Pac-12 apologizes for coin toss confusion

Conference officials called UCLA head coach Jim Mora Sunday morning at 8 a.m. to apologize for the confusion surrounding the coin toss before the Bruins kicked off at Arizona State.

To review, Mora had kept the captains in the locker room to rush out with the rest of the team, leaving punter Jeff Locke to take up coin toss duties in a pinch. Through some miscommunication, the officials understood Locke as saying that the Bruins wanted to “kick” rather than “defer” after winning the toss, thus leaving the Sun Devils to decide how to start out of halftime.

ASU scored a field goal on its first drive of the second half in the 45-43 loss. Mora declined to say exactly what the apology entailed, but said he was glad the Pac-12 took responsibility.

UPDATE: Doesn’t seem like a story worth making up, so I’m guessing the Pac-12 didn’t expect Mora to go public with this.

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UCLA vs. Arizona State: Post-game quotes

UCLA head coach Jim Mora

On what the win does to his team psychologically:
“I think that it helps you believe in what you are doing. When you go on the road and you find yourself in a tough environment and you don’t come from behind once, but you come from behind twice — you’re down 14 to down two there at the end — there is a sense of belief in yourself as a player, in the systems you are installing offensively, defensively and on special teams but only if we don’t gloss over the negatives that still happen in the game.” Continue reading

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UCLA vs. Arizona State: Halftime update

Story of two games so far. First an odd coin toss screw-up by Jeff Locke that gave ASU the ball to start both halves; he said he wanted to kickoff rather than defer, giving the Sun Devils the option after halftime. Arizona State took advantage of a muffed punt by Steven Manfro after the UCLA defense forced a three-and-out. The Sun Devils scored two plays later on a 7-yard pass to Kevin Ozier, then gashed the Bruins on a methodical run game to go up 14-0 early.

UCLA responded with an impressive drive of its own, built mostly on the efforts of tailback Johnathan Franklin. Brett Hundley connected with Devin Fuller in the end zone for the receiver’s first catch. UCLA then took advantage with a brilliant punt, heavy pass pressure, and a bad pass by Taylor Kelly. Snatched it for a TD return to go up 21-17. Continue reading

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UCLA vs. Arizona State Scouting Report

UCLA vs. Arizona State
12 p.m. today, Sun Devil Stadium. TV: FX

UCLA wins if …
Brett Hundley and Johnathan Franklin exploit Will Sutton’s likely absence. … The Bruins defense can consistently pressure Taylor Kelly. … The Sun Devils’ kicking woes finally cost them a game.
ASU wins if …
Taylor Kelly finds his form again and abuses a spotty secondary. … Running back committee churns out yards early to dismiss any signs of a blowout hangover. … Will Sutton heals miraculously and punishes a young offensive line.  Continue reading

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