Jim Mora Previews Stanford Matchup

Sept. 19 -- UCLA head coach Jim Mora recapped the BYU victory, looked ahead to the looming matchup against Stanford and more on Monday...

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Opening statement:

It goes without saying that this is a tremendous challenge this week. A great opportunity as well for us as a football team, playing one of the top football teams in the country. We're excited about it. We'll be prepared. It will take all we've got all, we have to have a great week of preparation and I think we will and we'll give it our best Saturday night. Hopefully the place is packed, people are cheering for us and we can give them a show. It's a great challenge and a great opportunity.

On Christian McCaffrey:

He has to be a tremendous focus.  He can't be all our focus but he has to be the main focus.  In my opinion, it's not even arguable, he's the best player in college football.  He was last year and he is this year. The young man from Louisville would probably have something to say about that, but we're not playing them, we're playing Christian McCaffrey. He does so many things so well.  They use him as a receiver, as a return guy, he's dynamic, elusive, tough to tackle, great physical and mental toughness, intelligent. And what I appreciate is the way he competes, he's a great competitor.

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On how he feels equipped to handle Stanford:

We've gotten bigger inside and that ought to help us a little, but we have to execute, play with a low pad level. He's so patient behind the line of scrimmage, you think he's going one way and he cuts the other way. It's imperative up front we're disciplined and contain our gap control.

On the running game against BYU:

I think they did a nice job, but the important thing is what we did or didn't do, whether in preparation, practice or performance. All those things will be evaluated and we'll perform.  I mean all of us.  Perform the way we need to perform the way we have to, to run the ball and I'm confident we'll be able to run the ball like before.

On Ainuu Taua and Soso Jamabo's availability:

I hope so, it depends on how their week goes, if they have a good week.  We'll hopefully have them available for Saturday. It would be nice to have a full contingent for Saturday.

On if they're hurt:

You know, I think it's important that I keep our information as close to the vest as I can, whether for our opponents knowledge or the health and wealth of our players.

On Randall Goforth's availability:

I hope, if he has a good week of practice, we'll make sure he's in their playing.

On if Takk McKinley will be available:

He seemed to be ok last night, he was his same old goofy self. He's an awesome kid. I love the way he plays, he's an impactful player. Hopefully he'll be able to go. We'll see as the week goes on.

On Josh Rosen's concentration and self-criticism:

I think if you're your own worst critic, that's the toughest critic you can be and Josh is very tough on him. I appreciate it, but I also want him to relax and enjoy the process and the moment. It's about finding that right blend. It's always good when a player is self-critical to a point. 

On Stanford's D-Line calling out cadences against USC:

You alert the officials, it's up to them to take care of and you hope our guys communicate when we indicate it's time to snap. You talk to the officials before hand. BYU had a reputation before the game, you talk to the refs, and they didn't do it. Every team pushes the rules. You alert the officials and move on.

On BYU's defense compared to Stanford:

Very similar. I think Stanford's a little bigger, but very similar. The way they play the game, square, with their hands stand on their feet, tackling with their chest, I think they're very similar.

On Adarius Pickett:

Adarius is a guy we can depend on to do a lot of things for us. We see the interceptions, but he has good hits and tackles but he also does good on special teams, which goes unnoticed, but his teammates notice. You don't always think about him, but he's always making plays.

On Rosen's self-criticism:

I hate to ever absolve a guy and say it's ok to make a mistake, but its ok to take a breath and enjoy it. As long as you're doing your best and doing what you need for Saturday, you can go out and enjoy the game. Its hard to complete every single pass, those guys on the other side of the ball have something to do about it. You don't want to say it's ok to make a mistake, but move from moment to moment.  To me it indicates a man can move from moment to moment, whether good or bad, process and stay positive.

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