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Spaulding Roundup: Getting Closer To Kickoff

Coach Mora met with the media after practice and talked about where the team is, and where he is as a coach, as they are just 3 days away from the start of the 2013 season.

Eric Kendricks and the Bruin defense will be looking for turnovers this weekend.
Eric Kendricks and the Bruin defense will be looking for turnovers this weekend.
Stephen Dunn

The Bruins continued preparations for their opener against the Nevada Wolfpack this Saturday with..

Thanks to Edward Lewis from BruinSportsReport, via BSRTV on YouTube

Some highlights.

  • Coach Mora started off by thanking donors from Bruin Report Online community who contributed to a fund raising effort to benefit Mora's Count On Me Family Foundation
  • Mora said that he thinks the team has made a lot of strides in pass protection since last season, with Brett Hundley making better decisions and the line being a year older.  He later addressed Hundley's specific attributes at QB and that he just wants Hundley to play his game, showing confidence that the sophomore has what it takes to lead the team.
  • Jordan James has become a better downhill runner and has become more decisive in hitting the hole.  James and Steven Manfro will get the majority of carries this Saturday, but Paul Perkins and Malcolm Jones will contribute also.
  • Kenny Clark will play at nose tackle and special teams is expected to get 25 plays or more.  Mora said he was forced to play Kenny because he has been so good, and added that his fellow freshmen Eddie Vanderdoes and Kylie Fitts have also deserved playing time along the DL.
  • The secondary has been a question mark this preseason and Mora noted that they young DB corps had very good preparation this week both on the field and in meetings, and he now wants them just to go out "play free and not worry".
  • Despite this being his second year at UCLA, Mora admitted he is "nervous as heck"  and that he feels just as anxious and excited as last year or at the start of any other season, and is looking forward to seeing how the team performs, how they have improved, and how they handle adversity.

You can see the whole interview above for details and other comments, including some more background on the "I Don't Give A Rat's Ass" tshirts.

One additional note to follow up on some news from yesterday's practice when Eli Ankou was taken off the field on a cart from practice with his knee wrapped: He was not at practice today, and he will undergo an MRI to assess the injury.  We will cross our fingers it is not anythin too serious and that he recovers quickly.

We'll add other updates through the evening as they appear.  Just 3 days until kickoff!