August 31, 2013
Pasadena, Calif. – Rose Bowl

Postgame Quotes
UCLA head coach Jim Mora

on UCLA’s second half adjustments
“I was happy with the way we came out of the huddle in the second half, both offensively and defensively. The blocked punt was a huge momentum changer for us. One silver lining in the game was the young guys getting the experience of that game. Our young guys made some impact plays. We want to be able to depend on those guys, so for them to get a chance to play important.

on adjustments and improvements
“Containing quarterback runs, we have to fix that. I don’t want to put it on the quarterback runs. We have to fix that. I don’t want to put it on the players, necessarily jumping out of gaps. We have to do a better job coaching it. We have to look hard as a staff. Our old friend the penalty just jumped up and bit us in the second half. Obviously, I didn’t do a good enough job getting the message across through camp. And tonight, we just fell back into the trap especially in the second half. We have to look at that again very hard. We have to put emphasis on it. We cannot sugarcoat it. We put up 58 points and we cannot shove it under the carpet. We’ve got to continue to work hard on it, and to continue bringing officials in. We need to put pressure on our players in practice, and we have to react accordingly. It was a win, a good way to start the season. The bye will give us a chance to correct some of these things and then we move onto Nebraska.”

on the decision to start either Caleb Benenoch or Alex Redmond
“We kind of made that decision at the start of the week. Caleb had a really strong start in camp. And then he hit a little bit of a wall. Maybe a little tired or overwhelmed. Alex, conversely, started slow in camp and then came on really well. We feel good about both of those guys. We think that Caleb is a right tackle. It was really neat to see all those young guys in there playing well.”

on running back Jordon James
“Well, he is the number one back. He’s our starter right now, but we would like to be able to play Steven Manfro. It was great to see Malcolm [Jones] in there and Rosie [Roosevelt Davis]. Unfortunately, Melvin fumbled that one and we wanted him to get some touches. But Jordon is our number one back. You know how we’re going to play offense – we are going to roll those guys through. We will have to use multiple backs. The credit has to start with the offensive line – how they blocked and the receivers blocking and certainly the backs did a nice job.”

on quarterback Brett Hundley
“I thought he was sharp the whole game. Maybe it looked different to you guys. I thought that he looked very poised, very under control. A lot of that was the offensive line was not letting people get closer to him. He did a good job with his legs as well. He was rolling out and tried to square up, and he had some green grass in front of him where he could’ve run it but he’s got to learn the right mix. He took only one hit and got hit pretty good. I don’t like to see that. But, I thought that Brett played efficiently. He missed a couple deep balls. We would like to hit those but we will hit them.”

on tonight’s win being a first step
“Well it’s a good first step for us. There are so many unknowns in any season. That’s a good football team, Nevada. They beat Cal last year, and then Cal whooped us. They were right in there with Arizona [in the bowl game]. They have a lot of California kids in there who wanted to perform well. When you can win and win convincingly and make some corrections in the second half, I think that’s a good sign for us.”

on UCLA recovering a blocked punt for a touchdown
“We made our adjustments at halftime. There was no panic or anxiety. But, we felt like we needed to start fast and establish ourselves. We were able to do that. We came out and scored and then we finally got a stop – Keenan Graham on the sack. If you can score on special teams, then the rest of the crew really jumps up. It’s like ‘OK, here we go. We are back at it now.’”

on playing without recent NFL draftee Johnathan Franklin
“I’ll take 300 [yards rushing] anytime. Yeah, I would agree with that. It was a heck of a performance. Maybe you’ll talk to Jordon [James], but the first thing they’ll tell you was the blocking was outstanding. With Jordon, it’s something I’ve talked about during camp, he has become a better one cut and downhill runner, in the second level he uses the shake. He’s got shake. He can make people miss. He has learned how to make a miss down the field instead of just in the backfield.”

Postgame Quotes
Nevada head coach Brian Polian

opening statement
“That was thorough. UCLA is a very good team and I give them a lot of credit. Clearly, we didn’t do a good enough job, defensively, of getting off the field. I don’t believe we got off the field on any third down and that was a major difference in the game. It was a great drive by the offense in the two minute drill right before the half to make it 17-13, but then the blocked punt was the difference-maker in the entire football game. We simply cannot allow that to happen. There are no moral victories. We simply need to do a better job. I think towards the end of the ballgame, frankly, the defense was physically worn out. Offensively in the first half, we settled for some field goals when it felt like we needed to score touchdowns. You’re not going to hang in with UCLA kicking field goals. All that being said, there’s a lot to be corrected on film. We do not hide from that one bit. We will go back tomorrow, look at the film, and our sole focus will be getting ready for UC Davis. Had we won the game tonight, the year would not have been defined by one game, but we lost it. We lost it badly, yet this season will not be defined by one game. We’ve got a long way to go.”

on Don Jackson not starting
“We had made the decision to start Don in the game, and Don grabbed (running backs coach) Lester Erb and said ‘Hey, I don’t deserve to start. I missed a week of practice with an injury and Kendall (Brock) deserves to start.’ That speaks volumes about what kind of kid he is. In the end, those guys are going to split the carries anyways so it’s really not that big of a deal.”

on his first game as a head coach
“I’m not going to rush to any quick judgments because you have to watch the film. We’re going to find out who’s willing to compete and that’s who we’re going to put out there. We’ve got some guys that played their first college football game tonight and if they’re the ones who are ready to compete and go, then that’s who we’ll put out there. I’ll be very honest with you, it’s very difficult to find any silver lining right now. I am proud of the way we competed in the first half, but as proud as I am about the way we drove down the field and hung in there, I’m upset about the way the second half went. Clearly, the blocked punt is just unacceptable.”

on the blocked punt
“It was an incredibly deflating play. They go down but we had been moving the ball. We felt good about what we were doing on offense, and then we get beat in a one-on-one matchup in pass protection and get sacked. Now we go out to punt and the snap is on the ground and a guy gets beat one-on-one. You can’t do those things. That’s not winning football and we know that and we have to get that corrected.”

on what he told the team after the game
“I told the team that we want to play smart, fast and physical and we didn’t do those three things tonight. You have to be honest with yourselves if you want to get better. I also told them that they are going to be people out there who tell you good job, you hung in with them for a half, and there are no moral victories. That doesn’t matter. I also told them that they have to hang together. We’re going to get beat up this week, and rightfully so; we deserve to be. We have to hang together and our sole focus tonight should be getting ready for UC Davis. That’s it. There’s no sense in trying to make excuses. Give them all the credit in the world; they did a fantastic job. We weren’t good enough and we have to all get better.”


UCLA Health Sponsor - Event Information
Saturday, Sep 03 - 12:30 PM PST
at Texas A&M
College Station, TX
Saturday, Sep 10 - 5:00 PM PST
vs. UNLV
Pasadena, CA
Saturday, Sep 17 - TBA PST
at Brigham Young
Provo, UT