Mora Talks about Sun Bowl

Head coach Jim Mora talks about the matchup with Virginia Tech, his respect for Frank Beamer, and the opportunity to go to the Sun Bowl...

On behalf of the Sun Bowl, we can't wait to welcome you with open arms to our great city. We can't be more pumped up.

Well, thank you. We are extremely honored to be selected, and our whole team is excited to get to El Paso on the 26th and participate in all of the activities. It's a real honor. You have one of the oldest and greatest and most respected bowl games in our country, and I can guarantee you this, UCLA is going to put on a great show for you and you're going to love to have us there.

Can you talk to us about your decision to stay at UCLA and coach the Bruins?

My decision to stay? Oh, sure, yeah, well it really was a very easy decision. It's where my heart is. I'm excited about the direction of our program. I love the student-athletes that I'm fortunate enough to coach. I love the coaching staff. We have a really good thing going. And the commitment that our administration has shown to football, I think is resounding. I think it gives us a chance to be a national power, and that's what we're after.

Can you talk about the strength of your team right now?

I think the strength of our team is that we play as a team. I think we're consistent, solid in all areas, we play with a lot of discipline and a lot of toughness, our team loves to play the game, and I think it shows. They play with a lot of passion and energy and emotion. And, I know this, they're really excited to have another game to play together. And to play it in El Paso, in the Sun Bowl, makes it even more special.

What do you know about Virginia Tech?

Well, they have one of the finest coaches in the history of the game in Coach Beamer. He's someone I've looked up to for a long, long time and someone I have a lot of respect for. I've been on that campus a number of times whne I was in the NFL. I've had a chance to coach Jim Druckenmiller, Mike Vick, DeAngelo Hall, Jimmy Williams, some former Hokies, so I'm pretty familiar with that program and their history and their rich traditions. In terms of their team this year, I'm not familiar with it all year. They're kind of out of our orbit, but now we've entered the same orbit, so that's going to change very quickly. It's a great program with tremendous tradition, led by in my opinion one of the legends of the game.

Coach, sometimes bad things can happen to players at bowl games, what do you plan to do to keep bad things from happening to one of your players?

Well, we've got an outstanding group of young men that are of high character. That's the furthest thing from my mind right now. The closer we get to departing for El Paso, I'm sure we'll have those conversations about how we're going to conduct ourselves, and how we're going to represent UCLA. I'm extremely confident that our young men will come to El Paso and they will enjoy the experience to the fullest and they will act with character and class as is expected of a UCLA student-athlete.

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