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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

kgoon@sltrib.com

Twitter: @kylegoon

PAC-12 Links
Links from around the Pac-12
Arizona (Tucson Citizen)
» Photos: UA sports Throwback Thursday Chase Budinger
» UA fall sports carry big expectations into 2014
» UA announces 2014 sports Hall of Fame class
» UA football: Notes and quotes from Wednesday's practice

Arizona St. (Arizona Republic)
» Ex-ASU star Carson signs with Australian team
» ASU selects captains, awards 5 scholarships
» Boateng taking reins at hybrid LB spot
» Photos in lockers inspire players

California (East Bay Tribune)
» Cal's goal in Dykes' second season is to establish running game
» Stanford 11th in AP's top 25 preseason football poll; Florida State No. 1
» AP Top 25 Preseason Poll
» Cal football: Sonny Dykes upbeat after closed scrimmage

Colorado (Denver Post)
» Colorado feels fortunate to have avoided a rash of preseason injuries
» Colorado senior receiver D.D. Goodson: not overlooked by coaches
» Colorado redshirt freshman Phillip Lindsay: two touchdown runs in scrimmage gave me confidence
» Buffs offense to "move guys around," says receivers coach Troy Walters

Oregon (The Oregonian)
» Former Oregon Ducks running back Jonathan Stewart scores twice for Carolina Panthers against Kansas City
» Who starts at tight end for Oregon? It's too close to call at the end of fall camp
» Oregon Ducks practice quick hits: Scrimmage No. 2 is in the books as camp conclusion nears
» ESPN's preseason all-conference team; David Shaw vs top 25; Adoree' Jackson does it all: Pac-12 roundup

Oregon State (Corvallis Gazette-Times)
» Oregon State hires longtime trainer hired Fred Tedeschi
» Beavers hire Mark Massari as deputy athletics director
» Oregon State hands out Bennys to top athletes, coaches and teams
» OSU fishing: MacDonald, Martinez win conference tournament

Stanford (San Jose Mercury-News)
» Stanford football: Defensive coordinator learns from 49ers counterpart
» Stanford 11th in AP's top 25 preseason football poll; Florida State No. 1
» AP Top 25 Preseason Poll
» Stanford football: Tailbacks Kelsey Young, Remound Wright miss scrimmage

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)
» Freshmen Brayden Lenius, Dante Pettis expected to contribute for UW's receiving corps
» Video: UW offensive lineman James Atoe
» Huskies morning links: UW offering a new cheap ticket option (with beer!)
» UW football live chat at noon today

Washington State (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
» Ewu sports chat Aug. 21 (noon)
» Football season has officially begun
» Eastern football links
» One more week



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