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It’s good to get a win. They have been hard to come by this year. These guys have stayed together and have kept a great attitude. So, they got rewarded for it. That was great. We have to get ready for a big week this week.
On the first quarter fumble:
The officials checked it. They review every play. They didn’t buzz. I checked with our coaches, and they said that it was a fumble.
On why he thinks they're moving in the right direction:
Getting a win, number one. Two, we were running the ball more effectively. Playing better defense, which we did tonight. The score was not indicative of how our defense played. I see these guys every day – their grit, their determination, their competitiveness. I should have said this when I got up here, but Mike Fafaul, after being here for five years, he could have left as a graduate transfer. He played behind Brett (Hundley) and then Josh (Rosen) got the job, and he has hung in there. He’s everything that you want in a quarterback in terms of studying the game and it being serious to him. It’s just great. We have only given away two game balls here in five years. We gave Marcus Rios one after his interception in the game against Cal, and we gave one tonight to Mike.
On UCLA’s running backs:
With Jalen (Starks), just downhill running, powerful running. Brandon (Stephens), he has the ability to hit a hole, bounce out of it and skate to the outside. That run that got called back, obviously, that’s disappointing. I did not see the hold, I don’t know if it was legitimate or not. But Bolu (Olorunfunmi) is a downhill runner as well when he gets behind his pads. We have a good group of backs. I’ll stick with that. We have to find ways to be better running the football, and we’ll keep working at it. We should’ve handed the ball off a few more times and could’ve had a few more yards there. But, it is a step in the right direction.
On using multiple running backs:
We just made a decision this week to get all of them work. We’d rotate them through the game to look for a hot hand. They were all playing pretty well. One of the big parts is your ability to pass protect. I thought that they all did fine. There was no revelation there. It was just a decision to play them all.” on playing younger players and that being a conscious decision “No, there really wasn’t. We aren’t going to put guys just to get them time, but we do put guys in there who can give us the best chance to win at that moment. We want to get Theo (Howard) reps, same with Brandon (Stephens), Jalen (Starks), they are good players. Josh Woods has been starting most of the year. He’s only 18. But we have a good nucleus of young players and we need to continue to teach them how to win and prepare for how to win. Tonight was a good step. We have a huge challenge coming up, obviously.
On how much UCLA will run against USC:
I’m not going to give that one up. In order to be good offensive football team, you have to be able to do both well. You have to run the ball when they know that you’re going to run the ball. It’s on a step in the right direction if you keep taking steps. One of the things that is helping us is a little more consistency with our offensive line. Those guys have re-grouped and are feeling better about working together. The two areas that take the most communication are the offensive line and the defensive secondary. They’re getting a little bit better feel for that.