For all the improvement UCLA showed in its first year under coach Jim Mora, the Pac-12 season had the same ultimate ending: a title game loss that cost the Bruins a trip to the Rose Bowl.
Freshman kicker Ka'imi Fairbairn missed a 52-yard field goal attempt in the closing minute of the 17th-ranked Bruins' 27-24 loss to No. 8 Stanford in the conference championship game Friday night.
Kevin Hogan led the way for the Cardinal, throwing a touchdown pass and running for another score.
''We need to mourn a little bit,'' Mora said. ''We need to get over this one. We poured it out there today and we came up short. We'll eventually move on but this will sting for a while. You don't get that close and lose and not have it hurt.''
Hogan threw for 155 yards and ran for 47 yards, but his biggest play came on third-and-15 early in the fourth quarter when Drew Terrell got past the UCLA defense and caught a tying 26-yard touchdown pass.
''There was a communication breakdown,'' Mora said. ''We b...