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Spaulding Roundup: New Look Defensive Line and Mossi Johnson

Post practice interviews with Coach Mora, D-Line Coach McClure, and WR Mossi Johnson.

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

As UCLA football prepares for the Colorado Buffaloes this week, Coaches Mora and McClure catch us up on the changes they've been making on the defensive line and Mossi Johnson discusses his increasing role.

Let's start with Mossi Johnson after his breakout game against UC Berkeley:

Video courtesy of Ed Lewis at Bruin Sports Report.

Mossi says he has not been frustrated by not having a larger role thus far.  He got an opportunity on Saturday to do some good things for the team and he took advantage of it.  He was happy that the Bears finally kicked it to them and let them make a return.  And no, Ishmael Adams was not calling for him to toss him the ball on that return.  He says he has had to learn to really play within the play.  We hope to see more of him this week and in future weeks.  It was clear that this young man is really talented.

Next up, Coach Mora:

Video courtesy of Ed Lewis at Bruin Sports Report.

Coach Mora spoke about the Colorado football team and about the changes they are making on the defensive line.

  • About Colorado, Mora said, that like the Bears, the Buffalos have a fine young quarterback that has developed really good chemistry with their top receiver Nelson Spruce.  He says the conference is loaded with great receivers and that this week will be no different.
  • On the injury front, when asked about Thomas Duarte, Paul Perkins, Alex Redmond, Fabian Moreau, and Simon Goines, Mora said that all was fine and that they had everybody out there today.  Chris Foster added "for a time."
  • About the defense, Coach Mora said they played the run better and were as physical as they've been this year.  They want to get their "most explosive pass rushers" out there and adding Takarist McKinley to the d-line has allowed them to switch Owamagbe Odighizuwa to the inside.  He thinks guard is a really good fit for Owa even though he is still not totally comfortable there yet.  He sees Owa playing the role Casius Marsh played last year, going where he is needed so they can keep the best line-up in there.

Defensive Line Coach Angus McClure continues to discuss the d-line:

Video courtesy of Ed Lewis at Bruin Sports Report.

Coach McClure starts by talking World Series and jests (I think) that he's flying to the game after practice.  He says they're all Giants fans there and that "it's great to have a Bruin in the world series again".
McClure really likes this d-line line up with Deon Hollins and Tak on the outside and Eddie Vanderdoes, Ellis McCarthy, Owa, Kenny Clark on the inside. Putting Owa inside gives them some really good match-ups.  Tak has been working really hard to catch up and he has.  He has worked before and after practice so that he can be on the same page and it showed last Saturday.  Having the bodies allows them to stay fresh. Ellis McCarthy is really improving.  His conditioning has improved and he is finally healthy which is showing in the game.

About the defense, Ryan Kartje of the O.C. Register writes about this seemingly new ability of UCLA to reach into the pocket. Jack Wang writes about the first game ball Coach Mora has given at UCLA.  It went to Marcus Rios.  Chris Foster has an article about Mossi Johnson's probable increased role against Colorado.  And Dan Greenspan of the Associated Press discusses how Brett Hundley is learning and adjusting to what defenses are giving him.

UCLA Football put out some really cool black and whites of the team's trip to Berkeley.  They are by "UCLA Bruins in Sports" and are really nice!

Enjoy the rest of your week and, as always....

Go Bruins!