HD VIDEO: Mora After Texas

SEP. 13 -- Coach Jim Mora answered questions from AT&T Stadium after the big, dramatic win over Texas Saturday...


Opening Statement:
Well, what a heck of a game, huh, between two gutty teams, great atmosphere, unbelievable hospitality. I think it was really fun for our players, our fans to come to Texas, where football is so prominent, and play an amazing, storied program like the Texas Longhorns. They play with class. They play hard. And it was a heck of a game, man. I'm sure that everyone watching at home loved it. I know everyone in the stadium loved it. And, you know, we were fortunate to get away with a win. And we'll take it. And we're going to get on that plane real fast before they change their mind. But my hat's off to Coach Strong and Texas for the way they played, with integrity and class, and hard and physical. And my hat's off to our young men in our locker room. You know, they never -- they never flinched. They never blinked. And that's kind of what we are trying to become. And we're getting closer and closer every day. So, man, what a great experience to be able to come here and do this.

On Brett Hundley's injury:
Well, your first concern is for Brett. It's his left elbow. It will get further evaluated when we get back to UCLA. We have the finest medical staff in America, you know, talking about UCLA Medical Center. That's where they take the President, all right, if you are west of the Mississippi. So they are going to take Brett Hundley there and they are going to evaluate him. My first thought was excitement for Jerry Neuheisel. I mean, this kid is everything that's right about college football and about UCLA. I mean, he bleeds Bruin blue. And I just thought, wow, you couldn't write a better script than this right here. You know? His dad was a great player here. That family is a UCLA family. And for him to come to Texas and bring his team from behind to get a win, just -- I mean, it's incredible. It's awesome. And Jerry told me, he said, I was nervous. And I said, you know what? I wasn't. Because I've watched you every day. And I've watched you prepare. And I know how smart you are. And I know your lineage. And I know how your dad taught you. And I think it all paid off for him tonight. And I'm just so happy for him and the rest of our players.

On Paul Perkins:
Yeah, you know, Perk ran the ball well. I think he would be the first to tell you that it's a credit to the guys up front and the guys blocking for him. But he also caught the ball well. You know, he did a nice job on the screening plays. And I think he had 69 yards or something receiving, and over 120 carrying the ball. And he's a guy that's very dependable. You know, he fumbled the ball there at the end. I'm sure that all the great things that he did in the game, that will gnaw at him until he gets a chance to touch it again. And so, you know, that's three good games for Paul. He just keeps getting stronger and stronger. And we love seeing that.

On what he said at halftime:
Well, I just think that it was -- I felt like it was going to be a little bit of a defining moment for us, at least early in the season. I mean, there's many defining moments as you go through a season, but that was one. You know? Was it 10-3 at half? I think it was. And we were down. And our backup quarterback is in there. And we're on the road. And you can say what you want about this being a neutral site. That was a Texas crowd, although our funs were unbelievable and we heard them and we felt them the whole game. We just felt like this was an opportunity for us to put all the work that we've done over the course of the last year or three years on display and really prove it to ourselves, beyond anyone else, what this team was made of. And I think that we went out and did that.

On the offensive line:
You know, we just ran the ball better. And when you're running the ball effectively, you can wear an opponent out. I'm not saying we wore Texas out, but I'm saying it inspires your team when you're running the ball well. You know? It gives you energy. It gives you juice. It's what football is meant to be. You know? Hard-nosed, smash-mouth football. And I think we were able to do that. And our offensive line, yeah, they love to pass protect. Okay? But they would rather just fire off and knock somebody off the ball. And I thought that they did a nice job of that. So we didn't really change anything, just a little bit on the emphasis, more on the run.

On Texas choosing to kickoff after UCLA deferred:
Well, I had trouble believing it at first. And I told the official, I asked them probably four or five times, I said, are you sure? Are you sure? You know? And he says, yeah, you get to start the second half as well. And had we not come out and, like you said, put a drive together with Perk breaking that big one early and scored points, it probably would have been irrelevant. But it became very relevant. And it helped us win that game tonight. We were able to steal a possession without taking the ball away. And I'm not exactly sure what went on out there, but we were the beneficiaries. And we'll take it.

