Monday Presser: UCLA coach Jim Mora on Oregon State, Torian White’s struggles, and injury report.


(Hat tip to BruinSportsReport publisher Edward Lewis for the video)

For those with crazy data plans, I’ve spent the last 45 minutes transcribing UCLA coach Jim Mora’s press conference, that way you can pick and read whatever subject you’re interested in. Let me know if you like this in addition to the videos.

On preparing for Oregon State:
“They’re a good football team. They beat Wisconsin.The score wasn’t indicative to me of how well they played. They run the ball well and play excellent on defense. they tackle well. It’s a littlebit different type of game than we had Saturday night. Houston winged it around quite a bit. Oregon State is a little more balanced, a little more power game. You’ll see some West Coast offense. What really stands out is the way the defense played against Wisconsin. They dominated up front.”

On level of excitement?
“We’re happy to be 3-0. We’re not satisfied with the way we played. I’m excited about the prospects. I’m excited because of the way our student athletes are approaching the task at hand. They’re serious and trying to get better.”

On Oregon State having played just one game?
“Fortunately they haven’t had a whole lot of changes in their coaching staff. There’s a lot of similarities in what they did last year. You have to go back to last year’s tape. Certainly one thing we look at is their game (against) Arizona State last year, their defense and some of the concepts and schemes that they used. Their defense is … I don’t know if I want to see more than one game the way they payed Wisconsin, they looked really good. They’re different than any of the three teams that we’ve faced. They’re a little more conventional. You’ll see more multiple tight end sets. From that perspective it’d be good to have more film to go back and look and see if that’s just an aberration versus Wisconsin or if it’s something they’re really focusing on this year.”

On whether a conventional offense makes Oregon State predictable:
“I don’t know if I would say that. Mike Riley is very experienced, and he’s their play caller now. He understands how to dress things up.They’re going to have some concepts that they like and some concepts they stick to no matter what, but they’re going to make them look different pre-snap. So the challenge for us is try to see through the window dressing and recognize the final formation and put ourselves in the right places to make the play.”

On whether he’s coached against Mike Riley:
“I’ve coached against him a number of times when he was at New Orleans, when he was at San Diego.”

On whether it’s an advantage having played three games already versus one for Oregon State:
“I don’t know. I’ve honestly thought about it, but I don’t know. It probably works in the favor of both. They’ll be well prepared, they’ll have a lot of film on us. I still think it just comes down to who executes, who makes tackles, who tries to stay away from costly penalties, things like that.”

On anything standing out on UCLA-Houston tape:
It’s always a little different. I didn’t have a great feel coming off the field about the way we performed, particularly on offense, and I think it’s because our expectations are so high after two weeks. It’s important that I keep in mind that we’re playing with a redshirt freshman quarterback, two young tackles, a young center, a young slot and realize that 567 yards is pretty darn good. But I like that we’re not satisfied because regardless of the win and regardless of yardage and regardlessof the points, there was just a lot of things we know we can do better. And I got that sense from our players that they enjoyed the win, but there was a feeling in the media room yesterday like, ‘God we left a lot out there.’ We can be so much better.”

On whether he expects teams to stack the box and challenge Brett Hundley:
“I’d be surprised if we don’t (see it). I absolutely would be. Houston brought pressure, and when I say pressure I mean they brought an extra linebacker and defensive back about 50 percent of the time. They had some negative plays on us. But we still ran for 290 yards. I think you have to pick your poison when you do that. I think it can be risky as a defensive coach to bring pressure a lot because all it takes is one guy to miss an assignment, miss a tackle, be in the wrong gap and you’re out the gate on the run, or you better make sure you have darn good corners. Oregon State’s got good corners, and a good front, so it’ll be tough sledding in there.”

On Torian White struggling:
“When i went up to Torian late in the fourth quarter he said, ‘Hey coach, that’ll never happen again.’ He said it with real conviction. He’s real sincere. He was in here yesterday and this morning watching film. I told him, ‘Look, you’re a young guy. You’re going to have games like that. Let’s make sure we learn from it and get better going forward.’ I have a great feeling that Torian will respond.”

On when expectation that White should know better kick in:
I think that’s a delicate balance. It’s a hard balancebalance to find when you’re a coach. How much do you excuse because of inexperience?Our tendency is to excuse very little and hold them to a high standard, but at the same time have some understanding that is a young man who’s still developing as a football player. We just have to help him along as best we can. What I like about Torian is the way he reacted. He didn’t sulk. He wasn’t in the tank. He was just very determined. I think both he and simon (Goines), neither of them had what you’d call a great game, but they’re great opportunities to learn and get better. They were the first two kids in the building to watch film. So I think that’s a good sign for us.”

On Dalton Hilliard’s performance:
Dalton played really well, especially well on special teams. I thought he covered well. You know, we ask Dalton to do a lot of different things. You’ll see him at safety, you’ll see him working in the slot. you guys have seen him play at weak inside linebacker sometimes. He’s one of our core special teams player. The only thing we haven’t done is put him on offense, and maybe we will because he’s a guy that can do some things offensively. For the the things that we’re asking him to do he’s very productive.He had a really good block on Steven Manfro’s 27-yard punt return that set up the field goal. It’s fun to have (Dalton) on our team because he’s so versatile.”

On Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott mulling over the idea to implement a mandated injury report:
I think whatever they ask us to do we’ll do. I think teams will conform to that. I think if it’s across the board and everyone is held to the same standard with it I don’t have a problem with it, at all. It works in the NFL. Some people manipulate it a little bit.

On whether injury reports in the NFL are accurate:
At times. With certain teams. I think there are some coaches that understand how to manipulate it a little bit and they try to. It’s interesting, (how the injury report has) become this hot topic. Like I said last week, we can all understandwhy people want to know about injuries. First of all, there’s a huge level of interest in our teams and the fans want to know. In the NFL, I know they worry about the bettors. I don’t know how college football works, but in the pros they worry about the bettors, some bettors have more information than others so they try to streamline some information, and I think that’s fine. But from a coach’s perspective any time that you lose a competitive advantage its’ hard. But if the commissioner deems that that’s the way we should go then I’m 100 percent behind it, and we’ll conform 100 percent.”

On when he found out that injury reports weren’t mandatory in college football:
“I didn’t know until a few weeks ago. That’s why I was feeding you guys all that injury info early on.Should have told me. It doesn’t matter to me. Like i said, any time a coach doesn’t have to divulge information that his opponents can find useful in game planning against them then we’re going to try not to do that. But if it’s what we have to do then we do it and we just deal with it. We won’t try to manipulate it if there’s a rule put in effect. That’s not our style. We’ll be compliant.”

On injury updates:
Everyone is doing great. (Laughs). Ishmael (Adams) is out. They’re going to do the surgery Friday night. He’s had this problem for a couple years. He can probably play with a harness, but that’s not the right way to go about this. It’s about 6 to 9 months recovery. We’ll see if he’s ready for spring. He probably won’t be but he’ll be back for fall. The great thing is he can get this year back. He can get a medical hardship. Jeff Baca’s feeling a lot better. But we’ll see where he is later in the week. Brett’s feeling good. I didn’t see him hobbling around at all once the game started. We’re pretty healthy, quite frankly.It’s a good thing, three games into the season and not have a long injury report. It’s dealing with youngsters, they heal a lot faster than those old guys. Or us old guys.”

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email