UCLA coach Jim Mora talks Cal rivalry, says Jordan Zumwalt will not start on Saturday vs. Cal, Damien Holmes again will start at outside linebacker.

Opening remark:
What we’re gonna do the rest of the day is give them time to tend to their studies. We’re not gonna have meetings this afternoon. We’re gonna extend our meetings a little bit in the morning. Just give them a little break here and lock in on school before we go up to Cal. We’ll have a final walk through in the morning, head on the buses at 12:30 and head north.

On first full week of class and morning practice:
I think they like the schedule. We get them up early, and they’re early birds anyway because year-round they work out early. They’re very focused at practice. We get them at the end of the day. It’s been good. I haven’t noticed any lapse in their focus. I’m glad we did it last week.

On learning about rivalries:
There’s a lot I don’t know. There’s many, many things I’m trying to learn. One of them is the significance of certain games to the alumni, to the university and the public, and this is one of those games I come to find out.

On what clued him in about the Cal rivalry:
Some of the players. Just the level of intensity they have. Just talking to people around campus. There’s a lot I’m not familiar with down here. It’s fun to learn about them.

On what he’s learned about the rivalry:
I’ve learned that it’s a little bit more significant than people would think. We get a lot of emphasis on our game versus Southern Cal, but this game versus Cal is pretty significant as well. We try as a team not to put any extra emphasis on any one game just because we’re trying to develop a level of consistency, but there’s certain things you can’t control, certain vibes that happen. And that’s one of the great things about college football, the passion of the fans towards their university and maybe against other universities. So it’s pretty neat.

On developing hatred toward another university:
No, I don’t hate anybody (laughs).

On Brett Hundley dictating the right tempo:
We were smoother in our operation and our tempo was more like we wanted to be. I think it was partially Brett. That was our fifth game and getting used to what we’re trying to do. You want it to start and happen right from the get go and be at full throttle, but that’s probably not realistic. It’s a new program, new system, new coaches, new terminology. It just takes you a little while to ramp up, and I think we’re starting to hit our groove a little bit there.

On a goal in mind for time between plays:
It depends on the situation. If we’re substituting then the defense has an opportunity to substitute as well. So that can sometimes slow things down, but if we’re not substituting we want to go as fast as we can go. If you can catch a defense off balance a little bit, if they haven’t had a chance to read maybe some of the tactical clues, some of the tendencies that you might have developed through the years before the ball snap, that helps you. But in terms of a specific time, it varies. It varies by time in the game, by score of the game. Things like that.

On Jordan Zumwalt’s status:
He practiced. He did everything. He had his helmet on. He felt good and he’s ready to play on Saturday night.

On whether he’s starting:
No. We’re gonna start Damien (Holmes) out there and we’ll give Jordan some time. Going forward we’ll figure out the best way to play those guys.

On what Stan McKay brings to the defense:
Great intensity. He loves to play the game. We had that role for him in our base package where we put him at the weak inside linebacker that he or Dalton (Hilliard) play. Stan’s really embraced it. He’s taken it to heart. He calls himself a little backer, or a mini-backer. Stan’s just a guy that loves to play football. He’s passionate about it and it rubs off on his teammates. The last couple weeks he’s had a knack for being around the ball.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email