Spaulding Roundup - Practice Changes, Progress, and Colorado

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Apparently, after you lose your first game of the season, the beat reporters have fewer questions to ask. Odd. As usual we start off with the same basic comments about watching the film, evaluating their performance, and that they have to improve. Coach Jim Mora did say what we all have been thinking - the players will need to apply the lessons they learned moving forward. As for other highlights from this week's presser:

Does Colorado getting a win help you?

(At first Mora misunderstood the question.) It's a great come from behind win on the road against a Pac-12 opponent. It boosts your spirits. They get to come home off a win and that'll help them emotionally. (and the question is clarified...) For us? What's important for us right now is we prepare for Colorado, for their schemes, what they do offensively, defensively, but the focus has to be on us getting better everyday. Prepare for our opponent but focus on getting better as a football team.

On Colorado struggling before their win:

We try to stay away from looking a team's record, we try to stay away from looking at a team's emotional state of being. That takes the focus off of what we need to do, which is prepare as best as we can. There is always a little bit of that but we do the best job we can to keep our guys focused on what we need to do to win the game each week.

On any anger the team had after losing and whether it can be good:

I think it can motivate you if it's channeled in the right direction. What's important though is to learn the lessons of why it happened and what happened to affect the outcome of the game, and you apply those lessons moving forward. The motivation needs to be more internal than external. We want to reach our potential every single day and every single week. I think if you become a team that's motivated by what happened the week before you can find some inconsistencies in your play. We have to be motivated to be the best UCLA game we can be.

On the challenge of playing on the road after being home for a while:

It's always a bit of a challenge to go on the road. You're in a foreign environment. Colorado isn't an easy place to play. I haven't been in that stadium when I was a kid, my dad coached there, I remember running around that stadium a lot but I'm sure its changed. Maintaining a focus when you go into an unfamiliar environment is always a challenge but our team has a level of maturity that they'll handle it the right way.

On changing practice to 7am:

We thought a lot of it during the off season. These kids have a lot of things they have to balance. Football, studying, tutoring, and having some time to download a little bit. We figure the best way to approach it this year was to practice in the morning, get them up, get them going early when we got their full attention, get them on campus, get them a good meal after their workout, and then they can attend their classes during the day. We'll get them for an hour at the end of the day, meet, watch the practice film and prepare for the next day's practice. We ensure they are getting out of bed, getting on campus, getting to class, making sure they're eating properly and they'll be motivated to go to bed at an early hour because they got to get going at an early hour. It's a bit of an adjustment for us but we don't start classes until Thursday so we thought this was the prefect week to implement this and get them adjusted.

Did Joseph Fauria have back issues that led to his struggles?

His back is sore, it hasn't held him out of any practices or limited his reps. I thought he looked good moving around on Saturday. I don't know if he is struggling - I haven't seen him struggle.

Overall injury updates:

Jeff Baca we'll find out today or tomorrow his status for the week. We are very hopeful he'll be able to participate this week. Things look very positive for him but it is not definitive whether he'll be able to play this week. Steven Manfro came out for a few plays and came back. He was doing well yesterday, he'll practice. Our injury report is remarkably small for four weeks into the season. Other than that, we'll see how guys are when we practice tomorrow.

About Brett Hundley's progress:

I'm excited about his progress. Sometimes when you have a game like that, we weren't running the ball very well. You felt a little bit disoriented on offense. You tend to come out of it thinking nothing went right. We went back and looked at our protection, our passing game, the decisions that Brett made, when to throw it, where to throw it, how to throw it, it signaled another step in his progression. He's making tremendous strides every week and he works very hard.

On the team's reaction after a loss:

Determination. I felt it in the locker room right afterwards. The defeat bothered them, they worked very hard and they're serious about this. It's important to them. When we met with them this morning they were very focused, not in the tank, not down. When we come back at 4:30 I expect them to come back I expect them have a little energy about them and we're on to Colorado. I'm excited to see how they'll respond, I think it'll be real positive.

Are you looking forward to go on the road?

It's great to be playing at home. I wish I had said this after the game. when someone asked me about our crowd, our student section was amazing, considering we're not even in school. When you're walking down the sidelines to the North you can't help but notice our student section over there. They were going crazy and it was awesome. We love playing at home. You have to play on the road and we accept that and we're excited about that as well.

What stood out about the Colorado win?

What stood out in that game (against WSU) for me was their spirit and the way they fought back on the road. It's exponentially more difficult to fight back on the road when you're down the way they were and get a win and it was very impressive to me. It says a lot about the character of the kids and their coaching staff.

On stopping Colorado's Christian Powell:

He runs hard, he's hard to bring down, good player for a freshman. This is not a guy you can block down. You're going to have to bring your arms, grab cloth, gang tackle. This guy, he'll break tackles. We need to improve on our tackling. Our tackling wasn't up to par on Saturday.

GO BRUINS. You’ve come this far in this story, make sure to check out the videos that are up about the new SBN and BN 3.0.

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