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Spaulding Roundup - UCLA Football as Underdogs, The Drive, and More Kenny Walker

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The UCLA Bruins are getting ready for Texas, and are finally focused.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

After practice today, Coach Mora was at his deflecting best:

Video from UCLA Athletics.  Here's a quick recap of Coach Mora's press conference after today's practice:

  • Mora finally feels the team is focused. Only took until game 3 and some extremely underwhelming performances.
  • They're the underdog again, and they like it. They've let outside expectations get to them. Mora says he loves it when people doubt them.
  • The Drive is a non-entity. The only time they see The Drive is at press conferences. They're at practice, but not at meetings. The players couldn't even tell you which cameras are for The Drive at practice, since there are already several cameras at practice.
  • When asked how the O-Line will handle Texas' D-line, Mora deflects, saying that Texas is a talented team filled with the best players in Texas. When asked to compare to Virgina's d-line, he deflects again, saying that Virginia was months ago in his mind.
  • You might see more Mossi Johnson and some Jordan Lasley. They are starting to figure out the game and they're playmakers they want to get in the game.  Also Kenny Walker is a guy they'd like to get more into the game now that he's healthy.
  • UCLA does not designate a #1 receiver - they have a bunch of good players.  Jordan Payton has had good games, Devin Fuller has a bunch of catches, and Thomas Duarte has a lot of yardage.
  • When asked if Texas' offensive struggles are due to their inexperienced offensive line - they look at the scheme, not where they are struggling.  They want to see what they can attack.
  • Conor McDermott still has an injured shoulder and they will not use him unless they must.  His recovery is "encouraging."  Randall Goforth will probably not play this weekend and Adarius Pickett has been moved back to defense temporarily, but Tahaan Goodman will probably start in Goforth's place.
  • When asked about how much man coverage UCLA has played this year, he says he has no ideas and they won't know until after three weeks.
Jake Brendel and Adrian Klemm spoke very briefly to the media, mostly about Brendel's impact on the line.
"Obviously, having Jake helped in terms of making calls, having guys trust him and making them more comfortable," offensive line coach Adrian Klemm said.
Brendel was humbler about it, saying he's still part of a team, even though his presence did help.

If you're interested in some of the more technical parts of The Drive, definitely check out this article. It is an interview with producer and cinematographer Jim Jorden, who discusses his gear, the amount of crew they have (three for practice, six on game days) and the rush to edit the episodes.

Finally, Eric Kendricks had a quick message for the 5,000 students that showed up to Saturday's game:
Go Bruins.