Head Football Coach Mike Bellotti Looks Ahead to Bowl Practice

Dec. 1, 2000

EUGENE - The following are comments from University of Oregon Football Head Coach Mike Bellotti from a short pre-practice interview with the local media Friday.

Q:(With your first practice), what are the main things you're trying to get done today?

'I think the kids are in shape because they've worked out this entire week. But still the timing and tempo that occurs for football is different. We're in shells today, and we'll probably go in pads tomorrow morning, and get after it a little bit and shells again Sunday. But the thing is to keep some of the motor muscles going for football.'

Q:Are you worried about focus at all (after the loss to Oregon State)?

'No. I'll tell you that subsequent to our loss at Wisconsin we talked a lot about what we needed to do, how we needed to refocus ... that we gave a winning effort but not a winning performance. So I feel very much the same way about the Civil war game. Oregon State played very well, we did not play as well we're capable of. And it's that simple. The great thing is to get that taste out of our mouth, and we only have one opportunity. I think this last game we will live with for the rest of the year. So in my mind it becomes much more important.'

Q:Is it more important this year to make this bowl appearance a positive (after OSU)?

'I think anytime you can make a bowl game appearance a positive in and of itself is positive. You carry that through the entire recruiting season, and I've said, we've played in a lot of bowl games and we win them there's a certain positive attitude in the weight room, on the practice fields after that and it's better than having the negative pressure. Obviously, we're excited about finding out where we're going to go and who we're going to play.'

Q:How much of a difference would it make right now if you did know those things?

'Not too much really. We'd be a little more specific. One of things you like to do is practice with a purpose. Sometimes when you practice just to practice, it's tough on the kids and the coaches. The sooner we know who we're going to play the sooner we can focus on some type of game plan.'

Q: How long does it take to get game film and scouting reports once you find out who you're playing?

'It probably takes a couple days to get all the film and a couple more days to evaluate it. It's about a week to put a plan together - which we have that time. If we know Sunday then we'll start to exchange film. The other problem is, with seven of my coaches being on the road, we're not quite up to speed in terms of doing the game plan stuff as we would normally do.'

Q: Any difference in going to San Diego rather than Hawaii?

'A significant difference. Simply being down in Southern California area - the hot bed of recruiting, and more of our fans being able to get there. It's tremendously different.'

Q: There's been speculation by media from other parts of the country -- have you been offered the USC job?


Q: Can you set Duck fans' minds at ease?

'I can tell you honestly that I've been contacted by several schools in the past week about whether I'd be interested. They've talked, I've listened and that's as far as anything has gone.'

Q: So, they made the initial contact and not you?

'Absolutely. And the biggest thing for me right now is getting back to practice, finding out who we're going to play and preparing our team to attempt to win our 10th game for the first time ever in the history of this school.'

Q:Are you going to talk to the team about that situation?

'Yes. I'm going to talk to the team about a bunch of things. I haven't had the chance to really talk to the team since the Oregon State game. At the banquet, I tempered my comments. So, I will talk to them about a lot of things and what we need to do in the next couple of weeks to get ready.'

Q: Reports say that you've been offered a contract by USC and that you're going to mull it over. Is that something you can comment on?


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