Nationals

UCLA's Jim Mora gets 1-year extension through 2017

UCLA's Jim Mora gets 1-year extension through 2017

LOS ANGELES (AP) UCLA coach Jim Mora agreed to a one-year contract extension through 2017 on Friday after revitalizing the Bruins in his debut season.

Mora led UCLA to nine victories, the Pac-12 South title and a Holiday Bowl berth just one year after replacing Rick Neuheisel at a school that hadn't won even eight games in a season since 2005.

The former Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks head coach adjusted splendidly to the college game, even beating crosstown rival Southern California while climbing as high as No. 15 in the rankings.

``What Jim Mora has accomplished in just one season as our head coach is remarkable,'' UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero said. ``The wins, the Pac-12 South championship and the bowl berth were accompanied by an equally impressive performance by the team in the classroom and in the community.''

The Bruins (9-5) lost their final three games, including two meetings with Rose Bowl champion Stanford before a 49-26 loss to Baylor in the Holiday Bowl. But the quiet finish didn't dampen the renewed enthusiasm for football in Westwood, where the athletic department has embarked on plans to improve its football training complex.

Mora said he's grateful to Guerrero ``for his commitment to me and my staff, and our shared belief that we are on the road to creating something very special.''

``I believe UCLA will win championships,'' Mora added. ``The 2012 team established a foundation which will launch us forward. Our staff, our returning players, our administration and the entire Bruin community are pulling together in an effort to win championships.''

Mora agreed to a five-year, $12 million deal at UCLA in December 2011 after nearly two years out of football following his firing by the Seahawks.

He was an unlikely hire for the Bruins, who had mostly chosen head coaches who were former Bruins players or assistants in recent decades. The school also hadn't hired a head coach with a defensive background in 40 years.

Mora hadn't coached college football in a quarter-century since a single season as an assistant at Washington, his alma mater. But Mora immediately hired an impressive staff led by offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone and then landed a strong recruiting class in less than two months on the trail.

Mora's success attracted national attention, including rumors linking him to interest everywhere from Tennessee and Auburn to the San Diego Chargers.

Along with an improved training complex, Mora's upcoming changes to the football program could include raises for his assistant coaches.

``Jim and I will continue to work closely as partners to enhance all aspects of the program moving forward so that we may continue to compete at the highest level,'' Guerrero said. ``We are thrilled with Jim's commitment to our student-athletes and to this university.''

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You’ve seen Max Scherzer’s eyes plenty, but you’ve never seen Max Scherzer’s eyes like this

You’ve seen Max Scherzer’s eyes plenty, but you’ve never seen Max Scherzer’s eyes like this

Max Scherzer is a bad, bad man with a hint of crazy. Yet, situations like this are why Scherzer is nicknamed Mad Max. 

Scherzer is pitching for the Washington Nationals a day after taking a ball off the nose during batting practice. With a broken nose and a blackened patch circling underneath his right eye, Scherzer would not let the Nationals allow him to miss a start. In fact, he was adamant about starting against the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday evening. 

The results, well… are straight out of a nightmare. 

Who, in their rightful mind, would step into a batter’s box against a guy that has blue, brown, and now black eyes? Especially when that guy is Scherzer, an already intimidating three-time Cy Young winner. 

In the first inning, he didn't lose a step. It was his highest average velocity in an opening frame since 2015.

But honestly, did anyone expect anything different from the Nationals ace? No one questions the heart of Scherzer. The only question will be for the Phillies and if they can get this image of Scherzer out of their heads when they go to bed tonight. 

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Aaron Rodgers and Brooks Koepka, Kirk Cousins and Rickie Fowler and other QB/golfer comparisons

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Aaron Rodgers and Brooks Koepka, Kirk Cousins and Rickie Fowler and other QB/golfer comparisons

You may not immediately think quarterbacks and golfers have a lot in common, but the two types of athletes do share quite a few similarities.

They both look to rack up yardage. They both need to play their best on Sundays. And they both have to be as mentally sharp as they are physically in form.

So, with all that in mind (and, frankly, because Redskins training camp is still more than a month away), why not try to match up QBs with guys on the PGA Tour? 

FOR THE GALLERY FEATURING QB-TO-GOLFER COMPARISONS, CLICK HERE

That's the purpose of this NBCSportsWashington.com gallery, to pair up passers with golfers because of key traits they share. Who's the Patrick Mahomes on the links? Who's the Dustin Johnson of the NFL?

Those answers, and plenty more, lie in this list. So, go ahead and run through it, then head over to @PeteHaileyNBCS on Twitter to praise (or rip... yeah, most likely rip) the choices. No one will throw a flag or assess you a two-stroke penalty if you have some disagreements.  

FOR THE GALLERY FEATURING QB-TO-GOLFER COMPARISONS, CLICK HERE