Mora, Players After Game

Mora, Players After Game

Coach Jim Mora, Johnathan Franklin, Brett Hundley and Eric Kendricks answered questions after the loss in the Holiday Bowl..


TRANSCRIPT

JM: well, I think the most disappointing thing about tonight is being in that locker room for the last time as a team, and the disappointment we feel for these outgoing seniors. They've been special. They've laid a foundation that we hope that we can build on. And build something truly special. This guy to my left [Johnathan Franklin]. What can you say about this guy here? He's all that's good about college football. He's all that's great about UCLA. He's a great example to these men sitting on my right [Brett Hundley, Eric Kendricks] that'll carry on his legacy. And I'm just fortunate and proud and thankful that I got a chance to spend one short season with him.

Q: this question is actually for Johnathan. Obviously, your career didn't end the way you wanted to tonight, but what will take from this season and the seasons prior that'll aid you at the next level?

JF: I just appreciate everything. I'm thankful to have come so far and overcome so much and be a part of a great family and just be a part of Bruins Nation. They helped me become a man. A young man. I'm so blessed and honored to be a part of this team.

Q: Jim, you talked now about building for the future. How much did you learn about how far you still have to build by watching this game tonight?

JM: well, we've got a long ways to go. And we knew that. But we're on the right path, and we're going to continue to work hard. We're going to continue to add quality football players to this football team. We have some tremendous leaders leaving this program, but we have some great young leaders within this program, two of them sit right here, Eric [Kendricks] and Brett [Hundley]. I think if you look at their faces, you'll see the determination that I think is prevalent in this program. We've got a long ways to go. To become the team that we want to be. Because the team that we want to be is a national champion. And tonight showed us just how far we have to go. But we're determined to get there. We're heading in the right direction, but we're a long ways off. We'll fight our tails off to get there.

Q: Jim, were you expecting Baylor to blitz as much as they did? How much did that impact what you were trying to do offensively?

JM: well, as you all know, depth at the offensive line position is a concern of ours and we lost 2 of our starters in the first half. Jeff Baca played right tackle, right guard, and center in this game tonight. So I think what Baylor did is they recognized that we were down. Not a man, but we were down 2 men. And they pinned their ears back, and they came after us. And it was working. It was working, and if it's effective, you stay with it. We've got to build depth at that position, and that's one of our goals.

Q: Brett, how uncomfortable did all that pressure make you?

BH: it is what it is. I'm going to step around, and do what I've got to. I don't feel the pressure. Just got to play my game and don't worry about it. Just make sure I'm on top of the offensive line. They're trying their best out there, and I've got to help them out by making something happen and throwing the ball where it needs to be.

Q: Eric, this one's for you. You forced 2 fumbles today. As a team, you guys won the turnover battle, 3-0. As a defense, what does that do for you? You're out there trying to make plays, making plays, forcing turnovers, but not seeing a difference.

EK: as a defense, we always stress turnovers and that's a big part of games. A big part of winning games. I just tried to do what I was coached to do, and we all tried to do what we're coached to do but hats off to them. They're a good offense. So we didn't get the job done.

Q: this is for Brett and Eric. Losing 3 games in a row to end the season, how much will that fuel you guys over the summer and the spring?

EK: I'm going to take these losses and I'm going to work hard and remember that when I'm training. I think, as well as Brett, and the rest of our team, take these losses and really apply them to our offseason workouts and training.

BH: like he said, you just have to learn and keep pushing. Everything happens for a reason. You've just got to learn, get better, and keep pushing.

Q: Eric, you knew they had a very good offense. What was the most impressive thing about their offense?

EK: they had a lot of things. Their 3 front, the center and the guards, they played a really good game. And their running backs were very patient. And when you have patient running backs, they can find those holes, and that's what they were doing to us tonight and opening up the passing game a little bit and things started to spiral downhill. We can contain that as a defense and we should.

Q: Johnathan, how much has this season mean to you, considering the previous four?

JF: just like I said earlier, just to be a part of this family. This team, as far as the players have come so close and grown so much and overcome so much. It's an honor to be a part of this family.

Q: Coach, Simon [Goines] didn't start the game. Or he was out for a little bit there. Was that still his knee bothering him?

JM: yeah, he's battling through his knee. As he has been. He's going to have a surgical procedure here within the next week to try to get that fixed.

Q: Jim, beyond what you talked about earlier in terms of the offensive line and their blitzing, what was impressive about their defense? Statistically, they did not have a great defense over the course of the year. But they looked pretty good tonight. What impressed you the most about them?

JM: well, they played well upfront. When we're at our best is when we can run the football. And we couldn't find any room to run the football tonight. Certainly not having 2 of our starters is a factor but also a factor is the way they played. They played physical, they played aggressive, they played well. So I would never take anything away from them. They played outstanding upfront.

Q: Jim, do you have an update on Jake [Brendel] and Torian [White]?

JM: Peter, it looks like they both suffered high ankle sprains. Torian was on crutches. It looks like… that's usually a 3-4 week injury. So they'll be good to go when we start our winter program. And since that's the last question, I'd just want to take a minute and thank the Holiday Bowl committee. I see Bruce back there. This was an outstanding week for our football team. They were tremendous hosts, as was the city of San Diego. Unfortunately, we didn't win tonight, but it doesn't lessen the experience that we had here in San Diego. This was a first-class bowl, a first-class city. And we just appreciate everything you did for us. Thanks very much.

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