Mora on Team's Resilience, Injuries

Nov. 17 -- UCLA Coach Jim Mora talked about the team bouncing back from the WSU loss, injuries, and Utah...

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Opening statement:

I was really impressed with the way they came back and got at it today after a disappointing loss. When you lose on the last play, it tends to linger. The end of the game is so emotional, you come back to take the lead and then a minute later, they come back to beat you, it could have an effect on young guys so you worry about that. They were business like and in to it. The understand the challenges we face and the opportunities we have as well. I was impressed with their attitude and the way they worked. Its a good sign. We have to put together a great week of practice. Fortunately for us we have to go on the road and its been a good area for us.  We have to go into a hostile environment and play well and I expect us to have a good week of practice.

On their road success:

I think that's a great question. I think its a little getting a burr in your saddle, us against them, 70 against 55, 60,000. When you're on the road, you're secluded and you go to the hotel and you get on the bus together and it brings you closer. I don't know what it is but when they're the underdog, when people tell them they can't do it, something happens to them and they rise up. I would hope that could happen again for us.

On Rosen's lack of interceptions of late:

I was walking out of the tunnel the other day and someone told me we never lost when leading at the half, and that thought popped in my mind and I was trying to get it out of my mind.  But we've all seen the progress he's made and its been phenomenal in what he's done.  His understanding of what we're trying to do. I think he's got great confidence in his receivers and they have it in him.  You talk good decision, but he also made a bad decision but he hucked one down field. You have to have good fortune but its also him making good decisions.

On Devontae Booker:

He's really something special. He's got tremendous quickness, excellent balance, really good after contact.  Collision balance. He's got speed, can catch the ball. A lot of times youworry about running backs who leap over tacklers, but he leaps and gets down quickly and keeps his balance. He runs with a real passion. He's an exceptional player. I'm glad he's a senior and I look forward to watching him on Sunday's and not Saturday's because he's a special player.

On run defense:

We're better now. I think that you go back and see that some of the adjustments we had to make, personnel wise, and I've said this before, run defense is simple but not easy.  Run defense isn't just running up there and smacking someone.  It's not that easy.  When we made the adjustments, it took us awhile to settle down and I think we've done that. I watch our practice today compared to a few weeks ago and we're much more certain and that comes from repetition.  More certainty. They're more certain of what they're supposed to do.  That safety coming down in the box. Winning in your gap up front.  A lot has to do with having some chemistry up front, finally, We came out of camp with an idea of who we were.

On injuries:

Isaako practiced today and did everything good and didn't look to be hopping around.  Devin Fuller practiced today and was running around, but that was a significant ankle sprain. Stephen Johnson practiced and had a red jersey on but he practiced. I'd like to get him back out there. Johnny Johnson practiced but he was a little limited. Its more the pain and stiffness going away. I think he'll be ok.  Josh Woods, I think with his hamstring, that's going to be tough and we don't want to play him if we don't have to and hopefully we can get his year back.  If there is a way we can salvage his year, we will.  We got Poasi back and he was out there full go today.  A fractured hand. They gave him clearance, he's taped up and he doesn't have a club on his hands.  Johnny's is neck- I was worried it was shoulder, but it was more neck.

On the Pac-12 cannibalizing itself:

I think we're handicapped a little that we play late at night and the people on the East Coast don't see the quality of football. I don't think it's a lot different from the SEC West. Its a very competitive conference. You look at these teams and its hard to be a no-loss or one-loss team in this conference. I don't think nationally, people realize exactly how good this conference is. They just see the win-loss record and say the Pac-12 is not good, but I'd counter that and say the Pac-12 is better than its ever been, top to bottom. Look at Colorado, with one conference win, but every week, they're in it.  You look at what Cal has done and what Washington State has done, and Oregon, and USC and Arizona State.  It's a great conference. I think we're kind of eating ourselves up a bit. It's unfortunate but its a great confidence.  There are no easy wins.  When you have a nine-game conference schedule, you'll see other conferences, late in their schedule, will schedule a lesser team. We're not able to do that.  It is what it is.


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