Last night's game kept Bruin fans on the edge of their seats. Despite the fact that there were some very ugly plays from UCLA, the team kept it close which allowed the offense to move the ball downfield with the running game to score the winning touchdown late.
After the game, Coach Mora spent most of his postgame press conference talking about how this game will ultimately be a great "learning experience" for Josh Rosen because of the adversity he faced in playing what was his worst game so far.
Speaking of adversity, Mora spoke about overcoming some "significant injuries" and the ejection of Kenny Young. Mora was asked if he got an explanation for Kenny Young's ejection. He said, "I did not. They did not explain it to me and I will not ask for an explanation. We'll just move on."
After Young was ejected, Isaako Savaiinaea replaced him and played a great game, recording 10 solo tackles, 4 assisted tackles and 1 1/2 sacks. Talking about Savaiinaea's performance, Coach Mora said, "He did a nice job and he also performed well on special teams." Mora continued talking about the play of the defense, as a whole:
We've got depth here. Isaako going in for Kenny unexpectedly there and playing like he did...That's what we expect him to do. Jayon [Brown] went in and played a lot and played well. We lost Fabian Moreau and we put Denzel [Fisher] out there and Denzel, they were going after him and it was very obvious to everybody that they were going after him. We tried to give him a break and put Randall Goforth out at corner and Randall did well. You know it's kind of one of those 'All hands on deck' mentalities that our defense took on tonight. They just have a lot of confidence in themselves and in each other and, obviously, in Coach Bradley and what we're coaching. It's fun to see them see them secure the win with that interception. I was getting a little nervous there. We were 15 yards within their field goal range. So, we needed to come up with a play.
When asked to talk about the performance of Paul Perkins who finished up the with 219 yards on 26 carries, Mora said:
Paul's had some pretty darn good games, but what I thought was impressive about Paul was his...the toughness that he ran with. He carried people on his back. He moved the pile forward. He carried the ball a lot. He played a lot. You saw that early in the game we were kind of rotating the backs and then we stuck more with Paul and Nate. I'm not surprised by Paul playing that way, but that's a really good football player. God, he's a good football player.He's fun to watch. He's tough, hard-nosed, gritty, determined, all those things.
Meanwhile, Coach Bradley spoke about the performance of the defense. Specifically, he spoke about how the team was able to record four sacks. Bradley explained:
We had a good idea of what their protection scheme was going to be. We kept mixing it up a good bit. Once again, we have to be so disciplined, especially against [Mangum] because, if you watch all his big plays are when he scrambles out of the pocket to the right and he just throws the ball downfield. Even the last call, I was thinking, 'Is this guy going to do it three times in a row and let it fly down the field?' I said, 'Nah, he won't do that. They'll go for a field goal.' So, one for the good guys.
Bradley also spoke about the overall job the defense did. He sounded a little disappointed that the team had a tough time stopping BYU on third down. Bradley said:
I think we could have stopped them on some of those third downs...He kept giving us some interesting situations...third and threes and fours. They got us where they wanted us. We've got to do a better job on first down trying to put people behind schedule.
Bradley also spoke about the performance of Isaako Saviinaea after Kenny Young's ejection. Bradley said:
He did a great job. That early in the game. He hadn't played that many plays ever. I don't think. He did a good job getting us lined up. It was a good learning experience for him. He got picked on one play. We talked about it on the sidelines. He understood. He got it. But, in all fairness to him, we hadn't practiced that with him doing it. He adjusted very well. He got us lined up and I thought he did an excellent job of stepping into a leadership role and taking care of everybody because there was a lot of things going on in there tonight.
Josh Rosen, Paul Perkins, Isaako Savaiinaea, and Myles Jack also met with the media after the game. Here's what each of them has to say.
I don't know about you, but I love the fact that three games into the season Myles Jack is still complaining about San Bernardino. Obviously, it has had an impact on him.