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Sept. 5, 2015

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No. 13 UCLA 34, Virginia 16
September 5, 2015
Pasadena, Calif. – Rose Bowl Stadium
Postgame Quotes

Virginia Cavaliers Head Coach Mike London

Opening remarks:
“Okay, obviously UCLA is a really good football team, and we didn’t help them by not being able to convert on some red-zone opportunities to score touchdowns to get points. Field goals are fine, but in a game like this playing a good team you’ve got to come away with points. We couldn’t stop them defensively. Quarterback …they did a great job protecting the quarterback and getting the ball out quickly for him. We didn’t do enough to affect his throws. He responded with the type of caliber player that he is and the type of players surrounding him. So you got to move onto the next challenge, and the next challenge is Scott’s Stadium — Notre Dame. We have to look at some things we did here and take care of some things until another opportunity presents itself. We’ve just begun.
Like I said, they did a great job from the shotgun touch to get the ball out of his hands, whether it was screens or quick passes to the perimeter. The things you can do… you can affect the passes with your hands in the lane or play tight coverages… all those things, and he did a great job of just using the scheme of the system they have. They have really good players. Their offensive line is a better offensive line than I remember from last year. They’re really good up front there. They did what they had to do, and we didn’t do enough.”

On UCLA’s defense:
“The goal is to try to get to the next level of your blocks to the line of scrimmage to the next level to the linebackers, and the linebackers are very fast, very skilled and very athletic. And a lot of times they beat us to the punch in that regard. They played well, and like I said it’s a very good football team with a lot of great talent across the board. Our first contest against a ranked team, and we have to do better.

Daniel Hamm is making his way back from a wrist issue, playing with a soft cast. We got the ball to him in a couple of different ways, and he did a nice job. He’ll only get better as a football player. He’ll continue to gain some confidence, not only with running, but with his ability to catch passes and be an effect in the open field. Like I said they did a great job defensively against us. We didn’t score enough touchdowns, and they made some big plays when it was needed.”

On Matt Jones:
“When you lose a game, obviously whatever we did was not good enough, but Matt looked like some of the drives that he was putting the ball on the money… he was executing the offense and obviously you want to get to those points where you’re scoring touchdowns, and we got to the position where you score field goals, but we’ve got to score touchdowns. Matt’s game can improve like everyone’s, and I’m sure he’s looking forward to that like we all are.

On the road when there’s a good defense, we want to get points, and obviously you want to get those touchdown situations, but coming away with nothing, getting those 3-points, staying in the game… and listen, coming into halftime I said, “we can move the ball into the end zone.” And like I said it’s a very fast athletic and good defensive team.”

On penalties:
“You know they had seven penalties, we had seven penalties. But our penalties were a big pass interference penalty, there was a big shot block penalty that was called, a kick out of bounds I believe in the first half, there average start was 34 yards and ours was like 17. So when you have those decisions that were made, they can hurt your field position. They can come back, and they can hurt you. So we have to do a better job of judging things. Dylan [Sims] for the most part did a nice job kicking the ball deep, but that was a costly one that led to a penalty.”

On Josh Rosen:
“I’ve got to give Rosen a lot of credit on some of this throws that were on point. They were indicative of a good football player. Like I said, that’s a good football team, and we have to take care of ourselves to move onto the next challenge. The poise that he had as a true freshmen, and when you’re surrounded by a really good offensive line that he had, you’ll feel comfortable in the pocket to hand the ball to [Paul] Perkins or to throw the ball to your outside receivers, and it gives you that type of mindset where you’re confident in what you’re doing. He’s a good football player.”

UCLA Bruins Head Coach Jim Mora

Opening remarks:
“It was really neat to see such a great crowd, especially on a holiday weekend. I think that’s a tribute to the way our kids play the game that fans want to come out and watch them play. It was great to have a pretty good crowd out there today, and I think it will get better as the season goes on. There were a lot of good things today. Obviously, getting a win is your primary objective every week. The thing that we have to continue working on cleaning up is penalties. They were aggressive penalties today, which is a little bit different than we’ve had in the past-lazy penalties or lack of focus penalties. We’ll continue to work hard on that. Another positive is that we got to play a lot of guys. We got to play a lot of young players, and they did well. I think you finally saw what we’ve been seeing in guys like Soso [Jamabo], Bolu [Olorunfunmi], Josh [Rosen], and guys like that. It’s a good start. But the players understand that there’s a lot of work to be done. We’ll come back in tomorrow and watch the film and analyze it. We’ll try to get better. Then we’ve got UNLV a week from tonight. We’ve got a lot of work to do.”

