Coach Mora after Monday's practice.
We begin this week's Spaulding Roundup with a note of congratulations for Johnathan Franklin, who was named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week. He rushed for 214 yards and three touchdowns in our victory over Rice on Thursday. He is only 32 yards away from moving up to 7th on the all time rushing list, and he will continue his assault on the UCLA record books this week against Nebraska.
Hoping to improve on their performance from last week is the kicking game, in particular, Ka'imi Fairbairn, after missing three extra points against Rice. He was getting tips from one of the best - former UCLA Kicker and Lou Groza award winner Kai Forbath.
"I was watching his technique," Fairbairn said. "His eyes and follow-through are great. When he makes contact, you hear it. It sounds like a top-line kicker."
"We added a little more experience, guys who have done it before," Mora said. "Sometimes you try guys in there who you think are going to be good at something. Bad things can happen. Lesson learned."
Mora said, "We have to shore it up because when that fire gets out of control, it's hard to stop."
Mostly, Mora is looking for everyone to work on their technique and footwork.
"We worked a lot on technique, foot placement and pad level," Mora said. "Those were the problems on Thursday night. We had a elongated steps and our pad levels (were) too high, and we weren't getting punch. You can't take anything for granted. We gotta get that fixed yesterday."
Anthony Barr has been receiving a lot of love around here for his performance last week, but he thinks nothing of it.
"I expected great things out of myself," said Barr, a junior who was a receiver and running back the last two seasons. "People seemed to be making a bigger deal out of it than I am."
His cast might be removed this week, and if that is true, beware Nebraska.
"Once he gets that club off, he’s going to be dynamite," Mora said.
While his first two seasons on offense weren't spectacular, they have helped in his transition to the defense:
"The experience helps me on defense to some extent," Barr said. "I have ideas what they're going to try to do. I can read lineman, see how they are going to block someone."
Also, welcome to the five newest walk-ons to the football team, who joined over the past week. The one noted by The Daily News was Mitch Johnson from Bellevue, WA who is a kicker. Here is some video of him kicking.