VIDEO: Mora on UNLV, Rosen, Vanderdoes

Sep. 8 -- UCLA coach Jim Mora talked Tuesday after practice about UNLV, the injury to Eddie Vanderdoes and his young quarterback, Josh Rosen...

Opening statement:

We had a good start to the week. We're focused right now on UNLV.  The obvious question that I'm sure you're all wondering about is Eddie Vanderdoes.  Its very unfortunate about Eddie.  He did it on a pass rush. Contrary to what people may believe, he did not do it when he hoisted Kenny in the air.  It buckled again.  He did tear his ACL on a pass rush.  He tried to avoid the quarterback and he came down and his knee locked.  He felt a pop, he came to the sidelines and they examined him.  As is often the case, his muscles contracted and he was stable.  They let him go back in the game, but as you can tell, pretty quickly it wasn't feeling great.  So we have to replace him. He'll have surgery in the next couple of weeks.  In terms of replacing him, its part of the game and the part you don't like. You hate to see a young man who has worked so hard lose an entire year. But it does happen. But without sounding insensitive to Eddie, our job is to push on.  We have depth on this football team and young men that are eager to get in and play and we have a team that is eager to perform and prepare. We'll miss him but we'll soldier on.  If you keep looking back or play the woe is me card, you do yourself a disservice.  We're not going to do that. With regards to Ishmael, he's still suspended and we're still gathering facts.  I have nothing else to report at this time. We're excited to go out there this week and improve.  We played ok on Saturday.  When you look at the film, you always see a lot of things you can improve on. Our job is to go out and play better than we did the week before. We want to play closer to our standard and that's what we'll do against UNLV.

On Nathan Starks:

Nate is good to go. He'll be up and rolling on Saturday night.  We'll get him some carries, he's a good football player and I'm anxious to see him run.

On his impressions of UNLV coach Tony Sanchez:

I've gotten to go watch Tony coach a couple times and he does an outstanding job. He runs a professional environment there, a bigtime program at Bishop Gorman. I read some news reports on his first game at UNLV and they were glowing about how prepared they were and handling things.  It doesn't surprise me at all, he's a very good football coach.  Sometimes, we mischaracterize football coaches because of the level they're at.  High school, college or pro.  Good football coaches are good football coaches, and Tony is a good football coach.

On if he's worried about Josh Rosen getting attention too fast:

No.  We don't even address that stuff. I haven't heard one player or one coach mention the awards.  We don't celebrate individual achievements, we talk team achievements.  Josh has shown real good humility this week. He realizes its one game and one game does not make a career. Like everyone else, he has a lot of work to do.

On things they saw on film that needed to improve:

Its funny, as a coach, sometimes I think you need to learn to enjoy wins more than you do. Be a pessimist or optimist or what we are, we're going back to find what we can do better. Everything from our tempo on offense to our tackling on defense to eliminating penalties to our substitution patterns to being exacting in our alignments and routes and run fits and leverage and coverage. Its everything.  Even the most perfect play, when you break it down, there are things that aren't as exact as you'd like.  We're never going to be perfect.  Trying to be perfect in a competitive game with 11 guys on each side is hard.  We just try to reach our potential with every play.

On their pass rush:

Every game plan is different. We have a large volume of pressures in our playbook that we can use. Against a team like Virginia that was multiple tight ends and if you noticed, almost every play they'd shift or re-set. Their protection scheme was a lot of five out.  You can blitz in to that and its like running in to the wall.  We were effective pressuring the quarterback. We dropped back 35 times, we intercepted him once, we sacked him once, we hit him 11 times and tipped three balls and broke up five passes. Those are kind of the things you look at. I don't think he ever felt comfortable back there. There will be games we'll heat it up.  Personnel matchups, schemes, things like that.  Tune in, 7:35, CBS.

On Craig Lee:

Craig is still waiting for his final grade to come in. Hopefully within the next seven days we'll know something and hopefully he'll get good news.  He's been out here since we got back from San Bernardino, working with scout team with a great attitude. The young man has really worked incredibly hard, on the field, but off the field academically and I want to see him eligible in the worst way.

On the heat in Las Vegas and playable depth:

I think its important and a couple things working in our favor or not a detriment to us. Some things we have going for us, number one, San Bernardino, so being accustomed to that dry heat.  And coming to this field where its warm and we're in the heat of the day. And number three, having the depth.  Offensive line its hard to rotate guys three because you want that consistency. We have a lot of guys to play and we're not afraid to play them.   That was one of the things with getting us a lead on Saturday, we could get some guys in there to play some snaps. I know some people want to see us run up the score, I want to get guys some play time so they're ready to go when we need them.


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