UCLA’s 42-30 loss to Oregon adds more questions to season outlook

UCLA bench looks toward the scoreboard during the second half of a 42-30 loss to No. 12 Oregon at the Rose Bowl on Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014. (Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)

» UCLA’s season is at a crossroad after a 42-30 decision against Oregon dealt the team back-to-back losses.
» Vinny Bonsignore’s column on Jeff Ulbrich’s mid-game outburst, and how it turned into a learning experience for the 37-year-old defensive coordinator.
» Larry Scott said the Pac-12 will review the punch Eddie Vanderdoes threw during the second quarter, one that did not result in an ejection.

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UCLA coach Jim Mora downplays his argument with Jeff Ulbrich

If someone makes a big deal out of a sideline argument between two coaches, that person doesn’t understand sports.

At least, that’s what UCLA head coach Jim Mora said after cameras caught him arguing with with defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich in the second quarter — after Oregon scored its second touchdown in an eventual 42-30 win at the Rose Bowl.

Ulbrich walked toward Mora and followed him, then handed over his playcard and removed his headset.

“How many of you guys have ever been on the sidelines coaching a game at any level?” Mora said. “I go to my kid’s pee wee game, and coaches are “Arrgh!” — grinding. And it’s a game in front of 12 fans. Continue reading

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Utah 30, UCLA 28: Defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich

In their 30-28 upset of UCLA on Saturday night, Utah set up its go-ahead field goal with nine straight runs for 63 yards. Overall, the Bruins gave up 242 yards on the ground, a season-high by 78.

“Great defenses gotta stop the run when you know they’re gonna run,” said UCLA defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich. “We knew they were gonna run, and we didn’t.”

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VIDEO: Jeff Ulbrich says UCLA defense is ‘hungry’ to prove itself

UCLA defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich talked on Wednesday about defensive back Ishmael Adams, defensive end Takkarist McKinley, and the looming matchup against Utah and quarterback Travis Wilson.

“For a defense that’s as hungry as we are right now, and eager as these guys are to prove to the world who they are — who they want to become — it’s a great challenge for us,” Ulbrich said. “It’s the perfect game for us.”

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VIDEO: Jeff Ulbrich reviews UCLA’s defensive performance

As good as UCLA’s defense looked in its 28-20 season-opening win at Virginia, it missed out on a flashy statistic — finishing with zero sacks.

“Sacks are overrated,” defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich said Wednesday. “They’re overrated. Sometimes, in order to get sacks, you have to do a lot of selfish things.”

He also talked at length about his defensive line, comparing it to one he played behind as a linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers.

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