UCLA pulled the Victory Bell back into Pauley Pavilion for the second year in a row, ringing it at halftime of the Bruins’ game against UC Santa Barbara. Linebacker Jordan Zumwalt was charged with leading an eight-clap, which he closed with a, um, message for USC.
Jim Mora has agreed to a six-year extension with UCLA, the school announced today, ending nearly two days of speculation that he would bolt for Washington.
CBS Sports’ Bruce Feldman first reported that Mora would stay.
Steve Sarkisian’s departure for USC had left the Huskies’ top spot open, giving Mora a chance to return to his alma mater and take what he had once called his “dream job.”
Practicality overwhelmed sentiment, however, and the 52-year-old opted to stay with the program he has touted as a budding national contender. The extension will keep him through the 2019 season. Continue reading
“I’m not concerned at all, to be honest,” he told sports radio host Jim Rome. “I haven’t really heard too much. Obviously, there’s so much talk about it right now. But I’m not concerned about it at all. I know Coach Mora. I love him to death. Obviously, he loves UCLA. He loves the players. We love him. We’re not really worried or anything like that about him leaving.”
Of course, it would have been surprising if Hundley or other Bruins had said otherwise, but they at least backed up the tone Mora set with his post-USC press conference. Earlier reports that Mora was in Seattle were unfounded. Continue reading
USC’s hire of Steve Sarkisian has already opened up speculation that Washington is gunning for UCLA’s Jim Mora. I broke down all the reasons he has to stay in Los Angeles in the Daily News, but for simplicity’s sake, I’ll list both sides now.
The case for UW: Alma mater, better facilities (including a new, on-campus stadium).
The case for UCLA: Two-year foundation already built, natural recruiting advantages, family settling in (son at Claremont McKenna, father in Palm Springs), weather, not having to coach against Myles Jack.
As for the murmurs placing him in Seattle today, well … one Jim Mora definitely was.
Talk about versatility. Today, UCLA’s Myles Jack was named both Pac-12 Defensive and Offensive Freshman Player of the Year — becoming the first to take both since the awards were introduced in 2008.
The linebacker/running back earned a starting spot on defense by the Bruins’ second game, and finished the season tied for fourth on the team with 70 tackles. His 10 pass breakups ranked second in the Pac-12, and first nationally among linebackers. Continue reading
UCLA has fired running backs coach Steve Broussard. The news was first reported by Bruin Report Online.
The 46-year-old was a wide receivers coach at Arizona State for two seasons before joining Jim Mora in Westwood in December 2011. He also worked at Portland State and various Southern California high schools following a nine-year NFL career.
— steve broussard (@SbroussardSteve) December 2, 2013
With Broussard, the Bruins had only landed one running back in the last two recruiting cycles. Four-star tailback Craig Lee redshirted the 2013 season, while 2012 signee Fabian Moreau converted from running back to cornerback soon after arriving on campus.
“We appreciate the contributions Steve made to the UCLA football program the past two years and wish him much success in the future,” Mora said in a statement.
The Bruins are taking an in-home visit with five-star running back Joe Mixon today.
A roundup of the coverage in Sunday’s edition of the L.A. Daily News:
– UCLA’s 35-14 win over the Trojans gave the team rightful claim to the city, at least for another year.
– Brett Hundley had his way with USC’s defense. Will he come back to do so again?
– The Bruins’ defense held the Trojans to 314 yards, the lowest output of any UCLA opponent this season.
– The loss takes pressure off USC athletic director Pat Haden to hire interim coach Ed Orgeron.
– Columnist Tom Hoffarth shares the story of his old USC jacket, a gift long lost.
Some thoughts from the victory:
– Might as well start with some quick “we run L.A.” quotes …
– Jim Mora is clearly moving UCLA along the right path. Continue reading