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Jim Mora says this UCLA team is most competitive he's ever coached

Jim Mora says this UCLA team is most competitive he's ever coached
UCLA Coach Jim Mora says the Bruins are "still growing as a team." (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Jim Mora coached in the NFL for more than 20 years. He started small, as a defensive quality coach, and worked his way up to eventually become the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons and the Seattle Seahawks. After moving back down to college, Mora has been the head coach at UCLA for three seasons.

On Tuesday, three days after his team suffered a late, disappointing loss to Utah, Mora said that this Bruins team is the most competitive team he's ever coached.

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"Just through five games, with what I've seen, I wouldn't argue with it being the most competitive," Mora said Tuesday. "You think about all that happened to us the other night, and it was self imposed, and I told it was self imposed, we still had a chance with zero seconds on the clock to win that game. There's a lot of teams I've been involved with or seen or been around that would have folded the tent and gone home. I never expected them to do that, and they didn't."

UCLA was upset by the Utes after giving up a four-minute, run-heavy drive and then failing to convert the game-winning field goal. The offensive line gave up 10 sacks, and the Bruins dropped to No. 18 in the national polls.

Still, Mora feels good about this weekend's matchup with Oregon, mostly because of the mind-set he's seeing from his players.

"I love the grit, I love the resilience, I love the competitiveness, I love the toughness that we're building," he said. "They're great to be around. Like I said, they're impossible to discourage. We're just going to keep fighting. I love it."

For more Bruins observations, follow Everett Cook on Twitter @everettcook

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