VIDEO: Mora After ASU Loss

Coach Jim Mora praised the Bruins after the loss, for having the determination to stage the comeback in the second half...

Opening statement:
We got ourselves into a hole in the first half and were not able to recover. They fought tooth and nail for that thing, and it was just a little too much to overcome. The loss is bitterly disappointing. You don't ever want them to become acceptable. It is cliché after a loss to talk about how proud you are of your team, but this is no cliché when I sit here and tell you how proud I am of those guys. When you think of their year and what they've been through and what they've overcome, starting with the loss of a teammate, and battling the way that they have … there's something growing around here that's going to be special. It's not there yet, but it's growing. I'm proud of them. I'm honored to be their coach. I'm lucky to be the coach of UCLA, I'm excited about the future of this program. We came up short tonight, but the fight we exhibited that's what we're going to grow from, that's what we're going to build off. That's what I believe. That's what we're going to emphasize. It's a bitterly disappointed locker room. We had high expectations. We were trying to get a shot at that title again, but we came up short. There's no getting around it, it's very disappointing. But we're going to recover, we're going to rebound and we're going to continue to grow from it like we have from everything we've been through this year. We're going to get stronger from it. And this program going to get stronger from it. We're disappointed but we've got to get over it, and we've going to get onto the next one, which is next Saturday, a big one here in Los Angeles.

On Myles Jack playing running back:
We were going to play a lot of nickel in this game, which we ended up doing. When you try to determine his value playing nickel linebacker compared to having Eric Kendricks and Jordan Zumwalt vs. Myles and Jordan or Myles and EK and one of those guys on the bench, it made sense to get our best players on the field as much as we could. We decided last Saturday to have Myles move to running back this game. We're hurt at running back. We did not play Malcolm Jones. We played Paul (Perkins), and Paul played well. Jordon (James) is still coming off the ankle (injury). We felt like we needed him, and he went in and did a good job. But it's not permanent. We recruited Myles to be a linebacker, Myles' heart is at linebacker, he wants to be a linebacker, but Myles will do anything for the team.

On the first half deficit:
We struggled containing the quarterback. (At halftime) He had 14 carries for 90 yards. He kept drives alive, he frustrated us, we couldn't find the ball. We got caught out of position on some things. That's what was frustrating to me - not being able to handle the quarterback defensively.

On Myles Jack coming back to defense:
I told the defensive coaches at the half to be prepared to maybe use him, but we weren't ready to abandon the run game. He hadn't worked on defense all week. It would've been unfair to put him in. Myles not playing defense was not the problem today. That wasn't the problem.

On the final drive:
I just want to give them credit. Their defensive front is special. Will Sutton is a big-time player. It's not often after the game I'll seek someone out, but their quarterback and Will Sutton, I wanted to shake their hands. I have a lot of respect for those guys. When we lost Simon (Goines), and we had to move X (Xavier Su'a-Filo) back to tackle and bring Scotty (Scott Quessenberry) in there, we knew Scotty would fight him tooth and nail and chew on his ankles all day. But the fact of the matter is he's an 18-year old freshman that weighs 270 pounds playing against a 22-year old man who weighs about 330 who is probably one of the 3 or 4 top defensive players in country. That's a tall order, and Scotty fought tooth and nail but we just came up short there.

On the team's fight in the second half:
These guys, they just fought back. We were in it, we had shots. We kick a field goal, we're down two, we kick off, we stop, we've got another shot. It's just those are the what-ifs and the could've beens, and they don't matter; we just have to get better from it. And we will.

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