Seventh-ranked Ducks Battle Washington State

Nov. 1, 2000

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STRETCH RUN . . . Oregon heads into what has become its best month of the season with its first unblemished league ledger in 43 years as it attempts to extend its prosperity to unprecedented proportions. The Ducks seek to equal their number of regular-season victories from all of last year while matching their best start since 1948 (8-1 in 1959). Two of the conference's hottest quarterbacks will square off in a game that has featured the winner scoring more than 50 points in three of the last four meetings. Oregon's defense looks to soothe its bruised ego from a week ago despite bearing the torch for most of the first seven games. Not all players may be unhappy about returning to the road as quarterback Joey Harrington hopes to continue his remarkable stretch of success away from home. The Ducks wish to avoid duplicating their lone pitfall from their last league championship campaign as they leave the state of Oregon for the final time during this year's regular season.

NATIONAL RANKINGS . . . Oregon remained seventh in this week's Associated Press poll for the third week in a row while improving to eighth according to the USA/ESPN voters. The Ducks' AP standing equals their loftiest national perch ever as they also found themselves ranked seventh in the country in 1964. The Ducks first broke into this season's Top 25 six weeks ago at 20th on the writers version and 25th in the coaches poll.

HEAD COACH MIKE BELLOTTI . . . Ranking third on the Ducks' all-time winningest coaching list (46-21-0), 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 in the past six years than any other program in the league. Oregon's sixth-year head coach has accumulated a 28-17 record in conference encounters (.622), which moves him into 15th all-time among conference circles in terms of career winning percentage. He has played a vital role in assembling more than 17 percent (85 wins) of the University's all-time triumphs (488) in his 12-year Oregon association (six as offensive coordinator and six as head coach). Only the legendary Hugo Bezdek (72.7 -- 1906, 1913-17) has accumulated better winning percentages than Bellotti's 68.7 percent among the program's career mentors who have coached the Ducks a minimum of three seasons. The 49-year-old former Cal State-Chico mentor owns a 10-year career head coaching mark of 69-46-2.

WASHINGTON STATE'S MIKE PRICE . . . The Cougars' 12th-year head coach and former Washington State assistant (1974-77, 1969-70) reigns as the school's only head coach to guide the program to three post-season appearances and only third to lead his contingent to the Rose Bowl. Accumulating an overall record of 62-71-0, Mike Price ranks 15th on the Pac-10's list of all-time conference wins (35-58-0). The 1997 Pac-10 Coach of the Year owns a 20-year collegiate mark of 108-115-0 after serving eight seasons at Weber State (1981-88).

AGAINST THE OPPOSITION . . . Oregon's Mike Bellotti has accumulated a 3-2 record vs. Washington State (including a 1-1 slate at Martin Stadium), while Mike Price has forged a 4-6 slate against the Ducks.

GAMES TO REMEMBER ARE PLAYED IN NOVEMBER . . . Mike Bellotti has been quick to emphasize that it's not how well you start a season as much as how you finish. If past history is any indication, it would appear that the Ducks are in good shape. Under Oregon's sixth-year head coach, the program has accumulated a record of 13-2 during the final month of the regular season.

PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK . . . Junior quarterback Joey Harrington completed 26 of 43 passes for 434 yards and six touchdowns to earn the Pac-10's offensive player-of-the-week honors for the second time in three weeks. The Portland junior completed 16 of 23 passes for 241 yards and three scores following the conclusion of the third quarter. Not only did it mark Harrington's second league honor this season, it represented the team's fifth such distinction in the last six weeks.

ON A ROLL . . . Only two other Oregon teams have posted better records after eight games than the current edition in the the program's 104-year history. While this year's contingent has equalled the 7-1 ledgers secured in 1959 and `48, the Ducks recorded 8-0 marks in 1933 as well as a 7-0-1 slate in 1916. In each of the first three instances, Oregon proceeded to post wins in the ninth game while the school only played eight games in 1916.

MORE STREAKS OF NOTE . . . Listed below are additional strings of significance as Oregon pushes towards its eighth regular-season victory for an unprecedented third straight year in school annals. (That's a feat unmatched in the Pac-10 since Washington did so from 1990-92.)

Oregon has not won seven games in a row in one season since 1948 It's six-game winning streak is tied for the fifth-longest in the country (TCU {11}, Oklahoma {8}, Virginia Tech {8}, West. Michigan {7}, So. Miss. {6}) The 10-game conference winning streak ranks second in school history (Oregon won 13 in a row from 1947-49) Oregon's seven consecutive winning seasons is school's longest since 1928-35 Oregon last won its first six Pac-10 games in 1948 (7-0)

RECORD BREAKERS . . . Quarterback Joey Harrington and wide receiver Marshaun Tucker both equalled school records in last week's 56-55 double overtime win at Arizona State. Harrington's six touchdown passes matched Danny O'Neil's sextet of scoring tosses at Stanford in 1994. Tucker matched the school pinnacle for TD receptions (3) for the ninth time (first since 1997), while his 11 catches corresponded with the existing standard for the seventh time (first since 1995).

ALL IN THIS TOGETHER . . . Even though the Ducks' offense was in need of every one of its 565 yards of total offense (most since 1998's 664 yards vs. Stanford) it accumulated in last week's 56-55 double-overtime victory, you certainly won't observe the Oregon offense finding fault with the defense for giving up 667 yards to Arizona State (most on record dating back through 1977 season). The previous week, Oregon's defense limited Arizona to only 217 yards to compensate for the offense being able to generate 260 total yards (lowest Oregon offensive output since 1997) in its 14-10 win.

