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Spaulding Report: Getting serious about Virginia

Coach Mora met with the media after practice and he didn't have a whole lot to say. And that says a whole lot right there.

Coach Jim Mora is wearing his game face already this week.
Coach Jim Mora is wearing his game face already this week.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

You can tell it's game week.

It was a short and not terribly sweet post practice interview with Coach Mora.  Not that there was any animosity, but you could be blind and deaf and still easily see and hear the change in tone from the head coach today.  Gone were the thoughtful and engaging answers and expositions and in their place were a lot of very short and direct answers.  There is a new focus and intensity.

Mora opened by saying they've had a good couple of practices to open the week, called today a normal Tuesday practice, and then outlined practices for the next two days before the Thursday afternoon departure for Virginia.  And the coach set the tone early.

As always, thank you to Edward Lewis with for the video.

Reporter: Still planning on Jake [Brendel] being ready by..

Mora: We'll see.

He did take the time to speak highly of Virginia's team, complimenting their running backs and noting the change in offensive style based on which quarterback they have in the game.  Then back to business.

Reporter: Anything particular about their secondary that you've noticed?

Mora: Nope.

Mora did expound a bit when asked if he thought if Brett Hundley wouldn't be sacked as often this season.  The coach thought so based on Brett having a better offensive line, a better understanding of the offense, and better chemistry with his receivers.  He then continued to talk about his offensive line

Reporter: Would you say this year the offensive line is better, right now?

Mora: Yes. Absolutely. A lot better. More depth.  More experience. A greater understanding of what we're trying to do. More continuity. I feel really good about that group.

Mora then complimented OL Scott Quessenberry and Alex Redmond, either of whom may end up starting at center this week if Brendel isn't ready to go.

And then things got serious again.

Reporter: What are you expecting from your defensive line and pash rush?

Mora: Well, I hope we are able to apply pressure to the quarterback.


Reporter: Over the last week or so, everybody has said UCLA has a shot at the national championship.  Is that on your radar, distraction, positive?

Mora: Nope.

Reporter: Nope?

Mora: Nope.

Reporter: How do you answer...

Mora: That's how I answer it.  We don't talk about it.  We don't think about it.  It's all about Virginia.


Reporter: Have you guys named the backup quarterback?

Mora: Uh, nope.

Reporter: Do you have a timetable?

Mora: Nope.


Reporter: How's that fourth running back spot? (laughs)

Mora: The fourth running back spot looks good.  (smirk)


Reporter: So we can safely assume you're not going to release a depth chart?

Mora: I will not release a depth chart.

Often, the words not spoken say much more than the words that are.

from BSR TV via YouTube

Chris Foster must have been absent today, because no way could he have passed on the opportunity to join in that game of give and no take. On one hand, I envy the beat writers. They get paid to go to practices and games, talk to the coaches and players, and write and tweet and blog about it all.  No matter how boring they claim it can be, really, what could be a better life?  But on days like today, it's understandable how it can sometimes be a grind to generate content and information to keep an audience tuned in.

But then there's Devin Lucien, who will never pass up the chance to talk.  And we love him for that.  And his hair.  He's sporting a new do which he says signifies how amped up he is for the season.

Thank you to Ryan Kartje and the OC Register for the video.

Swag, right? Just something I wanted to do, get back to my old Devin.

Swag is right.  Them Bruins is nice.

He said his injury at camp was more heat related than anything and isn't a concern to him now.  He's much more focused on the Virginia secondary.

Number 8 [Anthony Harris] is a great interceptor.  He had like 8 picks or something like that.  I'm looking for him to be everywhere, because usually when you have 8 picks in a season that means you're a ball hog.  And I'm a ball hog, which means he's trying to take the ball from me, and I can't let that happen.

Devin added that he feels like his Bruin secondary is still the best in the nation, despite what the Virginia QB had to say about the respective defenses yesterday.

Lucien ended on a touching moment, thanking fans for support during his injury and San Bernardino and for support for his mom.

I'm trying to keep it down, but number one, I wanted to thank everybody for all their support when I was in the hospital. And I want to thank everybody for what they've been talking about my mom.  You know, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, so…that's been a lot. And this season is dedicated for moms, point blank. And that's another reason for the do, because it's really about to go down and people aren't understanding - let me look at all the cameras when I say that.

Them Bruins is nice! And them Bruins' moms is really nice, too.