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Kurt Kragthorpe and Kyle Goon
Kurt Kragthorpe and Kyle Goon cover the Pac-12 for The Salt Lake Tribune.

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(Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune) UCLA Bruins quarterback Brett Hundley (17) scrambles and throws an interception touchdown during the second half of the game at Rice-Eccles Stadium Thursday October 3, 2013. UCLA is winning the game 27-24.
UCLA, Jim Mora hungry for a shot at Pac-12 title

Earlier this month in a Pac-12 conference call, a reporter asked UCLA coach Jim Mora if his football program is where he wants it to be.

"No," he said. "I hope I never feel like that."

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The Bruins are a team with big dreams, Mora elaborated. They want to win the Pac-12. They want to win the Rose Bowl. They want to be mentioned in the same breath as Alabama, Auburn or Florida State when pundits talk about the national title picture.

Listening to Mora, one gets the sense that he's in it for the long haul at UCLA.

"It's really only been two years - that's nothing," he said. "I hope over the next 10 or 15 years, or however long I'm fortunate enough to be here, it can really be something special."

Next year could be special for the Bruins, even though they lose five NFL draftees.

The biggest piece they bring back is Brett Hundley, one of the most spectacular quarterbacks in a conference with some pretty good ones. He accounted for 3,071 passing yards, 748 rushing yards and 35 total touchdowns last year as he helped lead the Bruins to a 10-3 record. Although UCLA lost a second-round pick in Xavier Su'a-Filo, they bring back plenty of talent on offense.

On defense, the Bruins lost two draft picks at linebacker, but there's plenty of talent to replace them. In the conference call, Mora cited Kenny Orjioke and Deon Hollins as two young players who made strides in spring camp, and other freshmen such as Zach Whitley should make a case to play.

The big-name star who returns is Myles Jack, who gained notoriety for playing both ways last year as a linebacker and running back. Although some media have reported that UCLA is unlikely to use him on offense this fall, Mora said it's possible - he just wants Jack's main role to be on defense.

"I don't plan on minimizing him," he said. "He's a really good football player and we're going to get him the football in any way we can. But we don't ever want to take away from what he does for our defense because he's a truly special linebacker."

Kyle Goon


Twitter: @kylegoon

PAC-12 Links
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Arizona (Tucson Citizen)
» UA football: Your stories from the 'Hill Mary'
» Hansen's Sunday Notebook: Caldwell's pin count goes into record books
» UA football: Inside the numbers of UA's win
» UA football: My AP Top 25 ballot

Arizona St. (Arizona Republic)
» ASU football has a new enemy: Drake
» ASU's rivalry with UCLA takes center stage
» ASU football practice report from Sunday
» College insider: ASU volleyball set for UA

California (East Bay Tribune)
» Cal's game at Washington State on Oct. 4 to kick off at 7:30 p.m.
» Jeff Kent provides women's scholarship endowment to Cal athletics
» Cal athletics store celebrates football victory prematurely
» Cal coach Sonny Dykes to players: 'Hang in there'

Colorado (Denver Post)
» Speedy freshman Donovan Lee gives CU Buffs another playmaker
» Colorado coached to avoid coin-toss glitches, MacIntyre says
» Colorado's MacIntyre gratified Buffs practiced hard Monday
» CU Buffs tackle Jeromy Irwin might play vs. Hawaii after concussion

Oregon (The Oregonian)
» Oregon Ducks open up Autzen Stadium doors for Fan Fest: Photo gallery
» My vote in the Grantland Rice 'Super 16' poll, where the Oregon Ducks stay stable after staying undefeated
» Oregon State + USC + Los Angeles Coliseum = sustained futility; Issues & Answers
» Devon Allen continues torrid pace with 5 touchdown grabs 4 games into Oregon Ducks season

Oregon State (Corvallis Gazette-Times)
» Oregon State roundup (Sept. 19)
» OSU men's basketball: Tinkle says positive steps being made
» Spencer to become new AD at Evansville
» BeaversSalute program gives tickets to military personnel and veterans

Stanford (San Jose Mercury-News)
» Local sports digest: Stanford, Cal in water polo showdown
» Stanford coach David Shaw goes digging
» Cal, Stanford Pac-12 men's basketball schedules announced
» Local sports digest: Stanford's Maverick McNealy ties for medalist honors

UCLA (Los Angeles Daily News)
» UCLA Football Notebook: Running back Malcolm Jones loses appeal for extra season
» COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Improving UCLA has questions to answer during preseason football camp
» COLLEGE FOOTBALL: UCLA's prized recruit Eddie Vanderdoes cleared to play by NCAA after leaving Notre Dame
» Pac-12 Media Day: Eyes on Anthony Barr for UCLA's 2013 hopes

USC (Los Angeles Daily News)
» USC Football Notebook: Marqise Lee's injury not too serious
» USC Football Notebook: QBs Max Wittek, Cody Kessler present dilemma for Trojans coach Lane Kiffin
» USC FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Former UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel thinks Trojans might not miss QB Matt Barkley
» USC FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Dion Bailey says it's 'now or never'

Washington (Seattle Times)
» Huskies morning links: Kasen Williams on Stanford: 'It's going to be a showdown'
» Huskies get commitment from linebacker DJ Beavers
» Throw the ball more, says Huskies receiver Kasen Williams
» Huskies vs. Stanford, by the numbers: UW's Danny Shelton, Hau'oli Kikaha lead nation in sacks

Washington State (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
» Cal game set for 7:30
» Grading the Oregon game
» Wilson's ability can stand on its own
» Utah week

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