Walking around Las Vegas a little bit last night after UCLA's victory, it was clear the UCLA was in town as there was a lot of Bearwear on display along with high fives and "Go Bruins!"
That's because the UCLA Football team had just trounced the UNLV Rebels by a score of 37-3 and, in the process, made many Bruin fans happy not only because of the W, but also because UCLA managed to keep UNLV out of the end zone enough to make sure that the Bruins covered the 32-point spread.
But, it was kind of an ugly game for the Bruins.
And, after the game, Coach Mora basically said exactly that. Mora said:
Offensively, we were off just a tad. That's to be expected when you're breaking in a new quarterback. But the impressive thing about our offense and Josh, in particular, is that, at no time, though he was missing throws...did he ever show any lack of poise.
While Rosen may not have gotten rattled at all, there were times when the offensive certainly looked flatter than last week.
Mora also spoke about getting in guys who don't normally play. He said:
One of the great things about a game like tonight is getting players that don't typically get a chance to play in a game in a game. Some of these young men come here with the dream of playing in...walk-ons or guys down the depth chart....That's significant. It means a lot to us....Those are young men who work as hard as anyone in our program and, to be able to get them in a game and let them play some snaps, it's just awesome, man.
On Rosen's performance, Mora said:
I told you to temper expectations.
UCLA QB Josh Rosen also spoke to the media after last night's game.
Rosen admitted that he "misfired a few places here and there" and that he "wasn't too proud of how [he] played tonight, but [he] thinks [they] will get better as a team." He spoke a lot about learning from each game.
When asked about his one rushing attempt, he said, "I think I need to spend a little more time with Coach Alosi" before trying to run over a guy like he did.
Thanks again to David Woods for sharing the Josh Rosen video.
Finally, we turn to Offensive Coordinator Noel Mazzone. Mazzone was focused on the play of Josh Rosen.
Their kids played really hard. They truly pressured him a lot. They threw a lot of different looks at him. I thought this is great for Josh because, at some point, he's going to see stuff like this. This is the first time really. He didn't see it last week. He came out in the second half and settled down a little bit...and stopped thinking that every throw has to be a touchdown pass.
Mazzone also spoke about how important it is to establish the running game with Paul Perkins and the offensive line. He seemed surprised to find out the Perkins had 151 yards rushing. Mazzone said, "He's a blue collar guy. You don't really notice him. He wears guys down." Referencing Soso Jamabo and Bolu Olurunfunmi, he added, "It was nice to see those two running backs get back there."
Thanks again to David Woods for sharing the Noel Mazzone interview.
Overall, the team beat UNLV in every aspect of the game including the scoreboard. While they may have seemed to come out a little flat, they still put up enough points to easily defeat the Rebels.
While last night's postgame interviews were all about offense, it was the defense that everyone should probably be talking about.
Through eight quarters, the defense has still only given up one touchdown and that was the garbage time touchdown with the second string defense in against Virginia. So, the first string defense still has yet to give up a touchdown on the year.
That's a HUGE improvement over last season and one which cannot possibly be overlooked, even though, it might just get overlooked.