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 (67.2%), and 11th all time. Oregon's eighth-year head coach has accumulated a39-19 record in Pac-10 encounters, which ranks him 18th in career league wins. Bellotti has played a vital role in assembling more than 20 percent (105 wins) of the university's all-time triumphs (508) 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 89-48-2 13-year career collegiate head coaching mark.
ARIZONA STATE'S DIRK KOETTER . . . The former Oregon offensive coordinator (1996-97) has accumulated a 5-5 record in his second season as the Sun Devils' head coach to raise his career collegiate head coaching mark to 35-19 (.648). The 43-year-old Pocatello, Idaho native guided Boise State to a pair of conference championships and Humanitarian Bowl bids in his second and third seasons guiding the Broncos after leaving Eugene. His other collegiate offensive coordinator posts included stops at San Francisco State (1985), UTEP (1986-88), Missouri (1989-93) and Boston College (1994-95).