No. 12 Football Entertains The 16th-Ranked USC Trojans Saturday
Oct. 22, 2002
ON THE REBOUND . . . The Pac-10's top scoring offense collides with the league's stingiest scoring defense as Oregon looks to bounce back from its first setback in 12 tries against a storied program in which the Ducks have enjoyed unprecedented success over the past four seasons. One of the nation's premier running backs strives to continue a record pace for the Ducks in front of a homecoming crowd and regional television audience. Two top 20-ranked teams that have developed a habit of producing close encounters as of late go head-to-head in a venue that hasn't been kind to its guests in tight outcomes, with four of the last five games determined by four points or less. All eyes will be focused on footballs flying in the air as receivers from each team prepare to surpass a Pac-10 record. Oregon's defense again must prepare for one of the nation's top quarterbacks while the Ducks sport the nation's second-most efficient quarterback themselves.
NATIONAL RANKINGS . . . Finishing last season second in the country in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN polls, Oregon has dropped to 14th and 12th, respectively, after escalating as high as sixth in the country in both rankings. USC has climbed to 15th and 16th this week, respectively.
HEAD COACH MIKE BELLOTTI . . . Ranking third on the Ducks' all-time winningest coaching list (66-24-0), Mike Bellotti now has accumulated a better winning percentage (73.3%) 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 a39-20 record in Pac-10 encounters, ranking 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 89-49-2 13-year career collegiate head coaching mark.
USC'S PETE CARROLL . . . The 28th-year NFL and college coaching veteran has accumulated an 11-8 mark in his second year as the Trojans' head coach after guiding USC to only one win its first five games a year ago. Returning to the college ranks last season for the first time since 1983, he amassed a 33-31 record in four years as a NFL head coach with the New York Jets (1994) and New England Patriots (1997-99) following stops as defensive coordinator with the Jets (1990-93) and San Francisco (1995-96).
HOWRY AND KELLY AGAINST TIME . . . At their present rate, senior wide receivers Keenan Howry of Oregon and USC's Kareem Kelly would appear to possess better than average odds to put their names in the record books for surpassing the Pac-10 record for receptions in consecutive games. Both former Southern California prep standouts have equalled the record of 42 games with at least one catch, set by Arizona's Dennis Northcut (1996-99). The next target would be the NCAA record of 46 consecutive games with a reception, held by New Mexico's Carl Winston (1990-93). Howry has been credited with 17 catches for 290 yards this year while Kelly has caught 26 passes for 251 yards.