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Spaulding Roundup: A Taste of Big Red

UCLA continues practice in its bye week, focusing on fundamentals and introducing the Nebraska game plan.

Harry How

Coach Mora spoke to the press after today's practice:

As stated above, the team did a bit of Nebraska work today, but they also have the luxury of working on fundamentals and schemes during this bye week.  Coach Mora seems to really appreciate having that bye week right after the first game.  It did help Oregon State last year.

So the team is getting back to basics of football while introducing some of the Nebraska plan.  Tomorrow's practice will have more of the game plan, but it will also get quite physical.  The players then rest for a few days before coming back Monday.

Coach Mora mentioned some of the things to improve on after the first game:

  • On defense, leverage against a block and play entry
  • Pass rush, not getting too far upfield
  • Communication/substitution:  apparently Kenny Orijoke tripped on the chains on his way to a play, which meant only 10 men on the field.  Funny, but only after a win!
  • Even quicker tempo on offense, improve blocks

A reminder that the game against Nebraska is at 9am PST.  But Coach Mora thinks that preparing for an early game won't be too hard for the team, which does weight lifting at 5:30am and has practice at 7am during the season.

Weather in Nebraska won't be an issue either, even if it is humid, after the San Bernardino camp (though the weather was somewhat mild this year).  In any case, the team should not think about weather or the environment there, just focus on the game.

Marcus Rios and Owa's recovery rate has been surprising, mostly because Coach Mora didn't know what to expect.

Marcus is apparently very determined and Coach Mora thinks that it is not impossible that he might play, even by the Utah game.

Owa will not play however, after having two hip surgeries in the offseason.

Another recovering player, Fahy wanted to take the red jersey off but was wisely advised to wear it one more day.

As we all do, Coach Mora wants to see how the team handles the environment in Nebraska, the stadium and the fans.  He thinks that the team was not tested downfield, and he wants to see if they can handle that...I CERTAINLY DON'T!  Unless they have multiple interceptions of course.

Finally, he wants to see if they can contain Martinez after having trouble against a mobile QB.  I wouldn't mine a Datone-style safety again, whoever wants to oblige.

That's it folks, enjoy your day!