On consideration Hundley might return:
Not really. They went in and they x-rayed him. You know, like I've said, we have an amazing medical staff. Our doctors, Dr. McAllister, was with him at halftime. And he was talking to Brett and explaining the injury, and what they thought and what they could and could not see, and the risks, reward. And we just decided that it was best for Brett not to play. I mean, he was begging to get back in there, but it wouldn't have been the right thing to do to put him in there. You know, now we'll go back to Westwood and we'll get an MRI tomorrow, and then I'll be able to tell you guys what's going on from there. Can I go back to Brett, though? You know, a lot of guys in that situation might mope, feel sorry for themselves. I don't know if you guys watched Brett on the sidelines. But you couldn't have found anyone on that sideline that was more encouraging than Brett. He was doing the signals, and he was talking to Jerry. He was encouraging the offensive line and the receivers. And that's one of the things that makes him so special, his character. He is an amazing young man, amazing young man.

On Neuheisel's last touchdown pass:
Well, our guys in the box were doing an excellent job of identifying coverage and what they were doing. And then we started to get a little bit of a bead on tendencies, which sometimes you do, sometimes you don't, and sometimes you're right and sometimes you're wrong. And we thought that they would play man. And so Noel dialed up a double move, and Jordan Payton sold it, and Jerry lofted it in there. The protection was excellent. And, you know, we guessed right on that one. That's the kind of football, when you're calling plays, it's a game of guessing. And like Noel says, you know, I'm just going to call them, you guys go make them work. And they made it work on that one.

On Neuheisel's performance:
He's a coach's kid. You know? He's a coach's kid. He grew up in this game. You know? We're the same, man. We're the same people. You know? And that's what we talked about the first week I took this job, when -- you know, this was going to be a hard transition for a guy like Jerry. His dad, who's a legend here, had been released. You know? And that's the game of football. That's the sport that we're in. It's tough. It happens. But Jerry has never, ever, ever, ever, ever let that get in the way of being an amazing young man, an amazing teammate, team member. And I just have confidence in him. You know, you guys know it. I tell you all the time. I think he could go out there and he could get it done for us. He's like his dad on the field. I mean, you know, he's something -- there's something in there, man, that you just -- you can't coach it. You grow up with it.

On what Hundley did from the sidelines:
He was signaling. So he wasn't calling any plays. He wasn't calling any plays. Noel was calling the plays. But he was signaling. So he would hear the play. He would hear the call from Noel. And then he was signaling either to Jerry or the near receivers, sometimes the far receivers. We just have a system in place. And so he was a part of the system. Essentially what he did is he took Jerry's place. And Jerry took his place. And they both functioned well. And we got a win. That's what being a team is all about.

On Malcolm Bunche:
I don't know. He went back in for those final couple plays there. Just like everyone else, we'll get him reevaluated as well. We had some young men step up today because of injury. You know, Anthony Jefferson sprained his ankle before the game, couldn't play. Jaleel Wadood stepped in there and played. Fabian Moreau hurt his elbow. Jalen Ortiz stepped in there. Tahaan Goodman stepped in there for Randall Goforth. That's what you do. You know, you step up, next guy gets up and starts playing and you rally around them.

On if he had words of wisdom for Neuheisel:
No, there was no Rudy moments, no Hoosier moments. Just, Jerry -- you know, just go do what you do. You know, he knew we all had confidence in him. I mean, that team -- the thing about Jerry is his team friggin' loves him. They love him. And they have great confidence in him. And so there was never any doubt. There was never any, Oh, God, Jerry's in there. It was, Hey, Jerry's in there. This is going to be awesome, man. That's how it was. And it ended up being that way.

On Jake Brendel being in:
If you hadn't asked that question, it would have been probably one of the most overlooked and critical variables in this game. You know, having Malcolm, having Jake snapping to him, having some guys in there and Alex and Scott Quessenberry and Caleb, who now have some games under their belt, I think it gave us all just a sense of comfort. And they did an excellent job all night. You know, early, we struggled a little in pass pro, but once we settled down, we ran the ball well. And that always is going to help you, throw the ball.

On Cameron Judge's block that sprung Ishmael Adams:
Well, Cameron was a little bit frustrated through the night. And I think you guys might have seen where he and Ish had a discussion. It wasn't contentious at all. On the previous punt return, Cameron really didn't attack his guy. What we did on that one is we're kind of a return team when it comes to punts. We rushed that one. We had a call on. We were trying to block it. And so we have what's called a bench return. And we were just peeling off. And when you're the first guy down there, man, that's what you look to do. You look for a guy who's not looking, and you hit him legally, and you hit him clean. And, you know, any time Ish gets the ball in his hands, good things can happen. They're not always going to happen, but they certainly can. Thanks, everybody. Appreciate you.

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