VIDEO: Jim Mora on Thursday Before Wazzu

Nov. 12 -- Head coach Jim Mora talks about the upcoming matchup with Washington State, provides some injury updates, and more...

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Opening statement:

It has been a good week so far. They're focused and locked in.  I think everyone is excited about Saturday night and the challenge of playing a good Washington State team and continuing to honor the military. For us, we've been able to build a pretty good relaitonship with members of the Navy Seals community, so we've invited a few to spend a couple days with us. We'll have one of the unofficial logos, the Bonefrog, on our helmet. Its Senior Night. We're going to honor our seniors at the beginning of the half, so it would be great if the fans can sit in their seats, it will take four minutes. This would have been Nick Pasquale's last home game as well, so we'll have the Pasquale family out there with us and a special presentation for them.  As everyone knows, they've had a tremendous, Nick had a tremendous impact on us and continue to do and we want to show our appreciation for them, and it should be a special night. The main thing is trying to get a win against a really good Washington State team.  Our practices have been good and I like where we're at. 

On some of the seniors being part of his first recruiting class:

We do the senior appreciation dinner before the season starts, so you get the emotional part out there, and we have more games to play.  I think it's really special for their families. Hopefully this isn't their last game on the grass at the Rose Bowl.  But if it is, its another opportunity to watch their kids play, give them a hug at halftime and tell them how much they've enjoyed the experience of them being a UCLA Bruin.

On WSU's defense:

They've done a nice job. Like I said earlier in the week, they're very impressive up front. I think most good defenses start up front. They do some unique things in coverage and it looks like their players have a good grasp of the system.

On bringing pressure against WSU:

You have to be tuned in to situations and what their tendencies are. They have the ability to get rid of the ball quickly.  You have to mix it up.  Try to keep them off balance, like they keep you off balance. Its a mixture.  You try to do that every week.

On getting takeaways:

Historically, you talk about turnovers coming in bunches.  One thing that is consistent is that turnovers and sacks come in bunches, and I don't know if they do, but it could be the placebo effect and we'll take it.

On Johnny Johnson:

Just really happy for him. We always knew he was really talented. We saw it in high school and we saw it when he first got here, then he got injured in that camp really early.  Going through two shoulder surgeries and then coming out and playing at the level he's playing is great.  A lot of guys lose their confidence but he doesn't.  He hasn't given up a lot and it doesn't seem to affect him when he does. He's as aggressive as ever. I'm really happy for Johnny.

On Takk McKinley:

He was raw when he got here, but you saw the talent, you saw the size, you saw the speed. You saw the intensity he played with, but I think he was flying by the seat of his pants, not being with us in spring or fall camp. He was trying to learn each week.  Now he's had a whole year and it's helped him be more consistent.

On injuries:

We're pretty depleted there.  Duarte didn't do much this week.  Our receivers Devin, Stephen Johnson didn't do much. Whoever plays will play their butts off. We'll have 11 guys on both sides of the ball when we take the field.

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