IN POSSESSION OF A WIN . . . Oregon has won the battle of possession in all seven games this season, claiming a 33:21-to-26:39 advantage. However, that time of possession edge has increased in the Ducks' favor to 33:56-26:06 in their six victories.

1st DOWN . . . Much of Oregon's success has been its ability to dictate first-down yardage, both offensively and defensively. Through the first seven games, the Ducks have accumulated 1,365 yards (5.2 avg., 264 plays) total offense on first down while yielding 1066 (4.8 avg., 220 plays). However, Oregon's last two opponents have held the upper hand on first downs, with Arizona outgaining the Ducks, 3.3 avg. to 2.3 avg., and Arizona State holding an upper hand, 6.4 avg. to 5.4 avg.

BIG-PLAY BREAKDOWNS . . . The Ducks' defense, which has not finished a season ranked among the nation's top 20 in any of the four major defensive categories since 1995, remains on the verge of snapping that drought in three major departments. An efficient offense has maximized its opportunities and is poised to average better than 400 yards of offense for the fifth year in a row. And a special teams unit has come close to reeling off some big returns of its own. Despite their impressive numbers, this year's output would be even more impressive if it were not for giving up the 'big play'. Among the more amazing stats this season, foes have tallied more than 54 percent of their offensive output (931 of 1735 yards) from a little more than four percent of their plays (19 of 437). Included were runs of 59, 75 and 83 yards, as well as a 40-yard pass by Wisconsin, passes of 53 and 32 yards, in addition to a 56-yard run, by Idaho, passes of 54, 35 and 34 yards by UCLA, passes of 35 and 59 yards by Washington, passes of 49 and 32 yards, plus runs of 59 and 34 yards by USC, as well as a 58-yard pass from Arizona.

FOOTBALL NEWS HONORS . . . Representative of the success the Ducks have enjoyed on the field, individual honors continue to pour in for members of the program deemed most responsibile for such success. Football News released the names of 15 semifinalists for awards given to the nation's top offensive and defensive players of the year, with Oregon placing players for consideration among both categories. Quarterback Joey Harrington is among seven quarterbacks considered for the offensive honor and one of only two players from the Pacific-10 Conference. Likewise, senior defensive end Saul Patu is one of 15 defensive nominees as well as only one of two Pac-10 defenders. Rounding out the nominees for post-season honors is head coach Mike Bellotti, who was one of 10 semifinalists for national Coach-of-the-Year accolades. The lists will be trimmed to finalists on Nov. 20, with the award recipients to be announced Dec. 6.

Football News Coach-of-the-Year Semifinalists	Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech	Lou Holtz, South Carolina	Mike Bellotti, Oregon		Rick Neuheisel, Washington	Tommy Bowden, Clemson		Gary Nord, UTEP	Bob Davie, Notre Dame		Bob Stoops, Oklahoma	Dennis Franchione, TCU		Randy Walker, Northwestern	

RAY GUY AWARD NOMINEE . . . Oregon senior Kurtis Doerr is one of 40 nominees to watch for the honor awarded to the top collegiate punter in the country. Last season's second-team all-conference specialist averaged 41.7 yards per kick a year ago, along with a net average of 38.8 yards. One of the most amazing aspects of this season is that opponents have been able to generate only 25 return yards from his 47 punts this year. Although only eight of his punts have traveled 50 yards or greater this season -- improving his career total of 50+ kicks to 20 -- 20 of his kicks have pinned opponents inside their own 20 yard line (8 at the 10-yard line or better), in addition to two others that were fumbled and recovered by Oregon inside the 15 yard line. In addition, Doerr also has been named to a first-team midseason All-America team as selected by ABC Sports Bowl Championship Series website.

Oregon Career Punting Percentage	1.	Len Isberg (1940)	39	1670	42.8	2.	Mike Preacher (1984-86)	167	7130	42.7	3.	Kurtis Doerr (1999- )	106	4367	41.2	4.	Josh Bidwell (1995-98)	229	9350	40.8

BUTKUS AWARD SEMIFINALIST . . . Senior middle linebacker Matt Smith is one of 11 linebackers in the country (and three in the Pacific-10 Conference) to survive the cut for the award given to the nation's top collegiate linebacker. He joins Adam Archulata of Arizona State and UCLA's Robert Thomas.

GUNDY RECEIVES RECOGNITION . . . Oregon senior offensive lineman Lee Gundy was another to receive rave midterm reviews as he was cited by The Sporting News as part of its midseason All-America first team. Not only has the Maryville, Calif., standout started at three different positions this year along the Ducks' offensive line, he played left tackle, right tackle and right guard all in the same game three weeks ago at USC.

CLOSE CALLS . . . As a testament to the composure Mike Bellotti has handed down to his players throughout the years, his Oregon teams have compiled a 23-8 record in games decided by a touchdown or less since the start of the 1995 season.

MOVING TOWARD THE TOP . . . Joey Harrington's 939 yards passing over the last three weeks has helped move him into 10th on Oregon's career passing yards list, replacing Dave Grosz (2,374, 1958-60), and pulls him within 147 yards of 10th on the Ducks' all-time total offense chart.

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