On his expectations of Rosen:
“I didn’t know what to expect. I was excited to see him play. I knew that he had a really great support group around him. I think what you saw today was an offensive line that has played together well and gave him some time to make some throws. I think what you saw today was a receiving crew that can get open and make some tough catches. And then you saw a freshman quarterback that took advantage of that. He took advantage of the protection and threw the ball to the guys who can make plays.”

On the fans’ expectations:
“Our goal every day is to shut out the noise and work on our expectations rather than outside expectations. We’ll be hypercritical of everything that all of our players did, not just Josh. We’ll be hypercritical of every decision we made as coaches. That’s what you do. You don’t let anything slip. When you win, you don’t just brush something aside because you won. As a matter of fact, you probably come back and you’re a little bit tougher in your analysis.”

On keeping the team focused with all the distractions:
“That’s kind of a mantra of ours-‘Don’t listen to the noise.’ Just focus on the things that you can control. I feel like we’ve reached a level of maturity to some extent. We’re always trying to grow. We’re a little bit more professional in our approach as a team. They’ve learned how to zoom focus and block out all the things that don’t matter. They just worry about taking care of the things they can control. There’s a level of maturity here finally that I haven’t seen for a few years. It’s good-we need to keep building on that and enforcing it.”
On the defense this year versus last year:
“I felt like we were more solid and more consistent against the run. They broke a couple, but I felt we were more consistent against the run. I felt like we lost containment a couple times of the quarterback. But in general, our containment was pretty good. I thought we tackled well. We stayed on our feet and tackled well. We have to be realistic. Every team is going to have the ability to make some plays. But the primary objective of defense is to keep them out of the end zone and get the ball back for your offense. A lot of things we can improve on there as well.”

On Rosen’s maturity in an opening game:
“I did not see a deer in the headlights look with him at all. I didn’t think that I would either. I didn’t know how he’d perform, but I didn’t get the feeling that it was going to be too big for him. He was very in the moment-before the game, last night, during the game. He’s a mature young man and he handled it well. It’s only going to get harder for him because he had some success. People are going to start patting him on the back and telling him how great he is. We have to do the best we can to make sure he doesn’t listen to the noise-keep pushing him, keep demanding a lot out of him, and keep supporting him.”

On Rosen’s potential:
“His potential is what he determines his potential is going to be-to his work ethic and to his commitment.”

On UCLA’s pass protection:
“I think the primary credit goes to our offensive line and to our tight ends. Our running backs did a nice job in protection. For a young guy, Josh has pretty good pocket presence. He generally stays between the tackles. When you’re an offensive lineman and you understand where the quarterback is going to be, it helps you a little bit. The primary credit goes to those guys. They’ve worked really hard to get where they are. Once again, they’re not perfect. There are a lot of things we need to do better. We saw Caleb [Benenoch] get beat on the up and under-he’s got to learn to be a little bit more patient. But I like the direction we’re headed with those guys. They’re mature, calm; they don’t get rattled. They understand our scheme and play together well. There’s a consistency. It’s nice to have that finally.”

On building trust between Rosen and the receivers:
“Every day, Josh goes against a pretty darn good defense. We’ve got a pretty good defense, so he’s been challenged all through the spring and through fall camp to make difficult throws. I don’t think it flusters him to throw it into a crowd. He has great confidence in his receivers. We’ve got a big group of receivers-they’re big guys-so there’s a good target there for him. The thing that impressed me was not that he threw it to them, but his ball placement. I thought his ball placement was good on those throws. Putting it low and away where a guy has to dive for it, some people might say that’s not a very good throw. But if it’s the only throw, it’s a very good throw. I saw that a few times today.”

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