The UCLA Football team continues to prepare for the biggest game of the season, with a walk-through planned for Friday. As Mora says, it's the biggest game because that's the game this week. We all know it ain't so...even if it is...but not really. Anyway, here is the video of Coach Mora addressing the press after practice.
Here are some of the salient points and questions from the media:
What’s it like going against this high-powered offense?
Well, it’s a real challenge. We’ve played some really good offenses this year. I think Arizona was ranked 5th when we played them, and Arizona State was up there, you know that’s kind of how this Pac-12 is. A lot of diversity, a lot of skill, a lot of innovation.
This week poses a unique and different challenge than the other weeks. The thing that’s different this week is, not only do they have another scheme, but they’ve got players everywhere. I mean, we all know their names, and we’d better be ready for those guys.
Southern Cal does have players everywhere. Well, except in the classroom.
Is there any additional planning that goes into stopping Marqise Lee?
Our philosophy is to prepare against a scheme, match your concept against their scheme. But when you’re playing a special guy like Lee, a special guy like Woods, a special guy like Barkley, a special guy like Silas Redd, I think there’s things that you have to be ready to do. You have to have answers for your players if things start going the way you don’t want them to go.
Round and round we go. They asked the same question before we played ASU and their stud defensive lineman, and I do like Coach Mora's answer. Coaching is a fluid process and they should be prepared to change things up during a game (please, Sheldon and Aaron...step up!).
Is there anything personnel wise that kind of reminds you of Oregon State a little bit on offense?
Uh…no. That’s not to be degrading of Oregon State, because I said going into that game that they were a really good football team. Their quarterback was a good quarterback and he’s since been replaced. I’m not certain that Matt Barkley is about to get benched. Matt Barkley is a Heisman Trophy candidate. The caliber of receivers is as high as you can get in America in my opinion. I’ve watched the film all week, it’s as good as you’ll find in college football, I’d put it up against any of all time. Michael Irvin won’t wanna hear me saying that, but I’d put it up against any of all time.
That is high praise, and not far from the truth. For the receivers, I mean. Because Barkley's Heisman train left the station while he was taking a dump.
Some more concern trolling and baiting attempts followed...
You’ve been known to downplay this whole crosstown rivalry, why is that?
I think it’s important in order to build consistency amongst your football team to treat every game as the most important game that week. And I don’t believe in looking ahead, I think if you look ahead you discount the team that you’re getting ready to play, take your eye off the ball. So now that this week’s here, this is the most important game we play.
For you as a coach though there’s gotta be an additional emphasis on beating U$C.
Why? We wanna win every game. Our goal every Saturday is to come out and beat the team that we’re playing and this week is no different.
I'm guessing that was from Foster. Mora shuts him up well. I like it.
Can you clear up if you had any input or any say into getting them not to stab that logo?
I have nothing to do with that. My job is to coach the football team. All that stuff, that’s periphery stuff. I’ve told you guys many many times, I focus on what matters. And what matters is that we play good football on Saturday.
I am actually glad he didn't have anything to do with that. It would be a distraction, and he seems quite focused so hopefully that is true of the players too. I know he can't say it, but I will: what matters is winning on Saturday.
What do you think of this U$C defense?
Oh I think they’re good. You know I worked with Monte, for a year, and he had a tremendous impact on me and some of my philosophies of defense, especially at the NFL level. I think they’re athletic, I think they play hard, I think it’s the best front that we’ve faced all year from a skill standpoint. I think TJ McDonald is certainly if not the best safety in the country, one of the best in the country. I think they’re really really talented.
They play hard, and they sure foul hard too. Klemm should have fire in his eyes this week and during the game.
Finally, a contender for dumbest question of the year:
Some of their weaknesses all year have been penalties and turnovers, is that something you’re trying to exploit?
Hope the boys continue to work hard. Steely focus. Iron will. Supreme confidence. Let's do this!