Media Monday with KLAC’s Wayne Cook, Pt. 1

On the Stanford loss:
“I know it’s not as bad as people think.. The fanatic out there tends to overreact sometime, and I’m all for it. That’s why people get so passionate. But from my eyes, I still see improvement. I see we’re a lot better. And I see Stanford’s a lot better too.”

On Stanford:
“Playing them nowadays on the road is tough. Particularly with them occupying the ball for so long in the first three quarters. I thought the penalties on offense and the penalty on Rahim Moore – normally he stays back and intercepts that pass – those plays really allowed Stanford to get them rolling.”

On the UCLA offense scoring more points:
“UCLA needs to score more points to win in the Pac-10. Our defense is a good defense, but there are too many good offenses back there. A good defense in the Pac-10 gives up 21, 25 points. You have to counter that by being able to score. Some games you have to throw 30 points to win.”

On the UCLA offense against Stanford:
“Johnathan Franklin to me looks like he’s only beginning to be as good as he’s going to be. You have to have your QBs prove they’re not going to throw interceptions. I thought Kevin Craft did an admirable job in the game, but it was all short stuff. At some point you have to stretch the defense. If I could say one thing about playcalling – you don’t know there were opportunities or if they were afraid.”

On having a go-to-guy at wideout:
“I don’t know if they have that guy. I don’t think they have one of the wide receivers who’s saying, ‘I’m way better than anyone else right now.’ Part of that is allowing three or four receivers to get out in a route. When Craft sees a one on one matchup, he has to throw that 20-30 yard post. Not just hitches. There was a moment when I saw KC use a hand signal and move to a hitch. That’s great, but if you have man-to-man matchup, take a shot. I’d like to see the quarterbacks take more opportunities to do that.”

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Media Monday with KLAC’s Wayne Cook

On the Tennessee win:
“I was very impressed with the character of the team, the way they handled all the adversity. Especially at the end of the game when it got crazy, I was proud of them for stepping up and making plays. Too often in recent history, UCLA has found a way to mess up.”

On the biggest road game of his playing career:
“I played at Nebraska in 1994, and that was probably the most intense atmosphere I’d gone to. That kind of thing where the whole town shuts down. And I’d been at Tennessee before, even though I didn’t start.”

On Kevin Prince’s progress:
“I think Coach Norm has done a great job with him. You can tell the talent; he’s got a good arm, he’s got a good head. But as the season progresses, they’re going to have to get better quarterback play to win games. This defense might be great, but Pac-10 teams can score. To give up 21 to Cal is a great effort, even 28. To win, they’ll need to find a way to get more points.”

On his optimism heading into the Tennessee game:
“What’s funny is that I actually truly believed that UCLA had a good shot against Tennessee. The experience on defense was important, not getting down early was important. This Tennessee team is better than last year, but not great. But UCLA has gotten so much more athletic and bigger over the last year.”

On his expectations changing:
“I said this could very well be an eight-win season. Who knows, they might lose one they shouldn’t. If (Brehaut) steps up and can do what I think he’s capable of, I don’t think they’ll drop off too much. ”

On the dropoff from Prince to Brehaut:
“I would say Brehaut is just behind mentally. I think they’re both very athletic, both capable of a D1 QB. But look at the stats, how far can you drop off? Not saying that Kevin Prince played bad, but it’s been sorta ‘don’t screw this up.’ Right now its play defense, run the ball, play field position. When you throw for 100 yards and 48 percent, it’s not like you’re setting the world on fire.”

On the importance of Week 3:
“What scares me is this: Everyone assumes Kansas State is a foregone conclusion. What happens with young teams is they think they’re better than they really are. I think that for them as a young team, the coaches really have to remind them that they have to really put it on K-State. This is a really important game for them.”

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