Hope everyone had a nice, long Veteran's Day weekend. UCLA has a short-game week this week, as the Bruins are getting ready for a "black-out" at the Rose Bowl (well at least the coaches, players and rest of us are) on Friday night. Coach Jim Mora met the reporters after practice today and had a very business like Q&A session with the beat reporters.
It's kind of interesting to watch Mora in this video. Normally he has been pretty jovial with the reporters all season, but today he was very stern and straightforward. He had his game-face on Monday:
Maybe Mora is a little extra fired-up this week as he is taking on his alma-mater (the school that passed him over to hire Steve Sarkisian). When he was asked about it at the end he dismissed it right away saying that "it was just another game" and that he "couldn't care less." Uh hum.
Mora also blasted the SPTRs for their putrid officiating job on Saturday night (they were atrocious even by SPTR standards). In response to a question about Anthony Barr not having any tackles on Saturday, Mora mentioned how our All American LB was tackled all game long and yet there was no call from the clueless refs, saying it was "shame" what Arizona "got away with it." To his credit when Barr was asked about it, he took responsibility for it (watch the full video on Inside UCLA):
"It's a number of things, but it starts with me," Barr said. "I put that on my shoulders. Should never go an entire 60 minutes, or however long we were out there on the field, without making a tackle.
"It starts with me. I've got to be better."
UCLA's defensive scheme, however, hasn't helped Barr put up big numbers. In recent weeks, the All-American linebacker has often shifted down and pass-rushed as a defensive end.
Barr also had nice things to say about Huskies' freakish TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins suggesting that he is a more polished version of Joe Fauria who is "lot more athletic," and "runs better routes." That matchup is going to fun to watch on Friday night.
Meanwhile, not surprisingly the reporters swarmed around Myles Jack after practice today. Here is the Pac-12 offensive player of the week talking about his huge break-out game on Saturday night (video via BruinSportsReport.com):
Jack apparently got something like 90 texts after the game on Saturday but there was a specific one that was special for obvious reasons.
Jack also had some interesting stories to share about his recruiting process and how some schools recruited him as a running back, while others recruited him as a LB. He talked about how it was a difficult decision to pick UCLA over Washington and Arizona State, and how Mora had a big impact in his final decisions.
Speaking of elite athletes picking UCLA over Washington, Brett Hundley fired off couple of questions to Jack in a funny back and forth at the end (guess he was listening in). It was pretty amusing. Hundley did talk to reporters today and among topics he discussed was his special connection with Shaq Evans, who he connected with for couple of big TDs on Saturday night.
Hundley was having a solid game through first half until the conservative playcalling kind of bottled him up and the offense in second half. Hopefully, the Bruins finally break out of that conservative shell and put together a complete performance this Friday night.