The team practiced in preparation for this weekend’s game at No. 23 Nebraska. Pasquale was hit by a car and killed while walking in his hometown of San Clemente on Sunday.
The coach hailed Pasquale for being more than a player on the scout team.
“He was a kid who epitomized everything that you’re looking for in a football player, from his spirit, his selfless work ethic, his commitment to the team, his toughness,” Mora told a group of reporters.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, that’s the most important thing,” Mora said.
He later told reporters, “Every day we honor Nick and his family. The way we do that is the way we play. It’s not about wins and losses.”
“By us getting the lead that we did because of the fine work of some starters, guys like Nick, whose dream was to always play for UCLA, got a chance to run out on the Rose Bowl field and play in front of his parents,” the coach said. “That’s something his parents will have forever.”
“Our players are dealing with it each in their own way,” he said. “We think that’s the right way to do it. The important thing is they’re together. This is a very close team and they care desperately about each other.”
“That’s a lot bigger than any football game,” he said. “Obviously, this has got to be a very difficult time for them.”
The Bruins will wear a No. 36 patch on their jerseys the rest of the season. Mora said Nebraska’s players will have a sticker with Pasquale’s number on their helmets and there will be a moment of silence before Saturday’s road game in his honor.
Grief counselors were made available to the team on Monday.
“I’m not sure that all of them know how to process their emotions yet, so I just think it’s important we give them time to do that,” Mora told a group of reporters.
Pasquale was walking in the early morning hours on Sunday along a street when he was hit by a car, according to the Orange County coroner’s office.
The driver stayed at the scene and was not charged with any crime or infraction, said Lt. Jeff Hallock of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
“No drugs or alcohol have been found to have been factors for the driver,” Hallock said. “An autopsy report and later toxicology information will determine factors for the pedestrian.”
After starting to say that Pasquale had “only played a few plays,” Mora stopped mid-sentence during a Monday news conference when a video reporter in the back of the room began talking at the same time.
Mora told him “Shut up” before the reporter, who had been obscured by a potted plant that he was standing behind, emerged and motioned for the coach to continue talking.
Mora grew angry and chastised the reporter for displaying a lack of respect. The reporter apologized.
Mora got up, told the gathering, “I got nothing to say,” grabbed his backpack and left the room.
He met later with a group of reporters.