The first question to Coach Mora was about what he was thinking about when Brett got hurt. As you watch the video, listen to the background noise as Coach Mora starts his post-game press conference. You can clearly here the team celebrating in the distance. In response to the question, Mora said:
Your first concern is for Brett. It's his left elbow which will be further evaluated when we get back to UCLA....My first thought was excitement for Jerry Neuheisel. This kid is everything that's right about college football and about UCLA. He bleeds Bruin Blue. I just thought, 'Wow! You couldn't write a better script than this right here.' His dad was a great player here. That family is a UCLA family. And, for him to come to Texas, and to bring his team from behind to get a win. It's incredible. It's awesome. Jerry told me. He said 'I was nervous.' and I said 'I wasn't because I've watched you everyday and I've watched you prepare and I know how smart you and I know your lineage and I know how your dad taught you. And, I think it all paid of for him tonight and I'm just so happy for him and the rest of our players.
In response to a question about how Paul Perkins ran the ball, Coach Mora talked about Perkins at length:
Perk ran the ball well. He'd be the first to tell you that it's a credit to guys up front, the guys blocking for him. but he also caught the ball well. He did a nice job on the screen plays. I think he had 69 yards receiving and over 120 carrying the ball. He's a guy that's very dependable....That's three good games for Paul and he just keep getting stronger and stronger.
Interestingly, he seemed to put the fumble near the end of the game on Perkins instead of Jordon James who was the player who lost the fumble with only a few minutes remaining.
He was also asked about how the momentum changed in the second half. He said:
I felt like it was going to be a little bit of a defining moment for us, at least early in the season. There's many defining moments, but that was one. Was it 10-3 at half? I think it was. We were down. Our backup QB is in there and we're on the road. You can say what you will about this being a neutral site. That was a Texas crowd, but our fans were unbelievable. We heard them. We felt them the whole game. We just felt like this was an opportunity for us to put all the work we've done over the course of the last year or three years on display and really prove it to ourselves what this team is made of. I think we did that.
Hmmm...."That was a Texas crowd." Yup, that what happens when you agree to play a team without scheduling a home game against them too.
When asked about Texas choice to kick at the start of the game, he emphasized how he was concerned if they were correct. Mora said:
Well, I had trouble believing it at first. I told that to the official. I asked him, probably four or five times. I said 'Are you sure? Are you sure?' He said, 'Yeah, you'll start the second half as well.' Having not come out and put a drive together with Perk breaking that big one early and score points, it probably would have been irrelevant. But, it became very relevant. It helped us win that game tonight. We were able to steal a possession without taking the ball away. I'm not exactly sure what went on out there, but we were the beneficiaries and we'll take it.
He was asked to discuss the uncertainty about Brett returning. He replied:
We decided it was best for Brett not to play. He was begging to get back in there. But it wouldn't have been the right thing to do to put him in there. We'll go back to Westwood and get an MRI tomorrow and then I'll be able to tell you guys what's going on from there. A lot of guys in that situation might mope or feel sorry for themselves. I don't know if you guys watched Brett on the sidelines. But you couldn't have found anyone on that sideline that was more encouraging than Brett. He was doing the signals. He was talking to Jerry. He was encouraging the offensive line and the receivers. It's one of the things that makes him so special. He's an amazing young man.
He concluded talking about the last touchdown play as well as some of the other injuries like those to Bunche and others.
Our second video comes to us from Ryan Kartje of the OC Register. Thanks, Ryan, for the video of "No-O" Mazzne.
If you've been watching our video of Mazzne post-game, his "AWH"
Mazzne was asked if he was surprised that Texas wasn't adapting to the screen passes. Mazzne's response is telling. He said:
"I don't know. I just call plays."
Well, No-O, thanks for admitting you don't have a clue about what to do if a defense adjusts because if you don't know why they weren't adapting to screen passes, then you can darn well know that he isn't making changes when they do make adjustments. In other words, he isn't creative when calling plays.
Mazzne admitted that, even while the offense was performing well, his offense wasn't very imaginative when he said:
"I called the same freakin' four plays all the second half. It wasn't like it was hard on my part."
This is not exactly awe-inspiring stuff. It also explains why the offense has looked horribly, horribly bad at times with such terrible playcalling going on.
But, the story of the game was obviously Jerry Neuheisel. Apparently, things didn't sink in until the team was back in the locker room. Jerry said:
It took until I got in the locker room and we did the fight song that it really kind of sank in. It just kind of feels like a haze. I know, tomorrow, I'll be able to tell you every single play I ran and every single throw I made and every mistake I made. Right now, I'm just on Cloud Nine and enjoying the moment.
Jerry also discussed the preparation and readiness of a backup QB. He said:
You're just kind of ready for it. Obviously, there's some nerves. It's your job as a backup quarterback to go in and take control and lead your team to victory. I had the good fortune of doing that today. Without those guys blocking up front for those runs, I don't think we would have been in the situation we were in. Everyone played so good. The defense played unbelievable in the second half for me and I'm just so happy to be in the position I am right now.
Facing adversity appears to have made the team more confident as Jerry talked about how they knew they were going to score:
We've faced a lot of adversity, especially in these first three games, probably more than we would have liked. But we can handle anything. As soon as that fumble happened, we knew we were going to get the ball back right away and we knew we were going to go down and score.
And, on having to go hold for the PAT after tossing the TD pass, he mentioned:
For the first time, I actually went and gave someone a handshake before I went and held. I think Coach will forgive me.
One of the reporters asked if he had talked with his family yet. He replied:
I just talked to my dad and he kind of told me "Hey, I did it. You did it. It's kind of a Neuheisel thing." I'm blessed to be where I am.
And he concluded in the most Neuheisel-esque way possible, by saying:
It means the world to me to be a Bruin and, as my dad used to say, it's a great day to be alive and to be a Bruin.
A great day, indeed!