Thursday Pracitce: UCLA coach Jim Mora talks about Jeff Baca’s possible return for Saturday’s game.

UCLA coach Jim Mora was in a good talkative mood after Thursday’s practice, giving reporters a rare injury update on lineman Jeff Baca. Mora also was asked about the team’s use of sideline placards, their meaning and the team’s focus this week.

Opening remark:
We had a good week, and I think our guys had a good week. I like where they’re at mentally. In the next 48 hours we have to zoom our focus on what we have to do to get a win on Saturday. I think Jeff (Baca) will probably play. That’ll be a good thing for us. We’re pretty healthy so …

Looks like you’re experimenting with placards:
Oh yea did you see the placards? It’s like a puzzle. You know what, you see more and more teams doing that. If it can help us with our substitution and speed up our operation we’re going to do it. You’ll see a little bit of that on Saturday. I don’t know what they mean. It’s hidden under a vale of secrecy. They won’t let me know, but I think it’ll help our operation offensively.

Has there been concerns about that?
No, we’re just trying to get it better. There hasn’t been concerns but we just want to make it better, so that’s what we’re doing.

So who knows?
Noel (Mazzone) knows. No, I know. The quarterbacks know. It’s funny. You look at those pictures (and ask) ‘Where’d you guys find these pictures and what do they mean?’ But you get a group of graduate assistants in a room a little bit punch strung from spending 80 hours at work that week and it’s 11 o’clock at night … We’ll see how it works. I think it should help us.

So where did they find them and what do they mean?
I don’t know where they found those pictures. I haven’t had a chance to ask those guys.

So what do they mean?
They signify different things. (draws laughs)

Such as?
(laughs) … No, really. Here’s what they signify, and I think it’s interesting. I see teams doing that in college signify things like what personnel group we’re in. or formation or a play or even a sequence of plays. maybe a snap count at times. just different things like that. We’ll see if it works. if it doesn’t work the way we want it to work we feel good not using it. But if it can help us speed a little bit and help our communication then it’s a good thing. We should do a twitter contest each week and see who can figure out in the stands and figure out what the placards mean. And if someone can figure out four of the five or three of the four or two of the three whichever we have the week maybe they can shadow you for a day. (Reporter: Or a contest to get a picture on there). Oh, there you go. That would be pretty neat.

Can you talk about focus for the team, it’s kind of human nature to be satisfied with being 3-0. Did you seen any of that this week?
I don’t, and that’s encouraging. And I think the reason why is Oregon State got their attention very quickly when we turned on the film. They go beat Wisconsin, play great defense. That gets your attention. It being a Pac-12 opener that gets your attention. I sense excitement more than anything, and maybe a greater focus than they’ve had the last few weeks.

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