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Sun Bowl Notes: UCLA Running Backs Are "Healthy" & "Ready to Go"

News and notes from Jim Mora's post-practice comments as Bruins continue to prepare for their Sun Bowl matchup v. the Virginia Tech Hokies.

Harry How

Bruins are spending their first full day in El Paso today after arriving in town yesterday. Coach Mora met with the reporters after practice to offer up these thoughts:

Highlights from Mora's comments:

  • Mora couldn't stop talking about how much he and rest of his team are enjoying the Sun Bowl experience. The bowl hosts put together a barbecue last night and held a friendly "talent show" competition between the Bruins and Hokies (no word from Mora what "talents" were discplayed).
  • Mora mentioned that our guys are "locked in" and "ready to go," adding that he and his players learned a lot from last year's bowl experience and applying it last year. He talked about how he changed up the routine this year for bowl practices. We will see how it goes next week.
  • Not surprisingly out-of-town reporters (I am making an assumption here that the guy who asked the Barr question was not a regular UCLA "beat reporter") asked Mora to comment about Anthony Barr, which not surprisingly led Mora to gush about the best player in his defense (and possibly the entire team). Mora offered every compliment you can think of to praise number 11.
  • There was also question about Myles Jack - the freshman of the year in both offense and defense. Mora laid out how Jack is a different type of athlete than Barr. He had some interesting comments about how Jack's time on the offensive side increased starting with the Arizona game and then playing their full time for the Arizona State game. I still think that's a decision that cost the Bruins a spot in the Pac-12 championship game, before the coaches thankfully decided to switch him to a linebacker-first role for the game against the Trojans.
  • In terms of injury update Mora mentioned that "all of our backs" are back and have looked "sharp" during practices. He declared all of them "healthy" and "ready to go" for the bowl game, which is fantastic news for the Bruins.

We will have more notes in a bit.