VIDEO: Mora on Saturday

Jim Mora announces that Tevin McDonald did not make the trip to San Diego due to a violation of team rules, and also talks about matching up against Baylor's offense...

Jim Mora talks after practice on Saturday:


JM: great practice. Great practice facility. A lot of fun so we're off and running.

Q: are we at the point now of "just get to the game"?

JM: No, I didn't feel that. They're excited to come out and practice. And we had a great practice this morning. High energy. Lot of enthusiasm. I don't feel there's a boredom at all. And that's good. I think it's because of the way we kind of structured the time leading up to this. Today was good. It was really good.

Q: how about with you? Is it now, "let's get to the game"?

JM: no, I'm trying to enjoy every minute of it. I have great memories from when I was a kid at bowl games, and so I'm getting to hang out with my kids and hanging with the players. This is awesome. Great city to be in. Great opponent. We're excited about.

Q: Anyone from the [San Diego] Chargers drop on by yet?

JM: talked to a couple of them, but they haven't dropped on by yet.

Q: talked about anything specific yet?

JM: No, don't go there.

Q: oh, come on. Haven't you heard of talk radio?

JM: no, I don't listen to much of that. Sorry.

Q: I don't blame you.

JM: we had to leave Tevin McDonald home for a violation of team policy. Obviously, I can't discuss any further than that. Other than that, these guys are fired up. They just have fun. They have fun being around each other. The hotel's nice. And [Aaron] Hester's about to beat Tre in the 40. No, he got him. So it's all good.

Q: who steps in for McDonald?

JM: well, you know what? You have any eligibility left?

Q: yeah, but I thought you wanted to win the game? I can take care of [Terrance] Williams [Baylor receiver] real quick. Will take a golf club, but I can do it.

JM: between Andrew Abbott and Randall Goforth and, you know, we might even move Dalton [Hilliard] back there a little bit. Brandon Sermons. We put Marcus Rios back there a little bit lately. Just moving him around. Probably do it by committee, more than anything. And a lot of it depends on what offensive group they're in. Sometimes they go 5 wide receivers and really spread the field. So you'll see a plethora of defensive backs out there.

Q: how's the team looking, health-wise?

JM: good. Yeah, really good. Guys are come back well. I think they're sharp. And as healthy as we could be. There's still some guys that have missed the last few weeks that won't be able to play. Ellis [McCarthy], Greg Capella. You guys will have probably a better rundown than I would. Let me think who else. I don't know. I don't worry too much about who can't play. I just concentrate on who can play so I'm excited about that.

Q: do you have any impression of Lache Seastrunk [Baylor running back]?

JM: yeah, he's darn good. Yeah. Darn good. I heard he's a Heisman Trophy candidate.

Q: he's not a candidate. He's going to win it.

JM: I think if you look at his numbers the last few weeks of the season, I mean he's certainly a guy that will be discussed for that. I think he averaged 136 yards a game rushing the last five games or something. He can go the distance with it. He's tough. He's a good player. They do a great job of spreading the field. They you defend every single blade of grass, horizontally and vertically. It's a fun offense to watch. It'll be a fun to play against, but it'll be a real challenge.

Q: when they spread it out in the passing game, does that make him especially danger?

JM: oh, heck yeah. They put receivers on both sidelines. You'll see guys lined up closer to the sidelines than you've ever seen. So you have to defend that field. And they take their #2 receivers and widen them so you've got to widen out. Now all of a sudden, there's a lot of room for him running in there. They averaged 225 [yards] a game rushing. I think 343 [yards] passing so they are really capable of moving the rock.

Q: how much do you think going against the offenses like Arizona and Arizona State is going to help you prepare for this game?

JM: I think it'll help us. I think the two that are most similar are Houston and Arizona. And then Arizona State when they tempo'ed us. But every offense has its own little flavor. So we just have to prepare for this offense. But certainly the experience of having been against teams like that all year will help us.

Okay, well you guys enjoy the rest of your day. Have fun. It's nice down here.

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