UCLA head coach Jim Mora talked about receiver Mossi Johnson’s season-ending knee injury, his history with David Shaw, and the Bruins’ preparation for their Thursday night game at Stanford.
Despite expressing support for Myles Jack’s decision to leave UCLA, head coach Jim Mora sounded uncertain about the linebacker’s draft prospects.
On Tuesday, Mora described Jack’s choice to go pro as a risky move, saying that he had “never seen a guy taken off of” just three games as a junior. The 20-year-old started 28 straight games as a Bruin before suffering a season-ending meniscus tear late last month.
However, Jack told NFL.com that had a brief conversation with Mora and left under the impression that the coach was back him “1,000 percent.”
“(His later comments) definitely surprised me,” Jack told NFL.com‘s Mike Silver, “but I don’t know — maybe that’s what he felt. I mean, it’s a little crazy down there right now. They just suffered their first defeat (to Arizona State), and these are crazy times around here. But I’m still riding with the Bruins. Continue reading
UCLA linebacker Myles Jack will enter the 2016 NFL draft despite suffering a season-ending knee injury, head coach Jim Mora announced Tuesday.
“He’s taken his chips and he’s shoving them into the middle,” Mora said. “We hope he draws a good hand.”
A projected first-round pick, Jack has withdrawn from school just two weeks after tearing his anterior meniscus, an injury that will sideline him for four to six months. He appeared in three games this season, recording 15 tackles as well as a game-sealing interception against BYU, the final play of his collegiate career. Continue reading
No. 7 UCLA’s first loss of the season was a 38-23 upset to unranked Arizona State, one that saw the Bruins’ offense go scoreless in the first and third quarters. The home team started the game with three three-and-outs, and punted on five of its first six drives. The lone exception was a safety.
“We made it difficult on ourselves,” head coach Jim Mora said. “We have to own it, which we will, all of us — starting with me. … We have to find a way to get better, to learn from it, and move on. That’s what I’ll do.
“The one thing I appreciate is I think they’ve got tremendous heart and tremendous fight. That wasn’t enough tonight.”
Ka’imi Fairbairn has quietly become a very effective kickoff specialist. The UCLA senior has landed 23 of 29 of his kicks into the end zone this year — way up from 62.5 percent in 2014, and 50 percent the year before.
Still, the rest of the Bruins’ kickoff coverage team might want him to ease back now and then.
“I think if you ask those 10 guys that are running down there,” said head coach Jim Mora, “they’d like him every once in a while to not kick it through the end zone, so they could take a shot rather than just run a 60-yard dash.”
UCLA is one of the stingiest teams in the FBS when it comes to kickoff returns, helped in part by Fairbairn’s efficiency in forcing opponents to start drives on their own 25-yard line. The Bruins currently rank No. 3 in the FBS, allowing 12.83 yards per return, and was also top-20 in 2013.
“I think it’s scheme,” Mora said. “It’s attention to detail. More than anything, it’s just attitude. Those guys, it’s an honor to be on that team, the kickoff team.”