UCLA plays Utah on Saturday and will have to figure out a way to contain the Utes’ defensive lineman, who is projected as a first-round draft selection and made a huge impact last week against USC.
“He’s a great one,” Mora said of the 6-4, 320-pound Lotulelei. “And I don’t throw that term around too loosely. This guy is one of the best I’ve seen. I’ve seen them all and he’s something else. He wears those tiny little shoulder pads and he’s mean looking and he’s quick and he’s fast and he’s aggressive and he’s nasty.”
Lotulelei has a team-high five tackles for a loss and is one of the main reasons Utah is giving up only 114.8 yards rushing per game. He will pose quite a challenge for a young UCLA offensive line that is coming off of a rough game in a 43-17 loss to California, but Mora said the Bruins must not play scared.
“We have to go into this game with confidence,” Mora said. “We can’t go into the game intimidated. We have to go into this game playing our technique and believing we can win with our technique.”
Mora said that the Bruins, as other teams have, will double team Lotulelei as much as possible, but a player as good as he is will still find a way to make plays, as he did when he had a forced a fumble, recovered a fumble and made a tackle for a loss all within the first three minutes against the Trojans. The Bruins can’t get discouraged when he makes plays, Mora said.
“We’ve got to understand that there are going to be some tough downs, that they are going to make some plays on us and when they make some plays on us, that we’ve got to have the resiliency to just keep coming back and just pop some of our own,” Mora said.