VIDEO: Jim Mora Post-Nebraska

Jim Mora talked about the big comeback win over Nebraska, starting tight and would up, and the impact of Nick Pasquale...

Opening Statement:
"First of all I want to start by saying a very heartfelt thanks to the Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst, Head Coach Bo Pelini, to the Husker Nation, their fans, their students and their players for the compassion they showed us this week. I thought it was an incredible gesture they made here, and I think it kind of shows the class here at Nebraska. The fact that they would put a No. 36 decal on their helmets, and they would have a moment of silence, and their student section cheered us when we took the field and encouraged us on, you just don't find that at many places. It is just a true testament to the people here at Nebraska and how much they care about football. We are very, very appreciative about that. I am so proud of our guys. Those young men went through a tremendous amount of adversity this week and emotions were on a roller coaster the entire week. Matter of fact, they were on a roller coaster through the first half. I felt that the first quarter and a half of the game we were trying so hard - so hard - to try and make something happen good that we were tight. What really happened was in the second quarter there at the end we kind of relaxed and made plays and we kind of found our rhythm again. We came in at halftime, not a lot of adjustments that had to be made, really just an adjustment in our mindset which was to relax, play with confidence, go out and have fun playing the game and let it roll. We tried to pick up the tempo a little bit on offense. We talked about tackling better on defense. We talked about containing the quarterback a little bit better on defense but there was no mystical magical X's and O's, it was all our players doing what they are supposed to do, and really loving what they do—playing football. It was a heck of a game, that is a really good football team and this a great place to come play. One of our themes this year that we need to get better at is having the mental toughness where we can come into a tough environment and we can handle some adversity and still fight back and get back into the game. Today we did that. It is not good enough to do that once, that has to become our identity, that's got to become the team that we become. We are working hard toward it. I am really proud of those kids, you can't believe how tough it was on them, you just can't, unless you were at practice, in those meeting rooms, in that locker room, you just can't. He (Jordan Pasquale) had such an impact on our team—for a little guy that only played one snap here at UCLA, those guys loved him.  They respected the heck out of him. His family came up yesterday and talked with the team in the morning before we went out on the field to practice. And Mel and Laurie and A.J., that's his mother and his father.  They were amazing, and I think they gave our team strength. You don't ever want to say ‘You won one for somebody'; we didn't win one for Nick, what we tried to do today is try and go out and play with the type of effort and enthusiasm, energy and passion of the game that would reflect what he meant to us, and so his parents could see it on TV and recognize that we were playing the game like their son played the game. We got a win and we've got to go on from there.

On the turning point of the game
I think it was before the half. We got going on offense, we were just tight. We were tight, everyone was so intent on being the guy that made 'that' play, nobody wanted to make a mistake and you can't play football like that. You've got to relax and enjoy it - at least we do, I don't know how other teams play, our team loves to play the game, there is a passion for it. We were squelching that and were letting the emotions get the best of us. We didn't really say anything.  I came in at halftime and it wasn't me, it was our players. They recognized it - these are mature young men - they recognized it and said 'let's just relax and do our thing', and we did. I think scoring at the end (of the first half) and then getting them stopped and even trying the 55-yard field goal, even getting ourselves into field goal position to try it, that is like how UCLA does it. I think that made them feel good about themselves at halftime.

On what changed:
It was tempo. We picked up the tempo, we made blocks, we threw accurately, things like that. We didn't' call any new plays. We didn't come in at halftime and put in new plays. It was more a mindset. Every one makes too much of halftime adjustments. It's Jimmies and Joes, not Xs and Os. Our guys have the right mindset and headed in the right direction and and they started making plays, and we got what we were capable of.

On Hundley's scramble for a first down:
That might have been the play of the year. I might have been overstating it because we have ten more regular season games ot go. But that was the play of this game, being able to get ou t there anmd making that play. I don't like to point to a singular play in a game because I think there are so many that make a difference. But right then, right there we had to make that play and Brett made it.

On if it that play was quintessential Brett Hundley:
Yeah, you know, yeah. It is. He's got competitive greatness. He's going to make the play when they play needs to be made. He was a little tentative early. He was wired up for the game, as all of us were. And once he just relaxed, took a breath, and did it like we do on the practice field, he was just fine. You talk about great players making great plays at great moments, that's what he did. I'm not saying he's great yet. But I think he's creeping up a lot closer to. You get to know these young men very very well. When you spend as much time around them as I'm fortunate to. You can tell a lot about them without having to speak a word, just by looking at their face. Brett, he was tight. He wouldn't let it go. He wouldn't make great decisions back there. Then something happened and he relaxed and he started playing his tail off.

On if he talked about Nick Pasquale in the locker room before the game:
We talked about the week and we talked about Nick. We're all going down to the memorial tomorrow down in San Clemente at 4 p.m, we'll take busses down there as a team. I don't want to say we're happy or excited to go down there. But we're looking forward to the chance to go down there and be with all his family and friends and those that love him. And spend some time with them and just pay our respects to him.

On mental toughness:
I think the support group at UCLA is tremendous. I think we have an outstanding coaching staff. We're the men in their lives right now. They're under our care, so we had to be the men in their lives and I think our coaching staff did an outstanding job of handling things. You've just got an extraordinary group of young men. I told them, at a young age, probably many of them hadn't gone through anything like this before and have balanced having grief, feeling empathy and sympathy and yet be able to find a way to get focused when they needed to get focused, which was practice and meetings. And I think that's what it was. Just people It's the people that we have at UCLA, starting with Dan, and the people we're accumulating at UCLA with this football program. Our aim is to be special. Our aim is not to be average.

On their defensive focus:
It was the run and it was Taylor running. Taylor really hurt us last year. And against Nevada we struggled against the run as well. So we felt like we needed him to make throws to beat us. And that's not to take anything away from his ability to throw the ball, because as you saw in the first half he had three touchdown passes so he can certainly throw the ball. We just felt like he's most dangerous when he's out creating. You saw that play at the end of the game when we could just not get him sacked. Yes, stopping the run, but most importantly, stop Taylor Martinez from running the football. Overall we did a good job of that.

On Nick Pasquale's parents:
Nick's parents were always around. Nick's dad is amazing. They're from San Clemente so they always come up and he's known a lot of our players. It was emotional, it was for them, I think it was something that gave them joy at a difficult time in their lives, to see 120 kids sitting in that room that loved their son. But it was tough. When a mother and a father and a brother, who just lost their son and their sibling, less than a week, coming to address the team, meant a lot to our young men. They're great people. And we'll be there for them. UCLA will be there for them. Not just this week. We'll be there for them.

On what kind of statement:
I don't like those things, statement games, I think when you use them, that sometimes it's followed up by disappointment. It was an opportunity for us to get better. It was an opportunity for us to come on the road in a difficult environment, overcome a difficult start, and get a win. But it only matters if we keep backing it up. It only matters if we prepare the way we prepared last week this week when we play New Mexico State. We're going to enjoy it for 24 hours and then we're going to move on. The statement, I don't like the statement game. You're not going to hear me talk statement game, other than what you did in that answer.

On Nebraska receiver Kenny Bell
He is a good player first of all. He is an excellent kickoff returner, and he is a good receiver. He is long and lean, and he can run and catch with his hands and has a nice catch radius. They caught us in two pressures on the first and the third touchdown passes and the one when they ran a drag route we were in a zone and the guy got inside the linebackers and snuck in. He is a good player, we have a lot of respect for him. We talked a lot about him as a kick returner. He is a much better receiver than I thought we gave him credit for, but we did give him a lot of credit in that area as well.


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