Once in a while, Jim Mora’s one-week-at-a-time philosophy shows its cracks.
In an interview with ESPN 710 on Wednesday, receiver Shaq Evans was asked how it felt to be a part of UCLA’s rise after watching USC dominate while growing up in Inglewood. “I’m loving it,” he said.
“Beating them last year, and knowing we’re going to beat them again this year,” he soon added. “Especially two years ago, when they beat us 50-0, we owe them a little bit. … This year, we’re going to try to embarrass them, honestly.
“It’s so much fun, just seeing them struggling. Like how we used to struggle, now they’re struggling. It’s awesome to see that. I hate them.”
Mora said he did not hear about the comments.
“We’re worried about New Mexico State University right now,” Mora said. “I don’t follow some of that stuff. I didn’t see that. I’m worried about New Mexico State University.”
— The first 30,000 fans at the Rose Bowl this Saturday will receive a blue towel with Nick Pasquale’s No. 36. Following a moment of silence before UCLA’s first home game since the receiver’s death, the team will cheer loudly to celebrate his memory. Mora asked fans to do the same, waving around those towels.
“I know they’ll be very respectful during that moment of silence,” Mora said. “And then, I think we just need to let it all out. Show them how much we care. That’s what we’re going to try and do as a team, and I know our fans will follow suit.”
No. 36 T-shirts will be on sale at the Rose Bowl Saturday, and in the student store and online after that.
— Mora called New Mexico State true freshman King Davis III an elusive quarterback, but hasn’t seen enough tape to compare him to Nevada’s Cody Fajardo or Nebraska’s Taylor Martinez.
“Anytime you’re playing a guy that has that skill set, whether he’s showing it or not — we know he has it,” Mora said. “We have to be disciplined in our pass rush. We have to do an excellent job in the run game.”
— If UCLA ever wanted to give the ball to a lineman on a fake punt, the task would likely fall to left guard Xavier Su’a-Filo.
“Let’s give it to X,” Mora said. “He’s got the feet. He’s got some good feet, so he might be able to dance through the trash and get us a couple of yards.”