UCLA's Mora A Fan Of Ducks QB Mariota
By Kristen Finstad
Oregon's quarterback Marcus Mariota is a favorite to win this year's Heisman Trophy, and by the sounds of it, UCLA coach Jim Mora is part of his fan club.
Mora said that UCLA's defense has a "fighting chance" against the Oregon offense this weekend, but it's hard to ignore Mariota's numbers.
Mariota has thrown for 2,051 yards, 19 touchdowns, and no interceptions this season. On top of that, he has rushed for 493 yards and nine touchdowns. Mariota is the leader of the nation's No. 2-ranked team that has blown out each of its opponents, and he's put up these impressive statistics despite not usually playing a full game.
"I had a couple NFL guys ask me if he can play at the next level and I told them, 'Have you not watched him?'" Mora told the Los Angeles Times. "He's going to rip it up at the next level. He's ripping it up at this level. He's special.
"You watch his facial expressions, he never looks rattled. He's 6-foot-3 1/2, has a rocket arm, incredible intelligence, great poise, runs a 4.4, has a fearless attitude. It doesn't matter what system he's in, he'd be great."
Mora's quarterback, Brett Hundley, has put up some impressive numbers of his own. Maybe this is Mora's approach to motivate his player in the matchup against Mariota's squad.