EUGENE, Ore. – Jim Mora wants to make sure one loss doesn’t derail UCLA.
The No. 12 Bruins, coming off a disheartening loss to Stanford, have a chance for redemption – in a big way – against the No. 2 Oregon Ducks this Saturday.
“I don’t think any one game ever really defines you,” Mora said. “Whether you’ve arrived or you’re not very good or whatever, I think it’s your body of work. So far, our body of work is for the good. It’s got to get better at the end of the season to see where we are.”
The coach added: “There is a process to building something. There is a process to going through a season.”
But the Bruins (5-1, 2-1 Pac-12) face a considerable challenge in Oregon (7-0, 4-0), which is favored by more than three touchdowns. UCLA has not won at Autzen Stadium since 2004, and the team hasn’t defeated the Ducks since a 16-0 blanking in 2007.
The teams last met in 2011, when Oregon downed UCLA 49-31 in the inaugural Pac-12 championship game.
The Ducks, meanwhile, are looking to show they belong in the conversation for this season’s national championship. Oregon is ranked No. 3 in the initial BCS standings, behind Alabama and Florida State.
The Ducks are averaging just more than 643 yards in total offense and 57.6 points per game, second among FBS-level teams in both categories, but they’ve just played one game against a ranked opponent this season – a 45-24 victory over then-No. 16 Washington at Husky Stadium.
Oregon is coming off a 62-38 victory at home last weekend over Washington State.
“Of course we like where this season is going and how we have played so far, but we really try to not pay attention to the rankings,” Ducks receiver John Huff said. “We take it one day at a time, one week at a time, and just continue trying to get better.”
For Oregon the next big test comes quickly: The Ducks next travel to face No. 8 Stanford in a Thursday night game on Nov. 7.
Here are five things to look for when UCLA visits Oregon on Saturday: