It's hump day, more than halfway through the season. But it seems as though the failures and shortcomings of UCLA Football in the past decade are finally becoming clear to new head coach Jim Mora.
First of all, it is good to hear that the coaches are indeed preparing as though stud DT Will Sutton will in fact play. But I hope they also have a plan to take advantage of his absence if that is the case.
Every good leader has to drop some Sun Tzu here and there. Coach Mora didn't miss the chance:
Opportunities multiply as they are seized.
So with this week's game against Arizona State comes the opportunity to end UCLA's bad habits of underperforming on the road. More than anything, this quote below reflects Mora's growing connection to what it means to be a Bruin:
The Cal game still bothers me. ... I want to see us respond on the road. That’s a step we have to prove we can take.
It bothers us too coach, big time. It cost you a lot of goodwill and built up excitement, so I am very glad to hear that you recognize that and are echoing a lot of the sentiments we see and share on this site.
Mora also made an important point:
There are some exciting things for this team if they can just capture the moment.
Coach Mora briefly shared that sentiment with the team. While the general rule of coaching seems to be to focus on the opponent at hand, (which Mora repeatedly said they are still doing), it is never bad to remind everyone of an achievable goal further down the line. Therein lies the opportunity for UCLA on Saturday, where the team would take a very meaningful step, one that few outside the program would understand (although Ted Miller seems to get it).
Sadly, some reporters continue to be complete jackasses and proceed to troll during the session.
In other injury news, Torian White was back at practice without seemingly missing a beat, at least from a conditioning standpoint.