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UCLA Coach Jim Mora
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Courtesy: NU Media Relations
09/09/2012
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Postgame Quotes
UCLA Head Coach Jim Mora  

Opening statement
"Our defense made a key stop and had key turnovers. In the second half, our coaches did a nice job with adjustments at halftime. Players adjusted well. We came up with big plays at the right time. Nebraska is a very good football team. [Head coach] Bo Pelini did an outstanding job. [Quarterback] Taylor Martinez is a heck of a good football player. It's a heck of a win for our program. We have to learn from it. We had critical penalties that could hurt us, but we overcame it. We'll enjoy it for 24 hours and then turn our thoughts to Houston."

"I thought we responded well. We started two true freshmen - one on offense and one on defense. They are very well trained because they pay attention in meetings and are mature beyond their age. When you get in an environment like this, it's intense and you're playing a great opponent and you've got a big crowd and the lights come on, and you can become overwhelmed. You didn't see that with these guys. I'm very proud of them.

On UCLA's tackling
"In order to win consistently and play great defense, you have to be a great tackling defense. Sometimes that is a function of them blocking us out and not being able to get over and not moving our feet quick enough. But whatever it is, we have to go put in some tackling drills in practice and get better at it. I thought it was better than last week.

On quarterback Brett Hundley
"He needs to learn how to slide, and he needs to learn how to take a knee. Once he gets down those things, he might be able to avoid injury. He was very calm back there. Brett played outstanding. He doesn't get flustered. When he comes to the sideline, he has a very good understanding of what happened, whether it was good or bad. He keeps his emotions in check. I thought our offensive line did an outstanding job giving him time. I mean, there were some throws out there where he could step into it and got through his progressions, which is good.

On UCLA's offensive line
"I thought they played well. I don't know how many yards we had. I don't think we had more than one or two sacks. But that's was a very good front that we were going against. Nebraska has a good defense. Bo [Pelini] is a great defensive coach, so for us to be able to run the ball effectively like we did and give Brett some time to throw the ball, I think that says a lot about our offensive line and our tight ends and our backs."

On Brett Hundley's ability to make plays happen
"We saw him in the spring. There were times in the spring - in practice you try to create problems for your players that they have to figure out. Because that's what happens out on the field. You cannot hold their hand out on the field. Every time we put Brett in a situation where he made a poor decision in practice, he followed it up by making a really good play. So there were indications early on that this game was not too big for him. He could stay focused when things were going well, or when things were not going well. He has not surprised me.

"There was a tremendous amount of improvement by Brett from week one to week two. He showed willingness to pull the trigger when he saw things down the field. He was much more decisive. We talked about last week how there was some hesitancy in his game, which is understandable since he was starting his first game. We saw a more decisive quarterback."

On the team's reaction to Brett Hundley getting injured
"We have complete confidence in Richard Brehaut and Kevin Prince and Jerry Neuheisel and Devin Fuller and T.J. Millweard and Mike Fafaul and Jake Hall. We know that all of those guys can go in and play well."

On kicker Ka'imi Fairbairn
"I thought that he did a nice job today. He missed a couple of kicks, and we'll get that squared away. He's a young kid, you know. He's 18 years old. He's playing in a huge game on national TV. I think today was a great growing experience for him. I don't see a lack of confidence at all. I don't think that our team has any lack of confidence in him. I was prepared to send him out there to make it a five-point game. He's got the legs for it. We have a lot of confidence in him."

On keeping the team grounded next week
"Any time you come off a win, it's important that you regain your focus, just like after a loss. That's one of the challenges of coaching. I sense determination among our players. Our coaching staff has the experience to know how to get them back and focus."

On defensive end Datone Jones
"You hate to ever say there is a play of the game, because there are so many plays that are critical. But that might have been the play of the game. We had them backed up after Jeff's great punt, and Datone broke through. He has had two really good games now. It gave us that cushion, that extra two points that was so critical at the end there."

On running back Johnathan Franklin
"Well, he's a tenacious runner. He's hard to bring down. I think that people look at him and they think that he's a little running back. He's not. He may be short, but he's powerful. He's got great lower body strength. He's got a heart that just jumps out of his chest. He refuses to be tackled. He charges our team up.

On the significance of Saturday's win
"We're 2-0. It means we are 2-0. It means we beat Nebraska and we are 2-0, and we'll play another game next Saturday."  

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