After practice yesterday, UCLA Football coach Jim Mora seemed to be in a pretty good mood. Having the focus of fans shift from your continuous underperformance to the basketball team is likely to do that to most football coaches.
In his post-practice interview, Mora offered that Josh Rosen has had two good days of practice this week, but that he still has yet to clear the final hurdle of the concussion protocol in order to be cleared to play. Mora wasn’t exactly sure what the details of that final hurdle are, but he is hopeful that Rosen will be able to play Saturday.
Mora also confirmed that Devon Modster’s thumb is a non-displaced fracture, meaning he does not need surgery.
When Mora was asked who the team would be looking at to fill the void left by the injury to Darren Andrews, he said, “DA was having a tremendous year and I don’t think it’s fair to ask one guy to step in and do everything....” He mentioned Demetric Felton, Eldridge Massington, Damian Alloway and Dymond Lee as guys who could see more time.
Meanwhile, Josh Rosen appeared to end any speculation that he will sit out any of UCLA’s remaining games if he is healthy enough to play. When asked if he would play in a bowl game if the team is eligible to play, he said “Absolutely.”
“I haven’t even addressed with my family any sort of questions about the next level,” Rosen added. Overall, he doesn’t sound like someone who is prepared to leave after this season, contrary to what everyone seems to think.
Of course, in order for UCLA to make a bowl game, they need to win two of their final three games and that got a lot harder when Darren Andrews got hurt. Receivers coach Jimmie Dougherty spoke about replacing his production on the field as well as his intangibles like his leadership.
One of the guys Dougherty mentioned who could replace some of Andrews’ production is Christian Pabico. While Dougherty spoke about his confidence building after the Oregon game, Pabico spoke about Andrews’ injury helping to build the rest of the receivers corps.
“Even though we lost a guy, we can’t let that affect us how we play on the field,” Pabico said.