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Holiday Bowl, UCLA vs. Baylor reaction: 3 losses will stick with Bruins in offseason

UCLA tasted success in 2012, but has much work to do going forward.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The 2012 UCLA Bruins had plenty of good victories -- nine in all -- that they could think about in the offseason as they move towards 2013.

Instead, they have chosen to remember the last three games of the season, all defeats, in order to derive some motivation.

UCLA lost twice to Stanford, including in the Pac 12 Championship Game, before being defeated by the Baylor Bears on Thursday night in the Holiday Bowl.

"We're going to take these losses and really apply it to our offseason workouts," linebacker Eric Kendricks said, according to ESPN.com. "I'm going to remember them when I'm training."

While the end of the campaign certainly didn't go according to plan, Jim Mora. Jr. has to feel good about the way things are moving for his football program, a program that had been an afterthought for quite some time. Per ESPN:

"We've got a long ways to go," coach Jim Mora acknowledged. "But we're on the right path. … The team that we want to be is a national champion and tonight showed us just how far we have to go, but we're determined to get there. We're heading in the right direction, but we're a long ways off."

With players in tow such as quarterback Brett Hundley, who set an all-time single season UCLA record for passing yards in the Holiday Bowl, there is real optimism around Westwood. Per ESPN:

"There are still a lot of little things that need to get done," safety Andrew Abbott said. "UCLA is right there. We broke through so many things this year and now we just need to break through the top. I know coach Mora will get the players there."

For the first time in a long time, the next UCLA football season can't start soon enough.