VIDEO: Jack on Championship Expectations

Myles Jack

AUG. 25 -- Sophomore linebacker Myles Jack talked after practice Monday about the hype UCLA has been getting lately, and whether he'll play some running back this week...

Myles Jack talked after practice Monday.


On the turnover at linebacker:
I wouldn't say there is turnover, we're just evolving. We have guys who didnt play as much last year that are going to make a splash. Guys who are going to make a name for themselves this year, Deon Hollins, Kenny Young, Kenny Orjioke, Aaron Wallace. It's not like there is a drop off this year, they'll really make an impact.

On how happy he is for game week:
I've been itching for this week since the season ended. I'm excited and ecstatic and can't wait until Saturday.

On what he's seen from Virginia:
They have a really fast quarterback and they've been switching so we don't necessarily know who's starting. Number 25 is a good running back, they have big tight ends, the offensive line is solid. (Their RB) is more than likely going to break the first tackle. We'll have to gang tackle and get to him and not arm tackle. Very talented.

On if its a challenge not knowing the QB:
It's not really challenging. We have film on both quarterbacks so we know what to expect, but we'll be ready.

On the challenges of starting the season on the road:
This is my first on the road, last year we played Nevada, but if you stack obstacles, going across the country, three time zones, it's 9am for us. But it's football at the end of the day, we'll be ready.

On why more teams don't use two-way players:
I honestly don't know. My situation was more too guys having nicks and bruises. When you bring someone in, you don't know if you're bringing them in for two positions. That's the way things unfolded and it worked out and we had some success. But I've heard news of other guys playing both ways. Maybe coaches are looking for it more.

On if he's that special of a player that he can play two ways:
I wouldn't say that. I'm playing running back so it goes to the offensive line and it goes to them, and they put holes and I just go through them. I believe there are other guys who can do it. It just comes down to how everything flows. That was just my situation. I'm lucky it worked out.

On if he'll play running back:
It really depends on the coaches, I'm more than up to it and they've talked to me a little about it. I'm sure it will be like last year, an unorthodox thing, last minute type of deal, but whatever they have me doing, I'm up for it. I'm a team player and however I can help this team, that's really my goal.

On if he knows more of the offense:
Yeah, I know a little bit and starting to figure it out. I understand it a little bit and not a guru like Brett in the offense, but I understand it.

On if other defensive players want in:
I hear them saying 'put me in, put me in' but you never know what Coach Mazzone is going to do. He could put a whole bunch of young guys in there. There are a bunch of guys here who played both ways in high school. It depends on Coach Mazzone.

On ESPN calling them national championship contenders:
I wasn't aware of it, but I mean that shows what we have here. We have to take it week by week. We believe we can do it and that's what matters, not outside noise. We just have to take it week at a time. Become the best team we could possibly be.

On if it feels different from last year:
It definitely feels different. You can close your ears all you want but you're still going to hear what people are saying about your team. You're going to come across an article here and there. We're aware of the expectations. It just shows what Coach Mora and his staff brought and we have to uphold it.

On if it helps that they can focus on a game week now:
For sure, and focus on the bigger picture. We can start simmering on Virginia. All we're worried about, no other teams matter. We're just focused on this one game. You lose this game and everyone goes away.

On an early start against Nebraska helping this year:
Coach Mora has us practicing earlier so we're getting acclimated to that and a time change is just waking up earlier and getting started earlier.

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