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COLLEGE FOOTBALL / 1996

Oregon Finishes Strong, Routs Oregon State

November 24, 1996|From Associated Press

CORVALLIS, Ore. — Four weeks ago, in the frustrating aftermath of his team's fifth consecutive loss, Oregon Coach Mike Bellotti guaranteed his team would win its last three games.

Mission accomplished.

The Ducks routed Oregon State, 49-13, on Saturday, turning up the heat on the embattled Beaver Coach Jerry Pettibone.

In one of the most one-sided contests in the 100 games of the Civil War rivalry, the Ducks, 6-5 overall and 3-5 in the Pacific 10, concluded a run of victories over Arizona, California and Oregon State by scores of 49-31, 40-23 and 49-13.

"I think we're one of the best teams in the Pac-10 right now," Bellotti said. "It would be a shame if we didn't go to a bowl game. But that's in other people's hands."

Oregon's offense, led by a senior-dominated line, pushed the Beavers (2-9, 1-7) around throughout the cold, gray afternoon, and the Ducks' defense stifled Oregon State's option attack, limiting it to just 70 yards on the ground.

"They just controlled the line of scrimmage," Pettibone said. "If you had told me we'd have more passing yards against Oregon than running yards, I'd have told you you were crazy."

Saladin McCullough, despite playing with a sore hamstring, rushed for 146 yards and three touchdowns in 28 carries, and Tony Graziani passed for three scores as the Ducks stayed in contention for an Aloha Bowl bid or, perhaps, a Copper Bowl invitation.

The blowout loss added to speculation that Pettibone won't return as coach. The Beavers are 13-52-1 in Pettibone's six seasons at the school. Athletic Director Dutch Baughman and university president Paul Risser met Saturday night to discuss Pettibone's status.

The Ducks' 49 points tied the most ever scored by a team in the longest football rivalry on the West Coast. The 36-point margin was the most in the series since Oregon won, 44-0, in 1987.

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