So I went back and watched Jim Mora's post practice comments from yesterday. I think what his words at the beginning of the presser were interesting.
Mora was full of coach-speak as he talked about how he and the team is "excited about this opportunity" and "excited about the challenge" to play one of the top ranked teams in the country.
He then set up the narrative of how UCLA was a "young and developing team" and how his program was at "infancy stages of what we want to be." He talked about the Oregon game being a "great opportunity" for Bruins to "get better" and the setting in Eugene couldn't be a "better script" for UCLA "coming off a really tough loss against Stanford," adding that "if you love to compete" these are the kinds of games that get the juices going.
I thought Mora's comments re. the program being at "infancy stages" were somewhat interesting. On one hand it comes across as if he is pre-emptively managing expectations heading into Saturday. But it could also be that Mora doesn't want to give the Ducks any bulletin board material.
Given what we have heard from Mora heading into this season - as he wasn't phased by the road schedule and called it an "opportunity" to "break-through." So I am guessing Mora is approaching this game with a different mindset in the background with his players. At least I hope he is taking the approach prescribed by Bruin legend Randy Cross in this tweet (which followed an earlier epic one highlighted by O):
Btw, when I say "quiet assassins" I mean little pre-game pr, zero pre-game smack talk & lots of Ducks r great. U like taste last Sat night?— Randy Cross (@randycrossFB) October 22, 2013
So yeah ... Mora maybe setting up his comments for this week in a way ... so that the Ducks can't latch on to anything he says to get even more fired up.
No matter what we don't want to hear excuses from either coaches and players heading into this week, and we don't want to read pathetic statements like this one from Karl Dorrell after a choke job in South Bend few years back:
I guess you could say it was an entertaining game. I'd like to thank Notre Dame for this experience, coming here and playing. Fans were great.
I felt our team played hard. It battled throughout the game. I think Coach Weis and Notre Dame is a very classy program, and it was a pretty exciting game.
As Mora noted - this is a massive "opportunity" for Bruins to "break through." Let's see if he and our guys capitalize on it. Let's get it.