VIDEO: Mora After Colorado

Coach Jim Mora talked about the team overcoming the hangover from the last two weeks in the game against Colorado...


Opening statement:
What was awesome tonight was the crowd. I think that was our second home game in a row we've had over 80,000 fans. They had the wave going, which I don't know I've seen since the Southern Cal game. The energy and excitement for UCLA football, the expectations have been raised. I mean, that's what we are after. I walk in here expecting questions about ‘Why didn't this happen?' or 'why didn't that happen' or ‘why did we start so slow?' or ‘What's wrong?' I gotta tell you, that's a good thing. Because, it tells me that people expect a lot of us. I think a delicate balance is managing those expectations. We are only in the second year of our program. We started nine true freshmen today. We started Isaac in place of Eric. It's a process and it's going to take time. There are going to be some drives and starts of games that aren't beautiful. We were coming off two difficult road losses against great teams. Tonight, and I hate to admit this, but I thought there was a little hangover. There really was. I didn't see it during the week. We didn't have the enthusiasm early that we typically have. I can only say that there was a little hangover. These guys love to play. I told them at halftime that I didn't think we were enjoying the game enough. They have to realize, I was lucky to play in two Rose Bowls here, and I will remember those forever. These young men have to understand how freaking lucky they are to play in front of 80,000 people at the Rose Bowl. And they should enjoy and savor every moment of that. I tried to unburden them a little bit, and we came out in the second half and I felt like the juice was back and they responded. So, I was proud of that. I like this team. I like being around them. They make me happy. You know, I smile. The day that wins, no matter how ugly, or how hard they are, stop being enjoyable is the day when I'm getting out of this thing. So I'm going to enjoy every stinking win because they are hard. Doesn't matter who you're playing. It's hard to win a football game. It was a great night."

On Brett Hundley:
I think you are right. I think there was no better recipe for him than that 76-yard play. It was like phew, OK. We can all agree, we've all watched the games, the kid has looked burdened the last two weeks. He didn't look burdened tonight. He did some great things. Colorado played hard and their quarterback played well, too. It seemed like Brett exhaled a little bit. I saw it during the week. I saw it Wednesday and Thursday. He had a smile on his face. He didn't have so much tension in the way that he was approaching every thing. These are college students. These are amateurs and they're doing it for the love of the game. I want them to love every minute of the game.

On Devin Fuller:
You know, I'm not into the statement games or coming out parties, I think you have to do it consistently. But it was exciting to see him play well. We know what he is capable of. He's an explosive athlete. He's becoming a good receiver. Remember, he came here as a quarterback, and hadn't played receiver and we put him at receiver last year and he's done a really nice job. You saw him returning kicks, and he was a hair away from breaking those. He is a guy that when he has the ball in his hands, he can make things happen. He's just got to continue to work hard and get better. And maybe some day, we'll look back on this game as his coming out party, but right now it's just about consistency.

On the effort and execution:
The Effort, effort was good. Execution, no. I think it's important to separate execution and effort. Our effort is always really good. Our guys play hard. They're hungry. They try. We have to execute better. And that's not just the players, that's as a staff. We have to give them good calls. We have to put them in situations to succeed and have success. And then they have to execute. We are going to grow from it. We're going to get better. We talked about last week how we have five championship weeks. That's one down, we have four more and a big one this week at Arizona, it will be a great contest and it's going to be a great test for us. We have to keep the same effort and execute better.

On disappointment with penalties:
"Disappointment? No. I don't get disappointed during games. After we lose a game, I might get disappointed. But the job during the game is to keep guys going. If you start becoming Debbie Downer and disappointed during a game, then you are screwed. That's not how I function as a human being. And I never will. Disappointed? No. Searching for answers? Absolutely.

On Damien Thigpen:
You saw his burst didn't you? You saw his burst. We would have liked to have given him the ball a few more times, but we're spreading it around. It was great to see him hit that one at the end. He deserves to be back in the end zone. It was great seeing him in the end zone, he's worked so hard. He's fun to have around. He's capable of so much. I think his confidence is coming back off that knee. He looks better every day. We saw him make a cut in practice on Thursday, he made a little jump cut on a kick return. And in the film room, when we watched it, as a team, everyone was hootin' and hollerin' because Thiggy is back. He hadn't done that. He kind of stuttered on his leg and he didn't it and he's almost close. It's almost been a year and it takes a year on an ACL so I think he's almost all the way back.

On Hundley's maturation:
It's just maturing as a football player and quarterback and experiencing things on the field and making adjustments and learning and growing from them. He is still a young quarterback. We ask him to do a lot of things out there. We're very demanding of him. He does everything that you could ask in terms of his preparation. He comes in early. He stays late, he's a film junkie and he works hard on the field. I think that there are great lessons to be learned in the last two weeks – the two failures we had as a team against really good teams on the road and specifically, for Brett. There was so much hype around Brett. He didn't necessarily create it with his words, he created it with his play. Sometimes you have to be humbled a little bit. Brett is the type of young man, he can handle it. He's tough, it matters to him. He wants to be great. He is gracious. He realizes that it's going to take a lot of hard work. And he's willing to do it. I'm really happy that he is our quarterback. I'm ecstatic to see him grow.


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