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Mora: I Was Going To Throw A Hail Mary

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After last night's win over Cal, UCLA Coach Jim Mora met with the media and one of the things he spoke about was Ka'imi Fairbairn's school record 60-yard field goal to end the first half.

The play that almost wasn't.
The play that almost wasn't.
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Normally, I start off our postgame press conference coverage with video of Jim Mora meeting with the media. But, today, I'm going to do something a little different.

For those who may have missed the game or just the end of the first half, we have video of Ka'imi Fairbairn's 60-yard field goal at the end of the first half. Considering the fact that Fairbairn has had trouble in the past making some important kicks, he deserves a ton of credit for making this one which, actually, turned out to be the game-winning score.

After last night's big win over UC Berkeley, UCLA Coach Jim Mora met with the media. Of course, he discussed the decision to allow Fairbairn to attempt the 60-yarder at the end of the first half. Mora said:

First, the field goal....I was going to put the offense back out on there and throw a Hail Mary and Jerry said, "Nah, he's got it. He's got it. Let's kick it again." and I asked him at halftime. I said, "How did you know?" He said, "I heard the boom of the ball [on the 55-yarder] and I just knew he'd strike it." Ka'imi's hit 64-yarders in practice. So that was a big, big adrenaline rush and boost to our momentum. It gave us a 16-point [lead] instead of a 13-point and made it a three score [lead] rather than a two-score game at halftime.

Thanks to Ed Lewis of the Bruin Sports Report for the video of Coach Mora.

Defensive coordinator Tom Bradley also spoke with the media.

Like Coach Mora, Bradley commended Johnnie Johnson for his play in the secondary. He also spoke about how they were able to successfully run some stunts and get to Jared Goff for the sack. But, interestingly, he commended Jerry Neuheisel for helping the defense get better this week.

So, considering that he convinced Coach Mora to go for the 60-yarder and that he helped the defense get better, Jerry Neuheisel may have played a much more important role than you'd think for a guy who was only on the field for eight snaps (four field goal attempts and four PATs).

Thanks to Ed Lewis of the Bruin Sports Report for the video of Coach Bradley.

Of course, we need to hear from Ka'imi talking about his big kick.

Thanks again to Ed Lewis of the Bruin Sports Report for the video.

Oh, and by the way, our quarterback didn't have such a bad game either. He only threw for 399 yards, but, listening to Rosen, that doesn't matter. What matters is that UCLA won the game.

Thanks to Ed Lewis of the Bruin Sports Report for the video of Josh Rosen.

Meanwhile, one of Rosen's favorite targets Thomas Duarte called his quarterback "amazing" while talking about Rosen's motivation to win and how he has gotten better. He also spoke about the goal the offense had going into the game. Duarte said:

We were locked in. We were focused. That was one of our points coming into this game was "Win the third and fourth downs...." Last week, we didn't do that great of a job, but, this week, we made it a point to win the third downs.

Thanks to Ed Lewis of the Bruin Sports Report for the video of Thomas Duarte.

Soso Jamabo echoed Duarte's comments about winning the third downs.

Thanks to Ed Lewis of the Bruin Sports Report for the video of Soso Jamabo.

Overall, it sounds like this team might be back on track after two tough losses. They played well on both sides of the ball and even the special teams had a good game.

Next up is Colorado on Halloween.

Go Bruins!!!