UCLA’s 42-14 loss at Oregon had Jim Mora more visibly frustrated than he’d looked at any point this season. The Bruins head coach talked at length about how disappointing the blowout was, and even banged on the table at one point during the press conference.
“The coulda, the woulda, the shoulda, all that cr– we don’t want that,” he said (a little after the three-minute mark). “I’m tired of that. It’s time for UCLA to turn the friggin’ page. And be something different. And win those games. That’s what it’s time to be.”
Few expect UCLA to leave Eugene victorious this weekend. Oregon and its second-ranked offense is riding a streak of four straight BCS bowl berths, and looks on course for a second appearance in the national title game. Meanwhile, the Bruins are fighting through injuries and trying to rebound after Stanford delivered them their first loss of the season.
Can Jim Mora’s team pull the upset?
UCLA offense vs. Oregon defense:
If Mora sticks by his words, UCLA won’t try to bog down Oregon.
“We want to score points,” he said Thursday. “Our offense operates best when we’re going fast. That’s what we’re going to go do. We’re going to play our game. Continue reading
– UCLA coach Jim Mora played it coy Thursday when asked about his starting offensive line, hinting that left tackle Simon Goines (MCL) could still be available at Oregon on Saturday. The sophomore did not practice Thurday, nor did senior Y-receiver Darius Bell.
– Though Mora didn’t talk about the likelihood of starting three true freshmen on his line, he said that the position was “without a doubt” the most difficult for a first-year player. A less-than-stellar offensive line is difficult to hide schematically, and freshmen must also account for defenses that can shift right before a snap. Continue reading
As if facing undefeated Oregon wasn’t challenging enough, UCLA must worry about an additional threat this Saturday: running back De’Anthony Thomas.
The All-America candidate has missed almost four full games with a sprained ankle, but declared himself ready to play against the Bruins. Thomas averaged 8.0 yards per carry as the Ducks’ lead back. After the emergence of sophomore Byron Marshall (746 yards, nine touchdowns) and freshman Thomas Tyner (360 yards, seven touchdowns), he could move back into a more versatile role.
Through his first two seasons, Thomas moved all over the lineup and rolled out 3,992 all-purpose yards. Comparisons don’t always come easily for such a player, but UCLA linebackers coach Jeff Ulbrich gave it a shot. Continue reading
Despite his team’s myriad injuries, UCLA coach Jim Mora was downright chirpy Tuesday afternoon. Unsurprisingly, he talked about Saturday’s trip to No. 2 Oregon being a prime, competitive opportunity, one the Bruins — coming off their first loss — are eagerly awaiting. Continue reading
No. 12 UCLA (5-1, 2-1 Pac-12) at No. 2 Oregon (7-0, 4-0)
Location: Autzen Stadium, Oct. 26, 4 p.m.
TV: ESPN (Brent Musberger, Kirk Herbstreit, Heather Cox)
Radio: 570 AM (Chris Roberts, Matt Stevens, Wayne Cook)
Last meeting: An already-fired Rick Neuheisel coached his final game, a spot in the 2011 Pac-12 Championship game that came by way of a USC postseason ban. UCLA lost 49-31 against No. 8 Oregon, as LaMichael James rushed for three scores — tying LenDale White with 52 career touchdowns.
He scored one more in a Rose Bowl win over Wisconsin, taking sole possession of second in conference history.
Key storylines: UCLA is trying to rebound after its first loss of the season, a 24-10 loss at Stanford in which its offense struggled as much as ever in the Jim Mora era. Continue reading