VIDEO: Mora Says Team is Focused

SEP. 9 -- Jim Mora talked after practice Tuesday, saying that the team is extremely focused, more than at any time yet this season...

Off-camera, Jim Mora said that two players who didn't see time today in practice, Eldridge Massington and Anthony Jefferson, will be fine for Saturday.

It was previously thought that offensive tackle Simon Goines would be ready by this week, but Mora said he'll need more time.




Opening statement:
Good practice today, I like where we're at on a Tuesday, emotionally. It's a long way until Saturday and we have a lot of work to do, but I feel a focus I haven't felt this season and this is a very focused football season. We realize it will take an extra special effort going down to Texas and I think they're realy starting to figure out what we need to do to achieve our goals and that's really encouraging as a coach, so like I said, I like where we're at emotionally, physically and we have to put together a good week of practice.

On if the focus is because of the close wins:
It depends on how you look at it. For us, you have to be happy when we win, because thats the first objective, but we're not satisfied. We said lets enjoy it for 24 hours and then we'll figure out what we need to do to get better. I don't want expectations to become a burden. But refocusing, getting back to the root of who we are. We're the underdog. We like it when people doubt us. That helps inspire us. I'm not saying that it should, but it does.

On if they didn't feel like underdogs the first two weeks:
I don't know about that, I just think that we were tight. I think we let the outside expectations become a little burden to us. We were trying to be too perfect, I said it after that first game and then we felt it the second game. Now i'm starting to see it relieve itself a little bit and we're back to where we need to be.

On if the media presence has become a factor:
It doesn't. The Drive is a non-entity for us. The only time they've heard me say The Drive is if they watch a press conference. We don't talk about it. No one's asked me about it. They're not at our meetings, they're out at practice, but so are others. Anyone who thinks it's a distraction has no idea what The Drive is about. They are so unobtrusive to us.

On the Texas defensive line:
Texas as a team is very talented. This is a team filled with the best players in Texas, one of the best states in the country, the most coveted athletes out of that state. You can see the abilty. Everyone was highly regarded. They were big, strong, physical and fast. It's not just their defensive line, it's their team.

On any update to Randall Goforth:
No, not yet.

On Mossi Johnson's playing time against Texas:
I think you will start to see more of #14, that's Mossi, and I think you'll see more of Jordan Lasley. Those guys are starting to figure it out, starting to understand the speed of the game at this level. They're playmakers who'd really like to get in to the game. We have to be judicious of what we ask them to do. Mossi is a guy who can do some things for us.

On Kenny Walker:
He's gotten his feet wet and he's on the scouting report now. When #10 jogs out there, they may drop back a little bit. Maybe that opens some things underneath. We've tried to get Kenny on the field the past couple of years, but he had some nagging injuries. He's a guy that Brett is trusting. Another weapon. Hopefully he can create problems for our opponents.

On if Texas compares to Virginia defensively:
I don't know. Virginia was months ago in my mind. I just think they're really good.

On Jordan Payton:
I don't think we ever designate a number one receiver. We have a bunch of players that can make plays. Jordan has had two really good games, Devin Fuller had nine catches, Thomas Duarte had over 100 yards and two touchdowns. It's not necessarily a guy, it's a scheme, it's a coverage, it's a progression. Jordan is certainly playing well.

On Connor McDermott:
He's coming along. It's encouraging. Right now he's in a reserve role. The longer we can go without using him, the better it is for him, because he can get better. When we need to use him, I'm sure he'll be ready to go.

On if Texas' offensive struggles are O-Line related:
We don't really look at it that way, we look at scheme. How we defend them and attack them. I don't look at a team and say they're struggling. I look at the problems they pose. What can we attack.


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