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Players say Pac-12 coaches overlooked Jim Mora in voting

UCLA FOOTBALL

Receiver Jerry Johnson says he's 'really upset' Stanford's David Shaw was voted Pac-12 coach of year instead of Mora. Defensive end Datone Jones calls it 'crazy.'

November 27, 2012|By Chris Foster
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Jerry Johnson worked up some righteous indignation when the Pac-12 Conference's postseason awards were announced.

Not for himself. He's had a nice season, with 25 receptions for 307 yards, but he knew it didn't rate all-conference consideration.

What miffed Johnson was that UCLA's Jim Mora wasn't coach of the year.

Stanford's David Shaw received that award for guiding the Cardinal to a 10-2 season, which included victories over then-top-ranked Oregon in Eugene and UCLA at the Rose Bowl.

"I was really upset," said Johnson, a senior. "Our whole coaching staff should have got coach of the year. They have turned this team around. They should be recognized for that."

UCLA was 6-8 last season and had won more than eight games only once since the 1998 season. The Bruins are 9-3 and ranked 17th in the Associated Press media poll heading into the conference championship game Friday at Stanford.

Mora lost out on more than a plaque. His contract includes a clause that pays him $50,000 should he be chosen conference coach of the year.

"Man, that was crazy," senior defensive end Datone Jones said. "Coach came in here and won a lot of games."

Shaw hasn't done so badly himself. He replaced Jim Harbaugh last season and has a 21-4 record in two seasons. That included a 17-14 overtime victory at Oregon on Nov. 17 followed by a 35-17 victory over UCLA on Saturday that secured Stanford's spot in the title game.

Conference coaches vote on the awards. "I guess they based coach of the year off that last game," Jones said.

Johnson figures there is still a way to right the situation.

"We win this game and go to the Rose Bowl," he said. "Win this game and people have to recognize what Coach Mora has done."

Still playing Stanford

Mora again waded through another day of questions about playing Stanford twice in six days.

Tuesday's version:

"I think it's good that it's a short week," Mora said. "I think if we were playing the same team on a long week it would be difficult to stay locked in and focused. They are anxious to play again, and I'm sure Stanford is feeling the same way."

Stars and Barr

Linebacker Anthony Barr was a first-team All-Pac-12 selection, but Mora is lobbying for more.

Asked if Barr was almost an All-American-caliber player, Mora said, "I wouldn't say he was almost an All-American-caliber player, I would say that he is an All-American-caliber player. I think he's the most impactful defensive player in the Pac-12."

Arizona State tackle Will Sutton was chosen Pac-12 defensive player of the year.

Injury update

Receiver Devin Lucien, who has missed the last the six games because of a broken collarbone, was scheduled to be examined Tuesday and could be cleared to play. It is unlikely he would play against Stanford, but he could be ready for UCLA's bowl game. He had 10 receptions for 188 yards in six games before being injured.

chris.foster@latimes.com

Twitter: @cfosterlatimes

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