No. 15 Football Looks To Extend Pac-10's Longest Road Winning Streak At No. 5 Washington State
Nov. 5, 2002
SECOND SEASON . . . Oregon enters the home stretch of its regular season against its first of three Northwest rivals as it seeks to post the longest winning streak by either team in the series' 102nd year. The Ducks look to extend thePac-10's longest road winning string while equalling the school's longest road run on record when it attempts to knock off the league's last conference unbeaten in front of a regional television audience. The defending conference champions travel to Pullman, Wash., for the third consecutive year in search of their fourth straight victory in Martin Stadium as they hope to regain the services of their top offensive weapon who unleashed a record day in Pullman a year ago. Allowing over 1,000 passing yards over the previous two games, Oregon strives to continue rebuilding its defensive momentum after posting its best effort against the pass in two years. A battle of kickers could be favorable for the visitors as they feature one of the Lou Groza Award semifinalists.
NATIONAL RANKINGS . . . Finishing last season second in the country in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN polls, Oregon has improved to 15th in both rankings after escalating as high as sixth in the country earlier in the year by both. Washington State has improved to fifth in both the writers and coaches polls.
HEAD COACH MIKE BELLOTTI . . . Ranking third on the Ducks' all-time winningest coaching list (67-25-0), Mike Bellotti now has accumulated a better winning percentage (72.8%) than any other football coach in school history with a tenure longer than two seasons. He trails only Rich Brooks (91-109, 1977-94) and Len Casanova (82-73, 1951-66) on the school's list of career victories. Leading the program to more overall wins during his reign than any other school in thePacific-10 Conference, he stands as the winningest active coach in the Pac-10 based on conference winning percentage (65.6%), and 13th all time. Oregon's eighth-year head coach has accumulated a 40-21 record in Pac-10 encounters, which ties him for 17th in career league wins with Pappy Waldorf (California, 1947-56). Bellotti has played a vital role in assembling more than 20 percent (106 wins) of the university's all-time triumphs (509) 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 a 90-50-2 13-year career collegiate head coaching mark.
WASHINGTON STATE'S MIKE PRICE . . . Leading the Cougars to more Pac-10 wins (47) than any active coach in the league (and tied for 14th all time), Mike Price has accumulated an 81-76 record in his 14th season in Pullman. He stands as the school's only head coach to lead Washington State to four bowl games. Owning a collegiate coaching mark of 127-120, he served an eight-year tenure as head coach at Weber State (1981-88) following assistant coaching stints at Washington State (1969-70, 1974-77), Puget Sound (1971-73) and Missouri (1978-80).
AGAINST NATIONALLY-RANKED OPPONENTS . . . Oregon has posted a16-11 record against Top 25-ranked foes during the Mike Bellotti era, including wins in its last six confrontations and 11 of the last 13 opportunities since 1999. That mark dips to 1-2 when facing team's ranked among the nation's top-five. The highest-ranked opponent the Ducks have bettered on the road as of late was No. 6 Washington (31-28) in 1997, while Oregon was unsuccessful vs. fifth-ranked Wisconsin (27-23) in Madison, Wis., in 2000.