UCLA Coach Jim Mora: USC is Never Down


Jim Mora mostly was uninterested in questions about UCLA’s rivalry with USC on Thursday at Pac-12 media days, but the Bruins head coach still had plenty to answer about the Trojans.

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Mora did throw the Trojans a rare bone, neglecting to use his trademark Southern Cal moniker, which USC has asked media not to use, not once but twice.

“USC is never down, come on. It’s USC.”

However, the Mora insisted the Bruins are focused on fall camp and game one of the season, not the rivalry.

“I really, honestly haven’t (looked forward),” Mora said. “It’s not my nature. I feel like its a disservice to everybody involved in our program — fans, students, players — if you start that. If I start looking ahead I’m less focused on what I need to focus on.”

“When I’ve failed its because I looked ahead.”

Whether or not Mora is looking ahead to the rivalry game, who ever put together the Bruins video introduction undoubtedly had USC on the mind.

Every single one of the highlights shown was pulled from UCLA’s 38-20 victory over the Trojans from last year.

When asked about any missed chances to fill the void at the top of the conference during USC’s sanctions, the UCLA head coach was perplexed.

“We beat them three years in a row so I don’t know about any lost opportunity there,” Mora said. “Winning a national championship is more than just about beating your crosstown rival.”

Still, Mora’s Bruins have missed opportunities to further close the gap over the past few seasons. As More pointed out, they still have not beaten Stanford, especially when it mattered most in the Pac-12 Championship Game.

The focus now is on the process, not the destination, according to Mora. When it comes to expectations, the head coach wants none of it, saying he would rather the Bruins never get ranked.

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