Wednesday UCLA Football Notes: Playing Fast and Wearing Navy Blue

Stephen Dunn

Mora addresses the media after Wednesday's practice and discusses Franklin's record, new uniforms, and Arizona's tempo.

Jim Mora started off his post-practice interview by tapping the Halloween mood before switching over to talking about the new uniforms the Bruins will wear this Saturday, tempo versus Arizona, and some of the notable players who will be lining up this Saturday.

Unlike our clueless Athletic director, Mora spoke about Johnathan Franklin preparing to set the career rushing record for the Bruins and the excitement of being a part of it

Well, I think it really matters. Yeah, I think matters to this team It's not something I've heard anyone talk about. We haven't addressed it. Everyone knows it though, its out there. I think it's meaningful because of who it is, because of the great person he is the great teammate he is, the great leader he is. I have no doubt in my mind that as soon as he breaks the record, whenever that is that the first thing he'll do is pay homage to his offensive line and his receivers for blocking for him. That's just that's the kind of man he is Yeah, it's exciting. It'll be exciting to be a part to that whenever that happens.

Hear that, Dan? "Excitement". "It matters". "Great person", "great teammate". When you begin to understand these terms and how they apply to U.C.L.A. football and its players and fans then maybe you will get an idea of why we are all so disgusted by your tenure and why you have been such a failure.

Speaking of Chianti's screwups, the Bruins will be wearing the LA Nights alternate jerseys this Saturday (instead of for the Stanford game, which was instead of this game, which turned out to be the right thing in the first place...). The Bruins will be practicing in parts of these uniforms this week so they are accustomed to them. We have rightly hated on Adidas for a lot of things, and they still have screwed up the classic Bruin stripes on these jerseys, but I do like the colors and their connection to our past.

Homecoming game, at home, we're wearing the new uniforms which we don't want to be a distraction, so we're gonna come out here tomorrow, put the helmets on, the shoes on. You know, it's exciting for them. It's exciting for them, but we want to put the excitement away before we get to the Rose Bowl on Saturday night.

They're beautiful. They really are beautiful. They incorporate a lot of what UCLA is, the old numbers. I was in the Hall of Fame and I noticed they have Kenny Washington's jersey hung up. It's navy. I noticed that Jackie Robinson used to wear navy when he played, so we really are going way throwback. We want to get it out of the way yesterday, today, tomorrow, and we can make sure we are 100% focused on the game.

I like and appreciate that Mora showed knowledge and respect for our heritage by harking back to what these jerseys mean in terms of U.C.L.A.'s history and staying true to the traditions of the University.

I love our home uniform. I think it's the best uniform in the country. We're not trying to be disrespectful at all to our heritage, by wearing these but if you think about it we're going even further back than the Gary Beban era. Besides the fact that the numbers are blue instead of gold it's the same thing that Jackie Robinson wore. It's not something we'll do a lot. The kids get excited about it. It helps in recruiting. I feel very strongly that we never want to go too far away from what UCLA really is and that is our beautiful regular home uniforms.

Just fix the stripes, coach. Since we can't rely on our AD to do it, go chew him or his minions out and get them fixed.

Mora also spent a lot of time praising Arizona QB Matt Scott and how good he has been in Rich Rodriguez's offense. I give credit to Mora for taking the high road and not mentioning how well Scott has performed shortly after getting kicked in the head and just before being removed from the game. Nevertheless, the Bruins are preparing for a super fast tempo from the Arizona offense and reminding themselves that they want to play that way on offense, too.

On the injury front, Simon Goines will play this weekend, but Darius Bell is practicing in a no-contact jersey and is still day to day. Mora added that he didn't think last year's brawl would be a factor in this game.

I haven't heard anyone even mention it. ... I think they learned their lesson. I don't think we have the type of team that's gonna fall back into that.

I hope that's not lip service. Last year's Arizona game was the absolute low point of the season, and maybe the whole Neu regime. It was even worse than his final regular season game. Let's look to Saturday to see if this team and program has matured and simply takes care of business between the sidelines.


Watch the entire interview above. video from UCLA's YouTube channel

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