Jim Mora, you are on the clock.
After last night's 27-21 loss to Washington State, Mora gave his usual post-game press conference and, for the second consecutive week, he was unusually forthcoming about his team's struggles on offense.
Ben Bolch of the LA Times quoted Mora:
I’ve never in my career been around a run game as awful as this. That has to be the first thing we address. It’s staggeringly poor and we have to fix it.
Well, Jim, Bruin fans are waiting. We've been waiting for you to address certain persistent problems for the better part of five seasons now. But, far too often, you say you are going to address something yet the problem is allowed to persist.
Penalties are an excellent example. For four years, you said that you needed to fix the team's problems with penalties. Yet it took until this season for fans to see any improvement. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not calling this team a disciplined one. It still has some issues with penalties, especially dumb ones like fair catch interference, but there is no doubt that the number of false starts is down this year. There's still room to get even better on those, though.
The frustration of Bruin fans stems from an apparent inability or unwillingness to do what needs to be done.
For years, there have been issues on the offensive line. In fact, it would be fair to say that UCLA's offensive line woes date back to at least the Neuheisel era if not the Dorrell era.
But, any reasonable person who sat down to watch a game during your first three years in Westwood can tell you that there have been problems on the offensive line for a long time. And, yet, Adrian Klemm is still employed. Why?
Oh, that's right! He's a GREAT RECRUITER!
Well, Jim, in addition to having the title of Associate Head Coach, Klemm is your run game coordinator and your offensive line coach. So, why hasn't he recruited some big bodies for the offensive line who can open up holes for the running backs?
"He has," you say? Ummmm....I'm not so sure about that. Last night, you said that you've "never in my career been around a run game as awful as this."
So, either he hasn't recruited the guys you needed for the offensive line or he hasn't done the job of an offensive line coach to develop those amazing recruits he's brought in.
Frankly, I don't really care which it is, but it could be one, the other or a mixture of both and it doesn't change a darn thing. It still means that Klemm is not earning his ridiculous $760,000 salary.
You yourself said that the awful running game "has to be the first thing we address." Well, Jim, I've been watching the news all day today and I still haven't seen any announcement from UCLA that you've fired your run game coordinator. But that's not a surprise. I mean, Klemm was given a "show cause" order by the NCAA which would allow you to fire him for cause and leave UCLA on the hook for the remainder of his contract. Yet, Klemm is still employed.
You are either unwilling or unable to make the changes necessary to move the program forward.
No wonder Bruin fans like myself are so willing to show you the door after this season ends.
I must admit that I don't understand your blind loyalty to a guy whose unit has performed so poorly during your almost your entire tenure.
Well, there's one more statement you made last night that I think deserves some consideration. BruinReportOnline transcribed your post-game press conference. Their transcript quotes you as also saying:
The buck stops with me. It should, as the head coach. All blame initially should come on the head coach and it's my job to make sure we get it right with everyone else. I'm accepting of that.
Well, then, Jim, if you aren't willing to announce the firing of Adrian Klemm, effective immediately, then, at least call a press conference announcing your resignation because you are clearly unable to do the job of making sure you get it right.
Here's the video of Jim Mora's complete post-game press conference from after last night's game. Thanks to BruinReportOnline for making this available.
That brings us to the Jim Mora Hot Seat Meter.
This game was winnable, but coaching failures remain responsible for UCLA's problems. So, after last night's game, the JMHSM rises again. This week, it rises from a 7 (Hot) to an 8 (Red Hot). If Mora fires Klemm within the next 36 hours, the meter will drop to 7.5. Otherwise, it will enter the Utah game at an 8.