Bellotti Believes the Most Stops Wins

San Diego – The opposing coaches in the 2008 Pacific Life Holiday Bowl appeared together in a joint media conference on Monday morning and expressed appreciation for the opportunity to play the game on Tuesday night. Oregon's Mike Bellotti felt the game is the best match up of the bowl season and Oklahoma State's Mike Gundy called Oregon college football's "best kept secret."

(PHOTO) Oregon coach Mike Bellotti addresses the media during the press conference at the 2008 Holiday Bowl while Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy looks on. (Photo by Chris Wilson)

Both coaches agreed those field conditions at Qualcomm Stadium, the site of the Holiday Bowl is not a concern, even though tomorrow's game will be the third on the turf in the last seven days. Just a week ago the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl was played on Dec. 23rd in a game that saw TCU defeat Boise State, 17-16. Yesterday the San Diego Chargers wrapped up a playoff bid by trouncing the Denver Broncos 52-21 on the home field, however Bellotti and Gundy felt their teams would have the same conditions to deal with.

Gundy indicated that he and his staff have garnered a great amount of respect for the Ducks and believe Oregon is the best rushing team his squad will see in the 2008 season and that the Oregon secondary "is as good as any" the Cowboys have faced.

Bellotti maintains that the game may comedown to which defense makes the most defensive stops in a game that will feature two high powered offenses. Oklahoma State is ranked seventh nationally averaging 489.25 yards per game and Oregon is right behind at No. 8 with 478.17 ypg. The game will feature mobile quarterbacks that have the ability to break off runs for scores, strong rushing attacks and skilled receivers that can catch and make big plays.

"This game will be decided by the defense that makes the most stops," said Bellotti of the game. "Sometimes making a stop against the offenses will be pretty awesome."

Bellotti was also particularly impressed with both quarterbacks that will take the field likening OSU's Zac Robinson to a NBA point guard.

"We talk about our quarterback being the best point guard in the Pac-10 Football League," Bellotti said of Oregon's Jeremiah Masoli. "Their quarterback Zac Robinson is the best point guard in terms of distributing the football."

Both squads are so evenly matched and though run slightly different versions of the spread offense and use of the no huddle, it caused Bellotti to say unhesitatingly that the game is the best of the post season play.

"It maybe the best match up in College Football right now," announced Bellotti. "You can quote me on that."

Bellotti jokingly mentioned the Oklahoma State monogram OSU and colors – black and orange, as something that would easily motivate the Ducks. The monogram and colors of course are the same for Oregon's in-state rival Oregon State.

"It doesn't hurt our preparation that they are OSU and they wear orange and black," kidded Bellotti. "It gets the Ducks' dander up a little bit."

On a more serious note, Bellotti answered a question about the late Todd Doxey, a native of San Diego who tragically died in a swimming accident last summer. Bellotti mentioned that it was ironic that the season began with several coaches and players flying to San Diego to attend Doxey's funeral and now fittingly the Ducks will end the season by playing in the Holiday Bowl. Later in the day at the Oregon pep rally, it was announced that the Doxey family had given the Ducks $2,000 to be used, "in the spirit that would have made Todd proud."

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