In this week's press conference, Mora discusses beavers (of the Oregon State variety), records, injuries, and our young players.
Time to praise the Beavers:
We're preparing for Oregon State now, they are a very good football team, they beat Wisconsin. The score wasn't indicative to me of how well they played. They're a very physical team, they run the ball well, they play excellent on defense, they're well coached, they tackle well, it'll be a stiff test for us. It's a little different type of game we had on Saturday night. Houston winged it around quite a bit. OSU is a little more balanced, little more power run game, you'll see some West Coast Offense principles in the way they play offense. What really stands out is how the way their defense played against Wisconsin, they dominated up front and they tackled well on the back end. It'll be a good game for us and the kind of game we need at this point in the season.
What is your level excitement about your team right now behind undefeated?
We're happy to be 3-0. We're not satisfied with how we're playing yet. We're constantly trying to find ways to get better. I'm excited about the prospects. Excited about the way our student athletes are approaching the task everyday, that's with great focus, great energy and they're serious about it and getting better. As a coach that's what you like to see.
You've really only had one game to work off of (for OSU). Is that enough?
Fortunately they haven't had a lot of changes in their coaching staff. There's a lot of similarities to what they did last year so you just go back to last year's tape. Certainly one hing we look at how is they played Arizona State on defense, the concept and the schemes they used. Their defense is, I don't know if I want to see more than one game, the way they played against Wisconsin. They really looked good. They looked good on offense too. They're a lot different than any of the three teams we faced. They're a little more conventional in their offensive approach.You'll see more multiple tight end sets, and it would have been good to have more film to see if it was an aberration.
Does conventional mean predictable?
I don't know if I would say that. Mike Riley is very experienced and he understands how to dress things up and there are some concepts they stick to no matter what. The challenge for us is to see through the window dressing and recognize the final formation when the ball is snapped and put ourselves in the right place to make a play.
Did you coach against Mike Riley in the pros?
I've coached against him a number of times when he was at New Orleans and San Diego.
Do you think it's an advantage for OSU to have two weeks to prepare for you?
I don't give it a lot of thought, there's nothing I can do about it. Probably works in the favor of both. They'll be well prepared, they'll have a lot of film on us. Our guys would have played a little more games. It all comes down to who executes, who tackles, who tries to stay away from costly penalties.
Do you have a different approach after watching the tape?
It's always a little different. I didn't have a great feel coming off the field about the way we performed, particularly on offense because our expectations were so high after two weeks. It's important that we keep in mind we're playing with a RS F QB, two young tackles, a young center, a young slot, and realize 567 yards is pretty darn good. I also like we're not satisfied, regardless of the win, the yardage, the points, there are things we know we can do better. I got the sense from our players yesterday that they enjoyed the win but there was a feeling in the media room yesterday that we left a lot out there, we can be so much better, and that's what we're striving for.
Houston tended to stack the box, and put in a lot of guys. Do you think you might see that with Brett, challenge him to beat a team over the top?
I'd be surprised if we don't. Houston brought an extra LB or DB about 50% of the time. They had some negative plays on us. We still ran for 290 yards so I think you have to pick our poison when you do that. I think it can be risky as a defensive coach to bring pressure a lot because all it takes is one guy to miss an assignment and you're out the gate on the run. You better make sure you have darn good corners, if they can't hold up we can get a long one on them. OSU has good corners and a good front so it's going to be tough sledding in there.
What did you say to Torian White in the fourth quarter?
When I went up to Torian on the sideline late in the 4th quarter, he just said to me "Coach that'll never happen again." He said it with real conviction and he was very sincere. He was in here yesterday and today watching film and I think he'll bounce back. I told him he was a young guy, you'll have games like that. Let's make sure you'll learn from that and you'll get better going forward. I have a great feeling he'll respond
Torian White - is there a line you have to walk on, and when does the expectation that you should know better kick in?
It's a hard balance to find when you're a coach. How much do you excuse because of inexperience? Our tendency is to excuse very little, and hold them to a high standard. You have to have some understanding, he's still developing as as a football player, he's still developing his personality. What I liked is how he reacted, he didn't sulk, he wasn't in the tank, he didn't run and hide. He was very determined. You'll see a very determined football player on Saturday. I think both he and Simon didn't have what you'd call great games but they have great opportunities to get better. They were the first two kids to watch film and I think that was a great sign for us.
About Dalton Hilliard:
Dalton played especially well on special teams. We asked Dalton to do a lot of different hings. You'll see him at safety, you'll see him in the slot, at weakened LB, he's one of our core special teams players. The only thing we haven't done is put him on offense and maybe we will. For the things we're asking him to do he's being very productive. He had a good block on Manfro's punt return that set up the field goal. Dalton's a leader, he comes to practice with the mindset that he's a leader, and his teammates respect him because he is so versatile.
About the injury report kerfuffle:
I think whatever they ask us to do, we'll do it, teams will conform to that. I think it's across the board and everyone is held to the same standard, I have no problem with it. It works in the NFL, some people manipulate it a bit. (Mora smiles as he thinks about it.) There are some coaches that know how to manipulate it. It has become a hot topic, injuries, I mean last week we can understand why people want to know. Our fans want to know. In the pros they worry about the betters. Some have more info than others, so they try to streamline the information and I think that's fine. From a coaches perspective, you lose a competitive advantage it's hard. If the commissioner deems that's the way to go, we'll conform 100%
I wonder what NFL coach he's talking about. Hmmmmm.
When asked about what happened when he found out about not having to report injury info:
I didn't even know until two weeks ago. That's why I was feeding all you guys that injury info. It doesn't matter to me really. Any time a coach doesn't have to divulge info that an opponent can find useful, then we'll try not to do that. If it's what we have to do, then we'll do it. We won't try to manipulate it if there's a rule put into effect. That's not our style.
Do you have an injury update?
Yes I do, everyone is doing great. Fine. Ishmael (Adams) is out, as we talked about on Saturday. The surgery will be on Friday. He's had this problem for a couple of years. He can play with a harness but that's not the right away to go about getting it fixed. It's about a 6-9 month recovery. He probably won't be ready for spring but he'll be back for fall. He can get a medical hardship and we expect that to happen.
Jeff Baca is feeling a lot better but we'll see how he is at the later in the week
Brett (Hundley) is feeling good, I think he came through the game well. I didn't see him hobbling around once the game started. We're pretty healthy, quite frankly. When you deal with youngsters, they heal faster than us old guys.
Or us old girls. Oof.
What are you expecting out of Fabian (Moreau) and Marcos Rios, after expecting redshirts?
We decided Fabian was a guy we wanted to play and he was playing from the get go. You can use the term burning a red shirt, but I call it next man up mentality. These guys are here to do two things, get a great education, and play football. Marcus got about 10 plays on defense and he played on special teams and he'll contribute a lot as we go through the year. It's just good for those guys to contribute, play and long term I think it's good for them.
It's really an interesting perspective on redshirting, which probably is due to his NFL background.
What about losing two cornerbacks after this year, and the advantage in getting them in the field now?
I think that's a real positive for us. The more action we can get Marcus is good, it's a new position for Fabian. We moved Randal Goforth into safety, we can move him back to corner if we wanted him to, but we like him at safety, we need to get those guys some experience.
By the way, someone's phone kept beeping and it rang at the end of the presser. I was throwing looks at that reporter through youtube.