Mora on Team Resiliency Going into UNLV

Sep. 7 -- UCLA coach Jim Mora talked about the state of the team and its resiliency in coming off the Texas A&M loss and now facing UNLV Saturday...

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Opening statement:

A lot of good work today. We started our early schedule a couple weeks earlier than in the past. This is typically how we would practice during the season when school is in session and we didn't want to wait. It gets them off their feet earlier and a good breakfast in them and we'll come back and work this afternoon.

On what he's seen from Josh Rosen:

I have seen a renewed sense of urgency. I've seen it really throughout the whole team.

On if he'll be watching Rosen during the game for that:

Yeah, I always am though. I want to see if we'll take the lessons we've learned into the game.

On the offense getting comfortable in comeback mode:

We were in shotgun more than under center in the game. We'll continue to do both.

On Rosen having been in shotgun for much of his career:

I think it's completely overrated to think there is a difference between taking a snap under center and in the shotgun in the spread. A quarterback will tell you, a read's a read, a route is a route.

On who he'd like to see incorporated more into the game plan:

We're going to work Caleb Wilson more at the tight end position in place of Nate (Iese). Nate is going to see a little less time and we're really excited about Caleb.  

On if that is performance based:


On Nate Starks:

No updates on anybody. Everybody that can practice has practiced. They'll be some game time decisions on Saturday, like always.

On what Starks will have to do to get the green light:

I'd have to decide to play him.

On Bolu Olurunfunmi:

Bolu had that really nice run on third and short and then he had the touchdown run. I didn't realize that was his first touchdown. He put his hand down and bounced into the end zone, that was impressive. And thing you see that doesn't show up in the stats is his blocking. It was good to see.  

On if they expected Bolu to contribute like that:

We use all those guys. At some point, all five backs will play. Jalen Starks, Brandon Stephens, they're all good players. Nate, Bolu and Soso, we have five good running backs and two good fullbacks. Hopefully Cam Griffin will be back, we'll see. If its the right decision for him.  The same with Deon (Hollins).

On if there is a plan for Mique Juarez:

Yeah, there is. There is a plan.  Absolutely.

On Cam Griffin at practice:


On the blocking from the tight ends:

They did well.  The guy, we never mention his name, he's played center, guard, fullback and now tight end, is Gio Gentosi. We're going to use him more as well. He's a really good blocker. He trained as an offensive lineman. He does nice things blocking. We had some formations where we had an extra lineman.  You want players to feel involved. Its impossible to get everyone in the game. You asked about Theo, but you cant get everyone in every game. Creating roles for guys to feel like they're actively participating.

On if walk-ons have filled the scholarships:

Not yet. There are available, but they haven't been granted yet. One of the benefits of being a quarter school is we get a lot of practice time with school not in session and it gives us a chance to evaluate guys before we award those scholarships and we'll certainly reward them. I wish we had a handful more we could give out. I'm partial to walk-ons, guys that pay their own way to school, they come out and fight and kick and scratch every day and I'd like to reward them all but unfortunately I can't.

On why Caleb Wilson will get more time:

It's kind of been a cumulative thing all camp. He catches it real well.  He does the right things. He's a big target with long arms.  He's really developing and gaining confidence. You need to be able to depend on guys to do the right thing on every single play. There has to be an element so your quarterback has confidence and I believe that Josh has that confidence in Caleb and he deserves more playing time.

On what he's seen from the team this week:

We're resilient, I know that.  I've sensed that all along, really through spring and that type of attitude on our team. I think when you play a game like that, it reinforces to you how important every single play is.  We talk about breaking the game down to 4-6 seconds. segments.  I think a game like that reinforces how important evert single play is. You never know when a single play occurs. It made an impression on them and I've seen it in practice all week.  Being able to maintain a focus and intensity level for that long and not let your mind wander is not easy to do but you have to train yourselves to do and we're trying to train ourselves to do that.

On Jacob Tuioti-Mariner:

It;s kind of a blessing and a curse, he's so flexible and versatile, that your tendency is to move him around, which isn't fair to the young man, but he plays hard.  Im glad we have him, and glad the appendix worked out the way it did. It was scary and no guarantee it won't come back. He can bend, plays with good leverage and hand placement. He can play multiple positions, but we don't want to stretch him to too many positions.  He can play defensive tackle as well, but he'll play more defensive end this week. With Takk unlikely to play and Deon, Jacob is a guy we feel extremely comfortable in there. He's becoming consistent and a really good football player.

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