Coach's Corner is sponsored by Pueblo Inn. With a resort type setting, Pueblo Inn is Ideally located for both business and leisure travelers, For more information, click on the banner below.
John Mackovic opened the proceeding with his take on the UCLA Bruins.
"They have the best athletes in the Pac-10 without a doubt. I don't know that they are leading the conference necessarily in all the categories, but they have a good, solid defense, and they have a creative offense. They do a lot of things. They do a real good job with complementary plays. They'll do a run, and then all of a sudden you'll see a complimentary run, and then you'll see a play-action pass. Their defense is good enough, and it gives them a chance to win. Their offensive line is good enough to give them a chance to balance up the offense."
"We struggled covering the tight end a couple weeks here in the Pac-10, and their tight end, Mike Seidman, is very good. He's fast, smart, runs good routes, and they look for him. They throw the tight end screen to him or they send him down to go deep because he is very good there."
"Tyler Ebell is averaging just under 100 yards per game. He's not quite the same size as DeShaun Foster; he's a little smaller. They are going to run the ball and set the runs up for speed."
You've had a prior encounter with Bob Toledo when you were at Texas.
"I haven't forgotten it. They passed early, they passed often, they passed late"
Do you think they were running up the score then?
"Yes they were. They were trying to make a statement. You can tell the difference when a team is trying to score. A team is looking for that special play that will be difficult to cover anyways."
You mentioned after the game that you'd like to play Nic Costa more over the last three games, is that still the plan?
: "We need to stick him in the game for a series here and there for the last three weeks of the season. The biggest thing is how he conducts himself and whether he can make some plays. The quarterback ultimately has to make some plays. We know it won't always be easy, so we have to look at how he handles the pressure. I feel for Jason (Johnson) because he wants to play every play and lead that team, but he must understand that there's a bigger picture. We are going to give Jason every chance to win a game, but we still have other things that we have to do. Arizona football will go on, and we have to be prepared to go on with it as well as we can."
Jason Johnson still has a shot at some school records, is that a consideration in strategy or play calling?
"I don't think that he's playing for records, and I haven't thought about records other than our win-loss record. If it happens where he gets close enough just with regular play, maybe we'll pay a little more attention to it. I don't think that he should go out and try to set records just for the sake of having a quarterback that you can say was a record-setter. He's done all that a coach could ask of him regardless of whether he finishes first, second or third."
Have you exercised every option for improving the offensive line?
"I wish we could have left Makoa (Freitas) at left guard because that is a much more natural position for him, but he is doing all that he can. Everyone else on the line has good plays and bad plays. A couple of the sacks the other day were the result of missed assignments. It's a case where someone is supposed to go this way, and he goes that way instead."
Mackovic mentioned that the team would not practice on Monday and here was his reasoning.
"We need a little freshness. We had a lot of guys banged around. It was a hard-hitting game, and it took its toll. There was a lot of banging around, so this is a good time to give the players today off. This is a week where we can take our schedule and move it a little toward the weekend because we are playing Saturday night."