AUDIO: Mora's Conference Call

Coach Jim Mora discussed the Oregon game Sunday after watching the tape, talking about the offensive lapses, Brett Hundley and more...

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On Kendricks and McCarthy:
They're both doing pretty good actually. Eric was just a mild AC sprain, so we'll see how he recovers during the week. He's obviously banged up from the last few weeks. He had to take a shot to play last night because of his back and he fought through that and then his shoulder and he fought through the that. He played great, he did. Ellis, he got banged on the knee a couple of times. It was really sore last night, but obviously a little better today, but he'll have to work through that for Saturday. We like to think that there is a chance that Conor McDermott gets back this week, there is a chance that Simon Goines gets back and there is a chance, I would think, that Jordon James will be back.  The concerns are Steven Manfro, his ankle is very, very sore. That's about it really.

On the lack of use of Damien Thigpen against Oregon:
We held him (out). No relapse (on his knee).  His hamstring was sore.  He tweaked his hamstring a little bit, I think it might have been Thursday's practice.  We went out in pregame, if you remember his history here, he's had hamstring issues here.  Remember last year, he had one that lingered, and I think before I got here, he had one that held him back for quite a while.  You come off a knee, you compensate and it screws it up a little bit.  So his hamstring was just really sore, and he knows his body pretty well, especially that part of it, so we just decided to hold him.  You just feel so bad.  He fought his guts out to get back on the field, and we love having him on the field.  He adds so much to our team.  He does so many things you don't even notice.  He's the gunner on our punt team and he runs down there and forces a fair catch. He plays our other special teams that no one notices, and then we're trying to work him back into the rotation, get him the ball, because he is so explosive, all that he's been through, the day before such a big game, you feel for the kid, you really do. It's his senior year.

On what he saw from Brett Hundley on film:
There are a lot of things we need to get better. Not just Brett, but everybody.  I think it's urgency in running our routes.  Precision in our protection schemes.  It's having the confidence at times to just pull the trigger and just sling it in there.  Its giving him the best opportunity, schematically and play call wise.  It's everything.  It's not just Brett.  That's the part about playing a position, all the focus is on you. You look at it practically, when you have the luxury of going back on film, it becomes very apparent it's not just one guy, it's all of us.

On the confidence that may be lacking from Hundley:
I worry about it.  I worry about everything.  When you absorb the offensive line losses that we've absorbed, when you're a quarterback, whether you want it to or not, it has an effect on you.  You've got new guys in front of you, and they're younger guys and they're not yet proven. I think as a quarterback that affects you.  You look at quarterbacks at every level, and it has an effect.  Some more than others and until you get the real confidence of those guys who are blocking for you or running routes, it will affect you.  I think one of the real positives coming out of this game is that Brett can stand back there and feel really good about his offensive line because those five guys played well.  They didn't play perfectly, they made mistakes like everyone else.  Mostly technique errors though.  Or anticipation, not being quick enough to anticipate something.  Very explainable errors for their lack of experience, but they can certainly correct.  That will help Brett become confident.

On if Hundley needs a big play to be able to see that:
I like the one play theory, but I kind of believe it's a succession of plays.  I brought it back over and over being clean in the pocket, and slinging it in there and having your receivers get separation and catching it over and over again, that kind of builds confidence.  Not necessarily the one big play down the field, although, heck yeah, I'd like to see that, but I think for me, it's the repetition of good plays going together and back to back and stringing it along.  I think that's what we're searching for more than anything. 

On the receivers getting separation:
It all has to fit together.  Your protection, the crispness in your route, the decision making from the quarterback. It all has to fit together to have a successful play on offense.  And we were just off on those plays.  It's hard to pick one particular area.  When you look at the film, what you see, it kind of changes on a play to play basis.  You might have a play that there is great separation and a guy is wide open, and Brett doesn't see him, or his progression doesn't take him there, or he doesn't have the time to throw it.  Then you might have a play where you have some time, everything is set up right and then they have the perfect coverage.  A number of times, you saw they dropped eight into coverage and it's hard to find guys in that.  So it's not just one ting on every single play, it's a number of plays that keep popping up.  I'm confident that we'll get it fixed.  It's part of the painful growing process that we're going through when you play so many young guys on offense.  It's tough but it's true. But we have to push as fast and as hard through it as we can.

