LOS ANGELES -- Jim Mora wants his players to watch TV on Thursday night. Specifically, he wants them watching the Arizona State-Oregon game on ESPN because UCLA’s next game is at Arizona State.
“I think they can learn a lot about the environment that we’re going to play in, the tempo of the offense and the defense,” Mora said. “You can pick up some things. Maybe you can pick up the cadence, pick up if they hard count, some audibles. You don’t want to over think it, obviously, but there are some things you can learn.”
He also asked that they pay close attention to what the commentators are saying. A former analyst for the NFL Network, Mora said coaches sometimes give up tricks of the trade during production meetings and those come out during a broadcast.
“If you listen closely to the analysts you can learn a lot because coaches tend to spill the beans a little bit on philosophy and players they like and things they are going to try to do,” Mora said.
Hitting the trail: Mora and his staff will take advantage of their bye week by canvassing the country to visit recruits.
Offensive line coach Adrian Klemm, linebackers coach Jeff Ulbrich and tight ends coach Marques Tuiasosopo missed practice Thursday because they were already out on recruiting trips. Mora and the rest of the staff leave Thursday.
“We’ve got some guys down south, we’ll canvas California and the Pacific Northwest and Arizona," Mora said, adding, "We’re going to go to the areas where the guys that were interested in and are interested in us are.”
Mora said he plans on attending three games this weekend in “California and up the coast.”
Scout vs. Scout: Much of Thursday’s practice entailed a live scrimmage between young players and walk-ons who normally make up the scout teams each week. The scrimmage lasted 49 plays and included a halftime.
“It’s good for their morale,” Mora said. “During the week, they are always on the service team so they are always simulating someone else’s offense and defense and they have to hold back on some of the things they do naturally as football players.”
The scrimmage was fully live, including the quarterbacks, so that Mora and his staff could evaluate the young players at full speed.
“I think was good for the offensive line to know that they were really protecting them and that we weren’t going to blow the whistle,” Mora said. “And it was good for our pass rush to know if they got by a guy they had a chance.”