VIDEO: Mora After Nevada Win

Coach Jim Mora talked about some of the positives but also many of thing aspects of the Nevada win that he wasn't happy with...




Opening statement:
It's a win. Everyone thinks wins are easy, but they're not. They're hard so we'll take the win. We're happy about that and we're excited about that. With that being said, as everybody knows, there is a lot we need to do to improve upon and correct. Being the pessimist that I am, lets hit those first. You know, lets hit the positives first. I thought our offense was really sharp tonight, especially for the first game. Unfortunately in the first half, we couldn't get them on the field because we couldn't start the darn quarterback. That quarterback is a really good player, a really good runner and we have to figure out a way to get those types of guys stopped. We had some first game anxieties and we had some guys that tried to do a little too much than their job. In the second half we settled down and we stopped jumping around blocks and losing leverage or trying to go inside or spin or trying to go up field. We had a little more success. If we could have gotten our offense the ball a little more in the first half, I'm not sure we couldn't have done some better things offensively. I thought Brett was very good, he looked very calm and very poised. I thought our offensive line did a very good job both in protection and the run game. I was happy with the way we came out of the huddle in the second half, both offensively and defensively. Certainly, the blocked punt was a huge momentum changer for us. One real silver lining in the game was the young guys, the experience that the young guys got. You saw some of our young guys made some impact plays. You saw how much of a force Eddie could be in there, you saw Myles Jack and Deon Hollins. You saw Tahaan come up and make a hit, Darren Andrews made a catch, Thomas Duarte made a catch. I thought that Alex Redmond played very well. We were able to play a lot of those guys. We want to be able to depend on those guys down the stretch, so for us to give them a chance to play was important.

On the negatives:
The negatives, certainly quarterback runs, we have to fix that. I don't want to put it on the players necessarily, jumping out the gaps, thats part of it. We have to do a better job coaching it. That's something we have to look hard as a staff. Our old friend the penalty just jumped up and bit us in the second half. Obviously, I didn't do a good enough job getting the message across. We've actually been pretty clean through camp, and tonight, we just fell back into the trap especially in the second half. So that's something we have to look at that again very hard. We have to put emphasis on it. We can't sugarcoat it, it is what it is. You win big, we put up 58 points and sometimes it's easy to shove it under the carpet but we can't do that. We need to put pressure on our players in practice so when we get in game situations like this, we have to react accordingly. It was a win, it's a good way to start the season. Now we have a bye and that will give us a chance to correct some of these things and then we move onto Nebraska.

On the decision to start Alex Redmond over Caleb Benenoch:
We kind of made that decision at the start of the week. Caleb had a really strong start in camp. And then he hit a little bit of a wall. I'm not sure if he was a little tired or maybe a little overwhelmed. Alex, conversely, started slow in camp and then he came on late and played really well. We feel good about both of those guys. We think that Caleb maybe is a right tackle. It was really neat to see Alex in there and playing well. Really all those young guys"

On running back Jordon James and if he secured the top spot:
Well, he is the number one back. He's our starter right now, but we would like to be able to play Steven Manfro. We'd like to be able to play Paul (Perkins) It was great to see Malcolm (Jones) get in there and make some plays. It was fun to see Rosie (Roosevelt Davis). Unfortunately, Melvin (Emesibe) fumbled that one and we were trying to get him some carries. But (Jordon) is our number one back. You know how we play offense – we are going to roll those guys through. We have to, to play the tempo we want. We are going to have to use multiple backs. I think first of all, the credit has to start with the offensive line and how they blocked and the receivers and the way they got down field and blocked and certainly the backs did a nice job.

On quarterback Brett Hundley's performance:
I thought he was sharp the whole game, that was my opinion. Maybe it looked different to you guys. I thought that he looked just very poised, very calm, very under control. A lot of that had to do with the fact that was the offensive line was not letting people get closer to him. I thought he did a good job with his legs as well. There was a time there, I think in the second quarter, where he was rolling out to our sideline and tried to square up, and I thought he had some green grass in front of him where he could've run it but he'll learn from that. He's just got to find the right mix of when to run it and when to throw it. He took only one hit and got hit. I don't like to see that. But, I thought that Brett played efficiently, I was pleased. He missed a couple deep balls, we would like to hit those but we will hit them.

On tonight's win being a first step:
Well it's a good first step for us. There are so many unknowns when you go in to any season. Let's not forget, that's a good football team. They beat Cal last year, and then Cal whooped us. They were right in it with Arizona. They have a lot of California kids that came down here who wanted to perform well. When you can win and win convincingly and when you can come out in the second half and make some corrections in the second half that you were struggling with in the first half, I think that's a good sign for us.

On the blocked punt relaxing people:
It was interesting, we made our adjustments at halftime. There was really no panic or anxiety. But, we felt as a team that we needed to start fast and start to establish ourselves. We were able to do that. We came out and scored and then we finally got them stopped. We got the sack, Keenan Graham got the sack. And then you go out and make a momentum changing play, like that block, that's big. If you can score on special teams, then the liklihood of winning that game really jumps up. We need that play at that moment, to be like 'here we go. We are back at it now. We needed that.

On playing the first game with Johnathan Franklin and rushing for 300 yards:
Is that what it was? I'll take 300 yards anytime. I would have to agree with that. It was a heck of a performance. Maybe you'll talk to Jordon, but I guarantee you, the first thing they'll tell you was the blocking was outstanding. There were some good holes and they made some good things happen. With Jordon tonight, it's something I've talked about during camp, it's that he has to become a better one cut and downhill runner, and then in the second level he uses the shake. His shake would happen too early and then the hole would close. He's got shake. He can make people miss. He has learned how to make a miss down the field rather than in the backfield and that's a positive.

On the depth of his defensive line:
I think that we have some good depth up front, both on the defensive line and in the secondary and we rotated those guys tonight like we would like to be able to do, both at the d-line position and the linebacker position. You saw a lot of Kenny Orjioke, you saw a lot of Myles Jack. Towards the end, you got to see Hof and Isaac. Up front we played the three starters, and you got to see Keenan play a lot and Eddie play a lot. You got to see Kylie play a lot, you got to see Kenny Clark play a lot. We'd like to be able to play that way to keep guys fresh.

On the secondary:
I'm going to give you an old coaching cliche, but I need to look at the film, and I mean that sincerely. I don't know how they played. I know this, if you keep the ball in front of you and not give up big plays, then you always have a chance and we didn't give up the big plays in the passing game tonight and that's a positive.

On facing a mobile quarterback in the first game:
I think it's invaluable. Taylor Martinez, who we play next, is to me, one of the top running quarterbacks in football at any level. For us to play a guy like we did today and for him to have the success he did, and us learn from it, is really going to help us. To see it on film is really going to ingrain in us in our head and it's going to give us a chance to say, what are we doing right, what are we doing wrong, what do we need to adjust, so we'll start with that tomorrow. We can't let quarterbacks do that to us. That's what's interesting to us about the college game is that quarterbacks are such threats running the football, I'm still trying to adjust to it. I better adjust to it pretty darn quick.

On talking to Cody Fajardo after the game:
He's gutsy and tough and he's a heck of a player and I have a tremendous amount of respect for him and I know this was a big game for him, coming back to the Rose Bowl and he grew up a big fan of UCLA and I just wanted to tell him how much I respected his performance and let him know I think he's a heck of a football player.

On an update on Priest Willis:
No.


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