Jim Mora's Sunday Teleconference

Nov. 22 -- Jim Mora talked on Sunday about the upcoming USC game and Conor McDermott...

How does this year's finish compare to last year's?

I don’t know. I don’t think it compares. I mean you have to be able to get focused on every game. So I think I said at one point in time that one of the things we had to be able to overcome was coming off of a big win over a great opponent like the opponent we played this week and getting refocused for a team like Stanford, which we've struggled with a couple times. And this week our opponent is someone we have a long and storied history with. So I think it's maybe a little different mindset.

Is USC easier to focus on than another game would be at this time?

You'd like to think in the perfect world, that you'd get your young men focused on every game. But that's just not reality. I think you watch a competitive sport and any athlete in competitive sports, and there are very, very few that game in and game out can operate at the same level of focus. And those guys are the guys that are typically in the Hall of Fame. But your goal is always to strive for that.

Has it been trouble at all focusing on USC the last three years?

Not that I could recall, no.

How does it compare, getting NFL guys to focus on a game versus college guys?

It's drastically different. There's many differences and many different complications at this level as opposed to the NFL. First of all, you're dealing with a younger mind and a different level of emotionally maturity because of a younger age. You're dealing with many more distractions at this level than you ever are at the NFL level. No. 1, school. No. 2, the social aspect of moving through this part of your life. At the NFL level, you've got them all day. They come in in the morning and they go home at night. It's a job. At this level you get them 17 hours a week plus three hours of designated game time, so your time spent with them is cut more than in half. So it's just a little bit more difficult. You're also dealing with 120 players instead of 53. So half your team knows it's probably not going to participate in the game on Saturday. So distractions can become an issue if you allow them to. We try not to allow them to become a distraction. It's drastically different. I'm not saying it's easier or harder, it's just different.

What's Conor McDermott's status?

We'll see as the week goes on.

Was it the same knee that he hurt earlier in the year?

I don’t even know. I didn’t check. I didn't ask. Sorry.


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