VIDEO: Mora on Tuesday

Jim Mora talks about how the schedule for bowl week differs from a normal week, how the defensive line has improved this year, and the value of having a bowl game...

Jim Mora talks on Tuesday:


JM: I don't have any really to add so if you just want to fire away, go ahead.

Q: how's bowl preparation different from playoff preparation?

JM: well, it's a lot longer. Playoff preparation is exactly as it would be for a normal game week. You have the exact same meeting times. You have exact same practice schedule. You travel in the same day. This is 15 practices. 13 in our case. So it's a lot different, you know. Plus, these guys are younger. You can come out and you can be a little more physical. You can do the young guys' scrimmages. Full go. You can't do that stuff in the NFL. By this time in the NFL, you're never in pads.

Q: you have to be a little more creative then?

JM: for these guys here? Yeah, but there's a lot guys so there's a lot that you can do.

Q: with the young guys scrimmaging, a lot of coaches think it gives them a benefit down the road a lot. Do you think that aspect is overrated? Underrated?

JM: I don't know yet because this is the first time I've been through it. But I think any reps you get in, any work you can give them him is going to be of a benefit as long as it's concentrated on what you need to concentrate on. And what we try to do is when we get into that young guys' scrimmage, it's not about game planning for Baylor any more. It's about our stuff. And as much fundamental work you can give them, I think it's going to help them improve.

Q: do you anticipate guys starting to get antsy? With so much time until the bowl game.

JM: you worry about that, you know. So I think it's really important that you structure your practices and you structure the time between, really yesterday [12-17-12], in kickoff in a way that you keep them focused and you keep them sharp, and so we're trying to do that. A good blend of practice and meetings and then time off and then time together doing something away from the football field. I just think though that as the game gets closer and closer, the excitement level will start to rise and they'll be ready to go.

Q: not having done bowl preparations before, did you talk to other coaches about maybe how they structure those practices or how they keep people…

JM: no. I talked to our staff but… no, I think I have a pretty good sense of how to do those things. It's not like it's my first year coaching. You look at what other people have done, but I haven't talked to anyone. A lot of guys on my staff have been through this so they're able to help me.

Q: how excited are you to be able to play in a bowl game?

JM: well, I just like playing. I like competing. I like the chance to go down there and play against a really good Baylor team. I think it's great for our… especially our seniors. To get one more opportunity to put on their uniforms and go out and compete together.

Q: do you think it's an advantage that you guys get to stay in California as opposed to Baylor?

JM: I don't think it matters when you get to a bowl game because we're going to be there close to a week in advance of the game. And so we're both going to be in an environment that's a little bit foreign to us in terms of the hotel and the practice surroundings and things like. The stadium's neutral. The thing that I think can be an advantage for us is that our fan base can get down there easily. Along those lines, you know we've got the holidays. So we're going to be out there for Christmas Eve and Christmas. So it's a little easier probably for our families, the families of our players to be down there with them. But I'm sure that Baylor will bring a really strong contingent as well.

Q: how much have you seen the defensive line improve over the course of the season?

JM: our defensive line? I think they're really good. I think it's a solid group. I think Angus [McClure, Defensive Line/Recruiting Coordinator] has done a tremendous job with them. I think they've shown a great work ethic. I said it in the spring. I think there was a little bit of doubt when I said it, that I thought the defensive line was one of the strong points of our team, and I think it's proven to be the case.

Okay? Alright, thank you. Have a good afternoon.

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