Mora's Sunday Teleconference

Jim Mora updates Simon Goines' status after the knee injury, talks about how Jordan Zumwalt looked at inside linebacker, and talks about the defensive backs...

Q: What are these two weeks going to do for you, having this extra week before the game prep?

A: Well, a lot of things. Allow some guys to heal up a little bit. Recover. A guy like Johnathan Franklin who takes a beating week in and week out due to the way he plays. It allows us to get our young guys some good quality work in practice. It allows coaches a little extra time to prepare for Arizona State. It gives our players a chance to really focus on their school work three weeks into the school year. So a lot of good things. It comes at a good time for us.

Q: Do you plan to use this time to do any personnel tinkering as far as lineups go?

A: No.

Q: When you looked at the film, was there anything special they were doing that kind of took Shaquelle Evans out of the offensive picture? In the second half, I mean?

A: Yeah, I was going to say he had some pretty critical third down catches. No, we just spread the ball around. Particular plays have particular progressions against particular coverages, so I think it's a real credit to Brett Hundley that he wasn't trying to force the ball to Shaq, he was taking what the defense told him to take and throwing it where the defense told him to throw it.

Q: When you were looking at the film, what did you think of Brett's decision making?

A: I thought he did a nice job. He's getting better every week. I thought there were a lot of things from this week that he will improve and he can improve. So that's encouraging. He's playing well, but there's still a lot of room for growth. I mean, he'll never stop growing. The guy's just a kid right now.

Q: You had Andrew Abbott get an interception on the first defensive series for the second week in a row. What kind of spark does he provide?

A: He's one of our captains and everyone respects him. They respect him in the locker room and they respect him on the field. He comes up with plays when we need them, you know? It's great when you can get off to a fast start like that. He had the key interception late against Nebraska as well. The guy's a playmaker and you can play him at a lot of different spots. You can play him at either safety, you know he can play corner, because he played it against Nebraska. And sometimes he plays the nickel position as well. He's just a really solid football player who's all about team and who the team really respects.

Q: Does it surprise you at all that he had to walk on?

A: Well I don't know, I didn't know him back in high school. That was a long time ago.

Q: He's not a guy that passes the eye test, though, right?

A: Well, it depends on what you're looking for. He doesn't have typical height, but there are a lot of good players that play today that are of the same stature as him. What he lacks in height, he makes up for in football intelligence, overall intelligence, competitiveness, preparation, work ethic. Like I just mentioned, he's versatile. He can do a lot of things, and he does it well.

Q: Did you get an update on Simon Goines?

A: No.

Q: You said he might get an MRI, do you know if he was getting one?

A: I don't know that he needed one. But I'm not sure, so don't quote me. I think he's going to be OK.

Q: Based on what you saw from Jordan Zumwalt, do you expect that to be a permanent switch inside?

A: I think it depends on who we're playing. What style of offense we're facing. It's good to have some flexibility based on who we can use where on defense. But I thought he did a nice job yesterday for not having played there since, shoot, the bowl game last year.

Q: What type of offense would you prefer to have him inside and what type outside?

A: A little more traditional offense inside. When we play that look where we put either Dalton Hilliard or Stan McKay at the linebacker spot, if we're going to do that a lot, we like to put Jordan outside because he can be effective as a rusher. But so can Damien Holmes.

Q: Is there any disadvantage to having a bye after a win, as far as momentum getting stopped?

A: I don't think so. I think it comes at the right time for us. I think it gives our guys a little time to catch their breath a little bit. And I think it's going to help them in school. When you've got so many freshmen contributing like we do, and they've got so much on their plate, it can get a little overwhelming for them. And I'm not just talking about football on their plate, but adjusting to college life, managing their time, handling their schoolwork, tutoring, study, football, social. So I think it's just good for us right now to take a break, I guess, from the emotional part of football. We're still going to go out and practice hard and try to get better, but we don't have to get emotionally prepared for a game for the week, which I think is good for these guys.

Q: Given that, do you anticipate more of a camp type few days for this week?

A: Yeah, the practices the next two days at least, which is Tuesday and Wednesday…we haven't planned Thursday yet, it could be some Arizona State stuff or we might wait til next Monday. But Tuesday and Wednesday will just be UCLA vs. UCLA. It'll be kind of unscripted, moving the ball in game situations, trying to get a lot of people who need work work where they need work.

Q: How does that help with all these young receivers?

A: Well, they need to play. They need to run routes, they need to function in the offense. Jordan Payton and Devin Fuller, they need to run some routes, and against different coverages. And same thing with Logan Sweet and Tyler Scott. You saw them get some time the other night as well. We just all of a sudden became a fairly youthful receiving group. When you lose Darius Bell, and you lose Devin Lucien, who was still very young, since he'd only been in the system five or six games before he got hurt. It'll be good for them.

Q: How'd you think Aaron Hester and Sheldon Price played coming off their rough game the week before?

A: They did well. They eliminated the deep ball to the outside, and they tackled well. I thought they played very solid.

Q: You were kind of playing around with the idea of not using them. What went into the decision to give them both another shot?

A: Did I say I wasn't going to use them?

Q: You were talking about it.

A: That might have been premature then. They had a good week of practice. They're veteran guys, they're seniors. They took the challenge, they took the bit. And they performed well.

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