At 4-7, Jim Mora’s football team could still become bowl eligible with a victory over Cal and a 5-7 record, should the APR for the football team grant them a spot in a game. Mora said that he hasn’t yet discussed what the Bruins would do, should they get an invite, with AD Dan Guerrero.
"Until I talk to Dan about it, I don’t think it’s right for me to really comment on my feelings about it. I think it’s important that any decision that was made with regards to that would be led by a discussion with Dan," Mora said before adding, "I like to play football. But I also respect our athletic director and would not want to say anything dogmatic without discussing it first with him."
One of the extra benefits of playing in a bowl game—no matter what your record—is the extra few weeks of practice.
"Any chance you get to go out and compete, you have a chance to get better, and getting repetitions allows us to get better," Mora said. "We’d have a chance to go out on that field and create competition in practice. We’d have a chance to create some periods where we can work in some of the guys that are redshirting as freshmen and really get them good quality repetitions as we get ready to go into winter and then to spring."
5-7 bowl teams may be something of a sore spot for the Bruins, who lost in last year’s Foster Farms bowl to a Nebraska team with that record.
"They play hard because they’re not really supposed to be there because they don’t have the six wins but when they come in, they’re coming in hard so you’d better be ready," linebacker Jayon Brown said.
But Brown knows that the team can’t get ahead of itself.
"We just gotta take care of Cal, we can’t look forward to a bowl game right now. We just gotta take care of Cal and see where it leads us."
Mora’s First Recruiting Class Graduates
Brown and many of the seniors are part of Jim Mora’s first true recruiting class as the head coach at UCLA.
"I was part of his first real class, and it’s just been an honor playing for him and playing for this school," Brown said. "The friendships and brothers that I’ve met through this whole process are for life."
Mora said that he doesn’t want this season’s record to reflect on the class of seniors who may be playing their last game on Saturday.
"The great things that these young men have done for this program have been camouflaged by our record this year," Mora said. "They’ve come in here and they’ve created a culture. They’ve created a standard of character, of work-ethic, of attitude. That brand new football facility that’s being built over there that’s going to stand here for years is going to be a great attribute to this program I think is a testament to the young men that are graduating this year, and the young men that are still on this team."
"I think that they’ve changed the perception, and that they’ve changed the expectations of UCLA Football."
Check out more from Jim Mora and Jayon Brown below. Videos are courtesy of Thuc Nhi Nguyen of the LA Daily News.
HC Jim Mora:
LB Jayon Brown: