Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Utah football: Utes face Jim Mora’s new and improved UCLA
College football » New coach giving the Bruins new attitude.
First Published Oct 11 2012 09:33 am • Last Updated Jan 14 2013 11:32 pm

He has thrown players out of practice, he has kicked media members out of practice and he has called his own sports information staff "incompetent." No one is safe from Jim Mora’s critical ways as the former NFL coach has rebuilt the UCLA Bruins in his style.

It’s hard to complain, however, about a few ruffled feathers based on the results he is getting in his first year with the Bruins.

Photos
At a glance

UCLA Offense

UCLA’s offense has improved under new coach Jim Mora. Here is a look at then and now.

2011

Rushing offense » 178.36

Passing offense » 198.29

Total offense » 376.64

Scoring offense » 23.07

2012

Rushing offense » 224.33

Passing offense » 304.67

Total offense » 529.0

Scoring offense » 33.5

Utah at UCLA

Saturday, 1 p.m.

TV » Ch. 13

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

With the exception of last week’s 43-17 upset at the hands of Cal in which the team seemed to slip into last year’s mediocrity, the Bruins (4-2, 1-2) have exhibited a new attitude and style of play under Mora, whose team hosts the Utes (2-3, 0-2) Saturday at 1 p.m.

"The personnel hasn’t changed much, but they are utilizing their talent in new ways," Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said. "The cupboard wasn’t bare — they have athletes."

Even though he has a reputation as a defensive guru, Mora’s biggest influence has been with the offense.

UCLA’s offense limped along under former coach Rick Neuheisel, who insisted on trying to run the pistol offense.

The scheme never worked for the Bruins, who were 21-28 under Neuheisel and averaged just 23 points a game in 2011.

But Mora has found a way to add some zing to the Bruins’ offense, hiring Arizona State’s Noel Mazzone, who has opened up the offense into a more dynamic attack.

Now the Bruins are averaging 529 yards of total offense and 33.5 points.

"They look a lot like Arizona State did with a wide-open attack," Whittingham said. "It’s a whole new scheme from what they were doing last year, and it’s working for them."


story continues below
story continues below

Of particular concern for the Utes is running back Johnathan Franklin, who leads the Pac-12 averaging 133.3 yards a game.

Franklin was slowed by injuries to his calf and hand against Cal, when he rushed for 103 yards on 15 carries, but the Utes have learned stopping the run against high-powered Pac-12 teams doesn’t always translate to defensive success as much as it did in the Mountain West.

"You’ve seen all the big plays the quarterback and running back make," Utah defensive coordinator Kalani Sitake said. "They have a cast of running backs who can do it, but they can also hurt you with the bubble throws and screen throws outside."

Utah’s defense is giving up just 114.8 yards a game on the ground, but has been susceptible to passing attacks, allowing USC’s Matt Barkley to throw for 303 yards.

UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley is third in the Pac-12, averaging 315.8 yards of total offense, although he did throw four interceptions in the loss to Cal. However, Mora didn’t put all the blame on his quarterback, saying he was pressing after the Bruins got into a desperate situation.

"We are continuing to see him make progress," Mora said.

lwodraska@sltrib.com



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.