VIDEO: Mora After Utah

Coach Jim Mora praised Utah and his Bruins for winning a "slug match"...

Opening Statement:
First of all, I want to commend Utah. We knew coming in that they were an excellent football team and that certainly proved to be true. They played with a lot of heart. They're disciplined, they're tough, they play inspired. It's the kind of team you love to play against, you love to compete against because you know that you are going to have to give everything that you've got, and they did a heck of a job. With regards to UCLA, I'm very proud of our football team tonight. We knew it was going to be a real, real hard-fought game. And we came in with the mindset that it was going to be kind of a slugfest, and it was. I was really proud of the way we responded. It wasn't a beautiful thing offensively. I think defensively we played very, very well. But I think there's a lot we can learn offensively from what transpired. They did an excellent job with their pressure packages, and that will give us an opportunity to look at some things and clean some things up with regards to protection. Right now, it looks like Torian White is going to be out for an extended period of time. He broke his ankle. It looks like he broke the lower part of his leg. I'm not sure if it's season ending or what, but right now, the plan is to go with those two freshman playing next to each other, which is Alex Redmond and Caleb Benenoch. It's hard to do that and they went in and did a nice job tonight. It certainly affected Jake Brendel. The question is probably going to arise with the snaps. We had a lot of low snaps. But what we were asking Jake to do, with two freshman over there, was make their calls for them. And they were putting a guy on his nose, and when he'd look up to snap it, there was just, it was difficult. We'll get some chances to work at that this week. Jordon James hurt his ankle, I'm not sure, I haven't got a prognosis yet. Thy were doing an x-ray but I haven't talked to the doctor. Shaq went out for a minute but he came back in. I was a little worried about Shaq on that onside kick, it looked like he took a couple shots to the head. But overall, we came up with some plays on defense, some stops on defense. What I told the guys after the game is we can be a really good football team if we learn to get out of our own way and by that I mean the penalties. I'm a little bit befuddled right now. We'll get it figured it out. We're trying everything to get it figured it out. I certainly don't want to make excuses for our penalties. I don't think we are an undisciplined team. I think an undisciplined team is one that doesn't do things right, is late for meetings, doesn't practice hard, doesn't go to class. I think we're an aggressive team. I think sometimes we might have lapses in concentration, you know, maybe that's our youth, I don't know, it doesn't really matter. We've just got to get it fixed. I think that's the thing that is holding us back. But to come here to Utah, on a Thursday night, in a hostile environment, to get a win, you know, we're going to take it. We're going to take it. We're happy about that.

On if this win is the kind the team needs:
Yes. I think that every chance you have to go into a hostile environment and play a really good team, and even if you don't play perfect football, but get a win, you can take so much out of it. There are so many lessons to be learned. It's always better when you can learn those lessons after a win, instead of the disappointment after a defeat. And what I think our young men do is take it seriously. They don't go 'we gotta win, let's move on.' They've got to win, but how can they get better? And as long as we can continue to have that mindset, we're going to keep getting better.

On how the defense stepped up in the second half:
We had to make some stops. We were struggling offensively for a good bit in the second half. We were a little bit out of sorts. Compared to where we typically are. I think that's the sign of a good football team. When one side is struggling a little bit, the other side picks up for them. It's not always going to be a thing of beauty. Not every Rembrandt is a masterpiece. Rip Scherer people. I'll tell you what was good about the ballgame is we haven't really been tested back there. And so tonight, to get the ball up in the air and to make some plays, that was a positive for us. What'd we have, six interceptions? I tell you what, I like that quarterback over there. That kid, he's a ballplayer. We made some plays on him tonight. I tell you what, I like him a lot. I have a lot of respect for him.

On stopping Wilson on the run:
We tried to. The zone reads, he made a couple of nice plays there, but we tried to put dots on him, not give him big escape lanes up inside. That's when he's really effective, when he bought time. And you saw that, when he'd buy time, when he got outside the pocket, he was very effective. I commend our front for containing the pocket and then our coverage was solid down field.

On what positives came from the win:
The positives are always the win, because that's the main objective. That's what you've got to do, you've got to find a way to get a win. And when you can learn, you can show resilience, and those are just opportunities to grow. What I want out players to understand is that, for us to get where we want to be, we have to eliminate that. And each and everyone of us has to make a major, concerted effort, not that we haven't because we have, but we've got to refocus on it. We have to reemphasize it, we have to find ways. We have to have 115 man commitment to eliminating the things that are going to hold us back. And right now, the thing that is holding us back is the penalties.

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