UCLA Head Coach Jim Mora Recaps Texas A&M Frustrations

Sept. 5 -- UCLA head coach Jim Mora spoke to reporters Monday about the Texas A&M loss, provided an injury update, looked ahead to UNLV and more...

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Opening statement:

We're getting ready now for UNLV.  We've put Texas A&M behind us.  We did our corrections yesterday and our eyes are forward to playing our best game on Saturday. We want to accept responsibility for what happened and create a sense of urgency so it doesn't happen again. Oor players responded well when we watched, they made the corrections and they'll be in a great frame of mind this afternoon when we practice with them.

On the assessments post-game:

You never feel good after a loss but you look at it objectively so thats how you get better. There were some things we left out there, Josh talked about that. There were some protection breakdowns, getting it to them, them dropping it, him not seeing them. Defensively, we played well. We made stops when we needed to make stops. On third down we were excellent, but we let three runs get out.  We have to eliminate the 'if only' plays. 'If only that had happen.' That's what we're working hard to do. A sense of focus and urgency we're trying to develop every day.

On the offensive clicking late in the game:

It was very encouraging given the circumstances, especially. Given the fact we were down 15 points, their crowd was cranking it up, they're a good defense and in a situation we had to move the ball. Looking back, I hate to say we should have or could have but I think we had an opportunity to win the game in regulation if we didn't have the missnap on the interception. I don't know if you guys knew it, but on our silent count, Kenny Lacy would tap Scotty Quessenberry, and it worked for 88 plays up to that point. Well the official walked up and tapped Scotty. I don't know why. So Scotty thought it was Kenny tapping him and he snapped the ball and Josh wasn't ready. It's befuddling that after an entire game in the most crucial moment, the official would decide he's going to come up and touch our center. I'm trying to get an answer for that and hopefully I will.

On if he's asked the Pac-12:

I'm in the process of asking. I don't understand those mechanics.

On if they were substituting which led to the tap:

They don't touch you. They did not touch him one time in that entire game. I guess they decided to on that one play. We just have to be better. I don't know. Weird deal.

On Takk McKinley:

He had an MRI yesterday and he's got some swelling.  Nothing that is terribly significant, he'll be day to day.  I think we just have to make sure to make good decisions with him moving forward so it doesn't linger. Getting Deon Hollins, we hope, this week, will help us if Takk isn't good to go.  

On Cam Griffin:

Cam's back this week.  Once again, we have to deal with caution with him and make sure he feels really good before we put him in a game.  With both those guys, we have to move with extreme caution.


Our focus this week is going to be preparing for them and their schemes. They run an offensive scheme very similar to what we just saw. Defensively they're active.  But our focus needs to be on us improving and playing to our standards and eliminating plays and mistakes and everyone doing their job in a consistent way. Creating urgency and that's what we're trying to do. We're playing UNLV and we'll prepare for them all week, but on Saturday, we need to play UCLA football and what we're capable of doing.

On if there were communication issues on offense:

Nah, I don't know if that was a factor. I never saw that. Sometimes after games, coaches are searching for an answer. When we looked back critically, we didn't have any communication errors. I was so impressed with his demeanor on the sideline, and our substitutions.  I think what he was referring to was the huddle.  I think the communication was players not being able to hear Josh.

On Nate Starks' status:

He'll practice all week and his status will be determined at game time.

On if anyone could earn more playing time based on film:

No, I mean, the guys who I thought would play well, played well. If I was going to give you one guy who caught my eye is Keisean Lucier-South, the way he moved out there.  He looked fast, explosive and exciting and dynamic. He had already earned his play time. He didn't do anything to eliminate his chances of getting on the field, I think he increased it. I'm excited about him, I know that. Other than that, pretty much what I thought.

On if Lucier-South is where he needs to be physically:

No, he needs to continue to gain weight and he will.  He's young. We all want him to be Anthony Barr right now, but Anthony Barr wasn't Anthony Barr until he was a junior or senior and Keisean is a redshirt freshman. But he's working hard to get bigger and stronger.  I don't know what he weighs but when he leaves, he'll be a 255-kid, or man, but he's not that yet. He flashes and does some good things.

On Theo Howard not playing:

It's just you can't get everyone in and he didn't get in.

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