Pac-12 Media Day: UCLA, USC, and Washington State

July 24, 2012

Universal City, CA -- More notes from Pac-12 Media Day . . .


Head Coach Jim Mora emphasized that he wanted to bring principles of  "toughness, discipline, and accountability" to UCLA, but couldn't compare with the Neuheisel era because Mora didn't know how things were done before.

Mora referenced that the offense will be heavily leaning on running back Jonathan Franklin.  When asked how his offense might differ from the pistol offense of the Neuheisel era, Mora stated he would rather avoid labels such as "pistol," "West Coast," or "wishbone" to describe the new offense, which would be centered around the basic principle of putting the ball in the hands of playmakers.

Mora also resisted the idea of comparing the UCLA program to its cross-town rival USC.


Head Coach Lane Kiffin expressed excitement about USC's return to prominence in the preseason rankings so shortly after the school was hit with NCAA sanctions. 

He immediately acknowledged that the biggest area of concern this season for the Trojans was running back depth.  Coach Kiffin noted that everyone in the Pac 12 would be aware of USC's weapons at QB and WR, so an effective running game was essential.

Kiffin expressed concern that RB Curtis McNeal was getting banged up a lot and suffering injuries last year.  He noted that he would like to have Nelson Aguilar be a WR, not a RB, but circumstances and need at RB may dictate otherwise.

Kiffin noted that WR Robert Woods was 75% healthy last year and still had 111 catches.

On the Penn State scandal, Kiffin emphatically stated, "No way that you can compare what happened at USC and what happened at Penn State."

QB Matt Barkley expressed excitement about finally getting the opportunity to play in a bowl game and repeatedly stated that he felt that he had not yet reached his full potential as a college quarterback.


New head coach Mike Leach (formerly at Texas Tech) emphasized that he felt the differences between Lubbock, Texas, and Pullman, Washington, were exaggerated.  He labeled Pullman a "true college town."

The press conference broke down into a comedy session, with Leach commenting on which fellow Pac-12 coach would make the best hunting partner (Kyle Whittingham) and which military leaders QB Jeff Tuel (Stonewall Jackson) and DL Travis Long reminded him of (Ulysses S. Grant).

QB Jeff Tuel indicated that the biggest difference between this year and last year is his confidence level.

Manish Pandya
Staff Editor for

No comments:

Post a Comment

We encourage all intelligent, passionate comments. Please refrain from any ignorant, racist, or offensive rants.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...