UCLA Head Coach Jim Mora Postgame Quotes
Nebraska vs. UCLA
Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013
Memorial Stadium (Lincoln, Neb.)
UCLA Head Coach Jim Mora
"First of all I want to start by saying a very heartfelt thanks to the Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst, Head Coach Bo Pelini, to the Husker Nation, their fans, their students and their players for the compassion they showed us this week. I thought it was an incredible gesture they made here, and I think it kind of shows the class here at Nebraska. The fact that they would put a No. 36 decal on their helmets, and they would have a moment of silence, and their student section cheered us when we took the field and encouraged us on, you just don’t find that at many places. It is just a true testament to the people here at Nebraska and how much they care about football. We are very, very appreciative about that."
"I am so proud of our guys. Those young men went through a tremendous amount of adversity this week and emotions were on a roller coaster the entire week. Matter of fact, they were on a roller coaster through the first half. I felt that the first quarter and a half of the game we were trying so hard - so hard - to try and make something happen good that we were tight. What really happened was in the second quarter there at the end we kind of relaxed and made plays and we kind of found our rhythm again. We came in at halftime, not a lot of adjustments that had to be made, really just an adjustment in our mindset which was to relax, play with confidence, go out and have fun playing the game and let it roll. We tried to pick up the tempo a little bit on offense. We talked about tackling better on defense. We talked about containing the quarterback a little bit better on defense but there was no mystical magical X’s and O's, it was all our players doing what they are supposed to do, and really loving what they do—playing football. It was a heck of a game, that is a really good football team and this a great place to come play."
"One of our themes this year that we need to get better at is having the mental toughness where we can come into a tough environment and we can handle some adversity and still fight back and get back into the game. Today we did that. It is not good enough to do that once, that has to become our identity, that’s gotta become the team that we become. We are working hard toward it. I am really proud of those kids, you can’t believe how tough it was on them, you just can’t, unless you were at practice, in those meeting rooms, in that locker room, you just can't (know). He (Jordan Pasquale) had such an impact on our team—for a little guy that only played one snap here at UCLA, those guys loved him and respected the heck out of him. His family came up yesterday and talked with the team in the morning before we went out on the field to practice. They were amazing, and I think they gave our team strength. You don’t ever want to say ‘You won one for somebody’; we didn’t win one for Nick, what we tried to do today is try and go out and play with the type of effort and enthusiasm, energy and passion of the game that would reflect what he meant to us, and so his parents could see it on TV and recognize that we were playing the game like their son played the game. We got a win and we've got to go on from there.”
On the turning point of the game
“I think it was before the half. We got going on offense, we were just tight. We were tight, everyone was so intent on being the guy that made 'that' play, nobody wanted to make a mistake and you can't play football like that. You've got to relax and enjoy it - at least we do, I don't know how other teams play, our team loves to play the game, there is a passion for it. We were squelching that and were letting the emotions get the best of us. We didn't really say anything (at halftime). It wasn't me, it was our players. They recognized it - these are mature young men - they recognized it and said 'let's just relax and do our thing', and we did. I think scoring at the end (of the first half) and then getting them stopped and even trying the 55-yard field goal, even getting ourselves into field goal position to try it, that is how UCLA does it. I think that made them feel good about themselves at halftime."
On Nebraska Junior Wide Receiver Kenny Bell
“He is a good player first of all. He is an excellent kickoff returner, and he is a good receiver. He is long and lean, and he can run and catch with his hands and has a nice catch radius. They caught us in two pressures on the first and the third touchdown passes and the one when they ran a drag route we were in a zone and the guy got inside the linebackers and snuck in. He is a good player, we have a lot of respect for him. We talked a lot about him as a kick returner. He is a much better receiver than I thought we gave him credit for, but we did give him a lot of credit in that area as well."