Ducks, Vikings Meet for the Second Time on the Gridiron
Sept. 18, 2002
NON-CONFERENCE FINALE . . . Oregon seeks to close its non-conference home slate unbeaten for the eighth straight year as it looks to extend the longest winning streak in the Pac-10 to nine games. A pair of Top-10 ranked foes collide in the 200th game at Autzen Stadium that will feature elite running backs for each offense as the Ducks face their first non-Division I-A opponent in eight seasons. Oregon hopes to continue benefitting from big plays as it seeks to equal its second-longest successful string in the 107 years of the program. An anticipated 20th straight sellout crowd (and the largest to ever witness a Portland State game) is expected to be on hand to pay homage to the present and the past as the weekend serves as the backdrop for the induction of eight new honorees into the school's Athletic Hall of Fame.
NATIONAL RANKINGS . . . Finishing last season second in the country in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN polls, Oregon has moved up to ninth in the country in both services after breaking into the pre-season rankings at 15th. Portland State has improved to eighth in the latest Division I-AA national poll.
HEAD COACH MIKE BELLOTTI . . . Ranking third on the Ducks' all-time winningest coaching list (63-23-0), Mike Bellotti now has accumulated a better winning percentage (73.3%) than any other football coach in school history with a tenure of three years or more. He has surpassed Hugo Bezdek (1906, 1913-17), who amassed a winning percentage of 72.7 with a six-year record of 30-10-4. 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 a 37-19 record in Pac-10 encounters, which ties him for 18th in career league wins. Bellotti has played a vital role in assembling more than 20 percent (102 wins) of the university's all-time triumphs (505) 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 85-48-2 13-year career head coaching mark.
PORTLAND STATE'S TIM WALSH . . . The Vikings' 10th-year head coach is one victory shy of equalling the mark as the school's winningest football coach of all time. Accumulating a 62-43 record (.590) at Portland State, the former Sonoma State mentor (1989-92) has tallied a career collegiate ledger of 89-57 (.610). The 1999 national coach of the year finalist has guided the school to four NCAA playoff berths while tutoring 12 All-Americans. Since the school made the commitment to compete at the I-AA level, the Vikings have finished second in the Big Sky Conference each of the past three seasons. He is 0-1 as a head coach against Oregon.
OREGON CONNECTION . . . The last time the two teams met, Eric Reid was a starting guard on the Ducks' Rose Bowl-bound unit. Now he finds himself on the opposite sideline following five years in an Oregon uniform (1991-95) and two seasons as a graduate assistant (1998-99). Reid is in his first season coaching the Vikings' offensive line after serving the same capacity at Eastern Washington for two years.
THREE AND COUNTING . . . Oregon, which has opened the season with no fewer than three straight wins in six of eight years under Mike Bellotti's head coaching tenure, looks to make it four in a row for the third time in the last five seasons.