Jim Mora (Blair Angulo)

UCLA Head Coach Jim Mora Talks Ahead of Cal Matchup

Nov. 23 -- UCLA head coach Jim Mora spoke ahead of the Bruins' matchup against Cal about the annual scout bowl, the movement of grad transfers in college football and more...

Opening statement:

We had our annual Scout Bowl today and got all our young guys in and that went good.  And now we're focusing on Cal.

On the Scout Bowl:

The young men that are typically on our service team, playing the role of our opponent and they don't really get action during games and during practice, it's not an easy job, they're getting beat up a bit. It's not a glamourus job, but it's live, everybody's live and it gets the juices flowing.  It's fun. We usually do it on Thanksgiving but since we're not in pads tomorrow, we decided to do it today. It's typically a Thanksgiving thing for us. It's our version of Turkey Bowl.

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On where it came from:

I don't know, we just started doing it my first year here and that's when we noticed that Conor McDermott was a heck of an athlete. He was catching a ball, playing tight end, he caught a pass doing a crossing route. It was good to see him compete.

On who stood out:

We gave out four game balls. Probably more that were worthy of the game ball but we only had four to give out. Sho (Gyo Shojima), got a game ball and he gave his acceptance speech in Japanese, which was pretty neat.  Jacob Burton got a game ball. He had a really nice hit on fourth down on Matt (Lynch) to break up a pass. Audie (Omotosho) got a game ball. Stephen Johnson made a great one-handed catch, but we were out of game balls. And then Mike Mapes, he made a heckuva play down the middle so we gave him a game ball.

On if he's discussed a bowl with Dan Guerrero:

Right now, our focus is solely on Cal. We have to find a way to dig out a win on Saturday and we'll let that take focus after. I think for us, it's about going out and competing to the best of our abilities. We're not worried about the record, just going out and competing.  

On Davis Webb:

That's how they do it, they spread you out and throw it. He's a guy with a lot of confidence, a quick release and he's a good decision maker. He's an impressive player and a good football player. It hasn't been easy following the number one pick in the draft, but statistically, they're one of the number one passing offenses in the nation and I think we're No. 8 in pass deficiency so it should be a good matchup.

On grad transfers:

Absolutely, I think it's necessary. But it needs to be a level playing field, there can't be inequities.  If we're going to do that, every school should have the opportunity. It's necessary now and what's made it necessary is juniors leaving for the draft more frequently. As you recruit, it's harder to recruit for a four or five year guy. When you redshirt, he could come out after two after his redshirt which is difficult. The top teams around the country are now bringing in graduate transfers. Texas A&M, the first team we played, brought in a quarterback as a graduate transfer. And then this last game, a graduate transfer. USC's nose tackle, a graduate transfer.  Great players and if you want to keep up, teams are doing that. You have to be able to do that. We're always looking.  Looking at D-I players.  Maybe D-II players who coming out of high school weren't as highly acclaimed, but they've been developed. 

On what he means by inequities:

It's hard in college football, because it's different from the NFL where there are 32 teams and they're all operating under the same rules, strength of schedule, money and all those things. In college football, there is inequities and haves and have nots. There are different admission standards across schools. That can make it a little more difficult.  Its kind of the same as some conferences playing eight games and some playing nine. It's really hard to find an equal level of play in all areas. It's probably impossible.

On how the admission standards differ:

I'm not really sure, this is the only place I've ever been. It's obviously a great school and a tremendous academic institution, one of the best in the world and competitive to get into. To get a degree degree from here, it really means something. It's going to be difficult. It should be, it's UCLA and there are going to be standards. 

On switching to the shady side next year:

I've heard there has been an email sent out to the students but really that's all I know about it. I haven't thought about it.  It's not even close on my agenda. My agenda is getting a win against Cal and trying to get on recruiting.


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