VIDEO: Mora on Thursday

Jim Mora talks about the t-shirts and towels donated to honor Nick Pasquale this weekend and Shaquelle Evans' comments about USC on the radio yesterday...

Jim Mora on Thursday:

Opening Statement:
As you guys already know and hopefully the fans know, on Saturday night, a couple of neat things are going to happen. Number one, thanks to great donations by adidas and working with ASUCLA, we're going to have #36 shirts for sale and what's really neat about it is 100% of the proceeds are going to go to the Nick Pasquale Foundation. After this game, we're going to try to get them in the bookstore, we're going to try to get them online. At that point, certainly we can't expect adidas to continue to donate, but at least 40% of the proceeds going forward will go to his foundation. The other thing is we're going to have 30,000 blue towels with 36 on them. So those are for the fans. That's just a great donation by Gorilla Marketing and a pretty cool gesture. We'll have them on the sidelines and the players will get them before the game. Right after the moment of silence, in tribute to Nick, we're going to get that place going. That's just a challenge for everyone, to go nuts for Nick. We're going to go crazy and it's going to be a blast. We had another great week of practice and we'll have another important practice tomorrow before we get done with the physical work. I'm very pleased with where we are after three days. And I'm excited to get back on the field again and excited to play at home again in front of our crowd in the Rose Bowl. We really love playing at home. It will be a great night. We're excited.

On how many shirts adidas donated:
I don't know how many they donated but it's a significant amount. They'll be on sale at the Rose Bowl. They rushed through this thing and they're going to bring them right to the Rose Bowl as with the towels. I think its a great gesture. It's also ASUCLA. 100% of the proceeds are going right to the foundation. I would hope we'd raise a lot of money for that foundation. Just really appreciative of adidas. And Scott Mitchell, who's marketing and business development here at UCLA, kind of spearheaded this and he's done an amazing job getting it organized quickly. He went down last Saturday in San Clemente at the Nebraska bar with the Pasquale's and you see a whole lot of people who affected by this and are coming out to help and it's just a great gesture. I know our fans will be very respectful during that moment of silence and then I think we need to let it all out, show him how much we care. That's what we're going to try to do as a team and I know our fans will follow suit.

On Shaq Evans' comments on the radio:
I don't know what you mean. I don't know anything about that. Shaq is a heck of a receiver and I think he's one of the more underrated, maybe one of the more underappreciated, regionally or nationally, receivers that I know of. I think he has tremendous talent. He's big, he's fast, he's physical. He's got great competitiveness. Every time the scout's come through here, they're looking at Shaq. He catches the ball consistently, he can return on kicks. I love having him on our team, man. I love his competitiveness, his spirit, his toughness. He's a heck of a player. We're worried about New Mexico State right now.

On things that NMSU does that could test UCLA:
I think every week it's important to be prepared for unscouted looks. I think they do some unusual things. Sometimes they may have only two down defensive lineman and they'll have guys all over the place. It really forces you to follow your rules. But every week, we go into a game, at least early in the game, both offensively and defensively, and special teams, prepared for unscouted looks. Looks we haven't seen on film. Looks we haven't had a chance to practice. And then we try to depend on our rules. Every play or every defense or every kicking game situation, you should have a set of rules for basically anything you see and if we can't we try to get to the sideline to adjust to basically anything we see.

On NMSU's true freshman quarterback:
Well, he's elusive. He's done a good job protecting the football. His accuracy has been good. He hasn't thrown it a ton. He's a very good player and he's mature. He doesn't seem to be fazed by anything. We'll see how he does Saturday night. It will be fun to play against him, he's a pretty good player.

On if he's on par with Taylor Martinez or Cody Fajardo:
I can't say that yet. I don't have enough film to compare. I mean those guys, we saw a lot. We played Taylor, we've seen a ton of tape on Taylor, we know him very, very well. This guy we haven't seen much film on. But I think anytime you're playing a guy that has that skill set, we know he has it, then we have to be disciplined in our pass rush, we have to do an excellent job in the run game and making sure he's taken care of as well as the back in the read option. Fortunately for us, the last couple of weeks, we've gotten some work against some quarterbacks that are similar in style, very similar.

On what he wants to see the secondary improve on:
I want to see consistency. I want to see us play with consistency. I want to hear and see communication and when I say see, it's because so much of our communication is non verbal. I want to see them make some plays on the ball and to challenge people. And I want to see them continue to get the experience they got in the first two games, because every snap they take, whether it's a great snap, an average snap or a not so good snap, they're going to make progress. They're going to improve because they pay attention., Because they study film, because they have a yearning to be a great player. So it gives me a lot of hope. It's much like the offensive line. Those two groups. You think about what they're protecting. The offensive line is protecting the quarterback, who's a valuable quantity. The secondary is protecting the end zone, which is the most valuable quantity. So the cohesiveness in those two groups has to be very, very strong in order to have success. And the only way you're going to build that cohesiveness is for them to be together. And over time, they'll develop that and get to know each other's idiosyncrasies, and how they're going to communicate and how that's going to flow. So the more they can play together as a group, the better they're going to become because they are talented.

On which lineman he'd trust in a fake punt:
Let's give it to X, because he's got the feet. He's got good feet so he might be able to dance through the trash and get us some yards. But I'm not sure we're going to give it to any lineman. Although, you guys know, last year, we threw that pass out to X, Torian or X. Good question.

On the defensive line's rotation:
I think a good defensive line, you have to be two deep. You have to rotate those guys, I think that's at any level, at this level and the next level. In the NFL, if you can have eight defensive linemen to go in and play, and can go in and give you 40 snaps a game, you're going to have some success. And we've got that here. I think we have eight guys who suit up that we feel comfortable with being in. And the fact that we can rotate them in and out, and keep them fresh, and then actually take one of them out on third down, and gain that extra, I think it's really helping us and will help us as the season goes on. It's great seeing Kenny (Clark) and Eddie (Vanderdoes) and Kylie (Fitts) getting snaps, and not meaningless snaps, not mop up snaps, but meaningful snaps in the middle of a game, and it's just going to make us a better football team down the stretch.

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