— Jim Mora is still working on his wish list for what he wants in UCLA’s new $50 million football facility, officially announced this morning.
“Our goal is to make it one of the top facilities in the country,” he said. “I think we have to be really good about looking ahead and seeing what types of technology are going to be available five years from now and move in that direction.
“We only get one shot at it. It’s not like you can get another shot here in the next 25 years.”
— Asked about an ideal completion date, Mora said: “Tomorrow. If it could be done by tomorrow, we’d be happy.”
— As a longtime NFL coach, Mora was familiar with using less-than-glamorous digs. On Jan. 26, 1995, when he was a defensive backs coach in New Orleans, a two-alarm fire forced the Saints out of their main building.
“The sauna caught on fire and they burned down,” he said. “We brought in trailers and the trailers were a huge upgrade to the facilities that we had. So I’ve never been one that thought facilities won football games for you.”
He added that the state of facilities become more important at the college level due to recruiting.
— Mora said athletic director Dan Guerrero approached him about a new football facility days after the completion of Pauley Pavilion.
— On offensive lineman Christian Morris’ decision to transfer: “We’re just hoping he finds happiness in his life and has success.”
— A hit on Shaq Evans in the New Mexico State game resulted in the Aggie defender being ejected for targeting. Mora said it’s important for coaches to continue to drill proper tackling techniques in practice, but remarked again on the difficulty of making such calls in real time.
The same went for the play that saw Anthony Barr rush untouched into the backfield and knock quarterback King Davis III out of the game. The hit earned Barr a flag for roughing the passer. Pac-12 officiating coordinator Tony Corrente told Mora that it looked like Barr lowered his head a bit at the last minute, which created the impression that he used the crown of his helmet.
“I’m trying to figure out why you wouldn’t block Anthony Barr. And on the next play, you wouldn’t block Myles Jack,” Mora said. “So, rather than penalize Anthony Barr for no one blocking him and him hitting the quarterback, I think we should probably block Anthony Barr. He’s a pretty good player.”
— Mora said having the bye week now will help the Bruins move to the morning practice schedule. UCLA begins classes on Thursday.
“They seem to enjoy it too,” he said. “Get out here, get working early.”
— Running back Roosevelt Davis, who had a walking boot on his right foot last week, returned to light activity in today’s practice. Defensive linemen Eli Ankou (knee) and Ian Taubler (concussion) also participated.