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 on Saturday.
‘‘I don’t think any one game ever really defines you. Whether you’ve arrived or you’re not very good or whatever, I think it’s your body of work,’’ Mora said. ‘‘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.’’
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 2007.
The teams last met in 2011, when Oregon downed UCLA, 49-31, in the inaugural Pac-12 championship game.
The Ducks, meanwhile, are ranked No. 3 in the initial BCS standings.
The Ducks are averaging over 643 yards in total offense and 57.6 points per game, second among FBS teams in both categories, but they’ve played only one game against a ranked opponent this season —a 45-24 victory over then-No. 16 Washington at Husky Stadium.
Not just another game
Penn State coach Bill O’Brien bristles whenever anyone asks him about the Nittany Lions’ chief rival.
In his mind, playing at Ohio State on Saturday night is not substantially different from that skirmish with Eastern Michigan back on Sept. 7.
‘‘I have a thing about this. We talk about playing 12 one-game seasons, like every game is important,’’ O’Brien said. ‘‘I understand, I totally understand the rivalry thing. But I think everybody is a rival, because everybody comes on the football field and wants to beat you and you want to beat them. So that’s a rival.’’
Maybe, but it’s hard not to get amped over playing the No. 4 team with a shot at ending the longest win streak (19) in major-college football.
The Buckeyes (7-0, 3-0 Big Ten) look at the showdown as a rivalry, although Penn State (4-2, 1-1) remains a distant second to Michigan.
New Haven 40, Southern Connecticut St. 21
Ronnie Nelson accounted for 311 yards of offense and three touchdowns, as host New Haven (6-2, 6-1 Northeast-10) scored the win over Southern Connecticut State (3-5, 3-4) on Friday.