UCLA Coach Jim Mora went the good-news/less-than-good-news route after Wednesday’s morning football practice.
“There were encouraging things and there are things we need to work on,” Mora said.
The Bruins, he pointed out, ran 144 plays and had only one penalty “that was the result of technique.”
Then there were those 10 other penalties, mostly offside and false starts.
The Bruins were the most-flagged team in the nation last season, averaging 91.5 yards a game in penalties. It is a reason Mora had referees in training camp for the second time this summer.
“Our first group is clean,” Mora said. "It’s the young guys who have to learn to process the information of the call, process the movement on the opposite side from them and react without jumping offside. We had two fourth-and-one plays where we were trying to draw the defense offside and the offense jumped.”
Of course, this was a conference-wide problem last season. Of the seven most penalized teams in the nation, four were from the Pac-12, signaling either sloppy play or ticky-tack officiating.
Mora's only concern was his team.
“We've got a talented team physically,” Mora said. “We've got to match that mentally and emotionally.”
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