On Scott Quessenberry:
He did very well.  He gives us a lot of confidence.  He's a very poised young man, he plays with a lot of confidence.  He understands assignments.  I was talking earlier of a little bit quicker anticipation and recognition, that comes with experience.  I think that's certainly the case with Scott.  I think he'll learn a tremendous amount from yesterday's experience.  And I'm excited about him as a football player.  He's a great kid, number one, a really mature young man and you just love the way he approaches the game.

On if he was surprised with Quessenberry's performance in his first start:
You know what, I'll be honest with you, it didn't.  I talked to his dad on Friday night, and he's an amazing guy by the way, a retired captain in the Air Force, and solid as a rock.  And after watching Scott in practice all week, I called his dad and said, you know what, this guy has so much confidence in your son, that he's going to go out and play well and I felt like he was going to handle it and that's just how he projected himself since he's been here. I was happy with it. I wasn't surprised, though, I really wasn't. 

On how much help Quessenberry's versatility can help:
I think it will really help.  I think that's a great point.  You'll see on film, a little communication between those two that you wouldn't normally see between a guard and a center.  Like, you know how centers kind of twist their body to look up?  Scott does that.  And then he'll say something to Jake and then it helps Jake.  Jake's snaps yesterday were on target.  He had one low snap, and he was a little banged up in the shoulder, that was at Brett's knees toward the end of the game, but other than that, they were really good snaps.  Maybe just having a guy next to him, who's played the position, who can identify fronts and identify rotations, and protections and potential stunts, maybe that helped him.

On the defense:
Our defense, they played well.  They ran around and made plays against a really good offensive football team.  That's got to be expected of them.  It's unfortunate that at the end of the football game, the score got away from us a little bit because that makes it look worse than it was for our defense.

On if the first three quarters were the best stretch from his linebackers and the defense:
They played really well against Cal and really well against Stanford, they've been playing well all year, it's a great unit, that linebacking corps.  I don't know if you noticed, but we made a switch, moving Myles Jack to weak inside linebacker and Jordan Zumwalt at outside linebacker for this game, because Jordan is a little bit longer guy and we can keep Myles behind the ball, where he can run a little bit and it seemed to work out pretty good for this game.  I don't know if it will be permanent or not, we'll see as we go forward into Colorado.  We started Kenny Clark at nose, and played really well.  Eddie Vanderdoes started at left tackle and played really well.  Ellis McCarthy played his best game as a Bruin, and played really well.  Anthony Barr played outstanding, two sacks and a recovered fumble.  He was playing essentially a right defensive end for us.  He was playing what we call a 4-I at times, which is inside shade of the tackle.  He was unbelievable for us, he had a great game.  And I'm not just talking about the two sacks or the fumble recovery, I'm talking on a down-to-down basis.  Some of the things he did were really special in what we were asking him to do for this team.

On if Clark and Vanderdoes will be permanent starters:
It's too, I can't answer that yet, I don't know the answer to that.  We'll look at this week in practice, and we'll look at Colorado.  Quite frankly, I know that it matters, because it's who is the designated starter, and a pride thing, but the way we rotate our defensive linemen, in reality, it's not a big deal. Although I don't want to say it's not a big deal to those kids, fighting for those starting jobs, because it is, but they're all going to play.

On playing so many young guys:
These guys have proven that they are outstanding players.  We're going to always play the guys who give us the best chance to win the game we're playing.  That's got to be how we look at this thing.  It can't be a build for a future thing.  Certainly when you're playing a lot of young guys like we're doing, the future certainly looks very bright.  Because they're getting great experience.  To go to Autzen Stadium, Eugene, Oregon, in a national television game, against the No. 2 team in America, and a great football team, to start eight freshman and play 18, you know, that's an experience that those guys will have forever, so the next time they're in that environment, they'll draw from it and be better.  But that's not why we're doing it.  We're doing it because we believe they're the best options, that they give us the best chance to win.  And we like that option as well.

On if he imagined before the season playing that many freshman and starting that many freshman:
No.  But it says a lot about the talent of this group that we recruited and really what I think is our first recruiting class. And it's exciting.  To me it's exciting about the future of UCLA football but we're more concerned with the present of UCLA football. I'm excited about the present as well.  I'm not going to let this loss or the loss to Stanford take away the things that we're accomplishing as a program.  In a very short time, we've accomplished a lot.  But at the same time, as I said last night, we can't be satisfied with playing Oregon close for 2.5 quarters.  That can't be where we stop, that can't be our level of satisfaction.  It's gotta go way, way beyond that and it will, and it does.


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