While players were gearing up for the first day of classes, Coach Mora met with reporters after practice Thursday morning.Despite the molehill of controversy between the media and Mora, the interaction seemed very pleasant with no barbs from either side. As a result, we also got some specific news on two players, one not good and one maybe good.
Jordan Zumwalt will not travel to Colorado with the team. He suffered a scooter crash on Sunday and required stitches in his left forehead for what Mora called a "nasty gash". Unfortunately, that gash sits right underneath the front pads of the helmet and Zumwalt can't get his helmet on without it abrading that laceration. Thankfully, Zumwalt was wearing a helmet when the crash occurred, otherwise the injuries would likely have been far worse. It's good that the staff is protecting him this weekend and giving the head time to heal. Mora noted that with Zumwalt out, Damien Holmes has the versatility to play both inside or outside LB, and that we would also see Ryan Hofmeister more. Get well soon, Jordan!
On the probably good side of things, Mora said that Jeff Baca will likely be back. Baca practiced this morning and "did well" per Mora. Baca has apparently been dealing with ongoing headaches and has a history of concussions, so his return as been indefinite, but things seem to be improved if he is on the practice field. Mora noted that Baca's presence in the huddle seems to have a settling effect on the offense, especially the younger players along the line. Now let's hope that Baca's Poli sci classes don't cause any recurrent headaches today (recall that Baca was a South Campus major before heading North to Poli Sci. Seems like a popular pathway!)
Mora was asked about the need for the Bruins to play well this weekend coming back from a loss:
I think it's critical. I really do. I think for us as a football team to show ourselves first of all that we can handle adversity, that we can bounce back that we have resilience I think for our fanbase to restore any faith that we may have lost by losing on Saturday. just to get our momentum back. It's very important. It's very very important. And it'll be tough.
I like the challenge. I think it's great this early in our development, this early in the development of this new program to see where we are and see how we handle it and see if we have the mental toughness to just where we are and where we go. I think it's a really great opportunity for us.
Mora also expressed high praise for Anthony Barr's play this year. I do too.
You can see the entire interview in the video below (credit: Edward Lewis, BruinSportsReport.com BSR TV via YouTube)
Study hard, boys. Go Bruins!