PASADENA, Calif. — Jim Mora and his UCLA charges posted some eye-popping offensive statistics in Saturday's 36-30 victory over Nebraska, but the new Bruins coach wasn't going to be goaded into playing the “how-significant-was-this-win” game.
Asked that question twice after he gave his initial answer — “It means we're 2-0 and we play a game next Saturday” — Mora didn't waver and gave the same response, which was similar to the answer to another question tossed his way moments earlier in the postgame press conference.
“We'll enjoy this for about 24 hours and then start preparing for Houston,” Mora said. “That was a good win for us. I thought our offense played well the entire game tonight, and our defense had some key stops and turnovers in the second half.
“We made some adjustments and came up with some big plays at the end of the game.”
The UCLA offense repeatedly made big plays against the Nebraska defense before a spirited crowd of 71,530 at the Rose Bowl.
In a game that lasted 20 minutes short of four hours, the Bruins ran 94 plays from scrimmage that totaled 653 yards — seven more than UCLA racked up in its Aug. 30 season-opening victory over Rice and the most a Nebraska defense has surrendered since 2007.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Brett Hundley completed 21 of 33 passes for 305 yards and four touchdowns, including a pair to 6-foot-7, 255-pound tight end Joseph Fauria.
Then there was the running game that accounted for the other 344 yards, including 217 on 26 carries by senior Johnathan Franklin. That big night also allowed Franklin to become the seventh player in UCLA history to surpass the 3,000-yard career mark (3,100) and the third Bruin to rush for 200 yards in consecutive games.
Those who were expecting a more spirited response from Mora got more of the same from Hundley, Franklin and Andrew Abbott, who picked off a Taylor Martinez pass late in the fourth quarter to seal the Bruins victory over the No. 16-ranked Cornhuskers.
“We were in man-to-man coverage and the quarterback's eyes were looking right on the receiver the whole time,” Abbott said. “It played right into our defense.”
When asked about the significance of beating a ranked team in the second game of a new era of UCLA football, Abbott echoed Mora's sentiments that it was just another win in a long season.
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“We've had these kinds of wins before and then we'll get to conference play and lay an egg,” Abbott said. “We can't be content with this in any form or fashion. We have to be ready for Pac-12 competition.”
Hundley agreed and said there are plenty of things that need to be fixed before classifying the importance of a win against a Big Ten opponent in early September.
“We're not satisfied at all,” Hundley said. “We're only 2-0 and we have to get on to our next opponent. There are a lot of things we need to fix.”
Mora was impressed with the way all of his younger players performed against a veteran Nebraska team.
“I thought we responded well,” Mora said. “We started two true freshmen, one on offense and one on defense. They are very well-trained because they pay attention in meetings and are mature beyond their age.
“When you get in an environment like this, it's intense and you're playing a great opponent and you've got a big crowd and the lights come on, and you can become overwhelmed. You didn't see that with these guys. I'm very proud of them.”
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• Video: Bo Pelini at the postgame press conference:
• Video: Nebraska-UCLA game highlights: