Conference Call: Jim Mora’s chat with beat writers.

UCLA coach Jim Mora held his weekly conference call with reporters after the Bruins’ 36-30 victory over Nebraska. Mora broached on several subjects, and I’ve transcribed it as best and accurately as I could.

On the offensive linemen’s performance:
“Pass protection was excellent. It was better than I thought. It felt like Brett had a lot of time back there. We tackled better than it appeared, although we did miss some tackles.”

On UCLA being ranked in the AP Top 25:
“It’s not something I’ve thought about nor something I will probably think about. To me personally there’s no significance in being ranked after two weeks. To our fan base and alumni and for the exposure that it brings our school I think it’s a good thing. It’s a great thing, but for us as a football team it doesn’t matter.”

On the the significance of wins:
“When you win it confirms the things that you’re doing, the things that you’re stressing and emphasizing on are the right things and you get more buy in.”

On the defense’s second half adjustments:
“We didn’t pressure one time in the second half. When we pressured in the first half we gave up some plays. We played gap control defense and kept our eyes on (Taylor Martinez) and not give him escape lanes. We basically just backed off on the pressure and limited our calls to those we really feel good about, and they did a heck of a job with it.”

On his first NFL Sunday in 25 years not being part of it:
“I didn’t think about that until you brought it up. I was doing TV stuff the last couple years. I know the Redskins were playing because Devin Fuller had his Redskins jersey on. I’m sure when I go home my son will have a game for us to watch.”

On breaking down the Datone Jones safety:
“They were running a scheme where they would turn the defensive end loose and they would run their option off of him, that was really the same play where Taylor went 92 yards on. We just played it right. Datone had the quarterback and there was no hesitation on what he did. He fired through that and was not blocked by design. He just did what he was supposed to do, but boy did he did it in an intense and aggressive manner. There was no hesitation in what he saw. That’s him understanding a scheme and really making a good play for us.”

Mora when asked how Brett Hundley’s ankle doing:
“Good. No X-rays, MRIs needed. We should get Sheldon (Price) and Darius (Bell) back for practice on Tuesday.”

On true freshmen Randall Goforth and Ishmael Adams:
“I was confident in them. Ish was playing down in that nickle spot so he’s more protected. Randall was playing on the back end where a mistake is more threatning, but they both did a nice job. Randall normally makes those interceptions. He has good hands. He played receiver in high school and we thought about playing him at receiver here. I know he was ready to go. I didn’t feel the stage was too big for him.”

On the penalties:
“Some are aggressive penalties. Like Damien Thigpen’s hit on a returner. It’s hard to tell him not to go do what he did. It’s your basic instinct as a football player. So those you can kind of accept. It’s the pre-snap penalties that we sometimes would get on offense, those are the ones that can be frustrating because those are concentrating mistakes.”

Mora quipped with reporters about our print deadline. The Times had a 9:05 deadline. The Daily News had a 9:30 deadline. Next week’s game against Houston is slated for a 7:30 p.m. start at the Rose Bowl.

“You have no chance going in. I don’t know if the first quarter will be over by 9:05.”

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  • Nacho El Taquero

    Thanks, Miguel. Glad to hear that Hundley is OK.

    Also great to hear that Coach has confidence in the Freshman and plays the best player regardless of class level. Awesome.

  • Nacho El Taquero

    Miguel, do you have a list of FB recruits that were at the game on Saturday?

  • Cheap seats 27

    Great coverage, Miguel!

    I remember one of the videos you posted where Mora said he would do the Bruin walk 2.5 hours before kickoff as opposed to the 2 hour mark.

    Of course, I show up at 2:00 on the South Lawn and the bus didn’t arrive until 2:30..LOL.

    One thing I noticed was the kids weren’t wearing headphones like the previous years. Did Mora tell them to put them away when doing the walk?

  • ucla34

    I know it is still early and we are only 2-0 but this sleeping giant sure is waking up fu!king fast! Damn! Our offense will tire and give any defense fits! And 3 freshman pkaying on the o-line as great as they are and Hundley looking better than Cade as a freshman???? Never would have thunk! Love Mora! Tuff sob was what we needed. Shows how Neu had no discipline and tuffnes instilled in his players. We can easliy be 6 or maybe even 7-0. Still early, but it feels as if iv’e unwrapped my new Christmas present! Ucla F! F! F!

  • Blue Bruin

    Joe Bruin in the background of that pic is just plain…freaky!

  • bruinbiochem06

    Bruins landed four star basketball guard Allerik Freeman today!

    Go Bruins!!!

  • Boston Bruin

    @ucla34,

    +1 on all you said…and although I was a supporter of CRN, I realized he was out of his depth last season. Was too bad that he couldn’t be more than a talent scout.

    On a positive note…although CJM is using some true freshman, he’s also using talent that Neu brought in, but never used.

    Also…not sure where this factoid came from, but Hundley may have played some last year, but hurt his leg…(Thank God for small miricles).

    As a pre-med student, I don’t see him leaving to go pro before graduating, giving us four years to watch him mature and continue to grow as a leader and player. He definitely has to learn how to slide.

    I wouldn’t doubt that we’ll be seeing Brehault play some major time against Houston to give BH some time off that ankle.

  • http://amillennialist.blogspot.com Amillennialist

    How great is the improvement of this year’s team over last year’s? We’re talking about giving rest time to our QB against a lesser opponent!

    (For the last few years, there have been no lesser opponents. UCLA was the “lesser opponent.” Playing against the Bruins often resulted in career games for guys on the other side.)

    The sky’s the limit with these coaches and players!

  • Hot Bruin

    Comparing the play of UCLA vs the play of USC Saturday it’s clear the new Football Dynasty in L.A. will be over HERE. LOL.

  • Hot Bruin

    Comparing the play of UCLA vs the play of USC Saturday it’s clear the new Football Dynasty in L.A. will be over HERE. LOL.

  • Encinitas Bruin

    The fact that it’s been since 2008 since we were ranked is, well, shocking. All I can say is that I’m glad the drought is over. Yes, it’s a young season, but in order to build a great program you MUST have 1) an elite QB and 2) a great OL. We have both–for the first time in a long time. It’s been 14 years since we had an elite QB (Cade McNown), and that was the last time we challenged for the national championship.

    We’ve had some good QB’s (arguably, Drew Olsen’s senior season was great), but we have not had a “franchise building” QB since Cade. Remember how crappy our defenses were during the Cade years? If we’d had any D at all, we would not have fallen to Miami in the infamous Hurricane Bowl of ’98 (even writing that is painful). Now we have a defense, to go along with a high-octane offense.