Neuheisel On:

Here’s what Rick Neuheisel said after Sunday’s conference call with LA reporters…

On the risky call to go for a pass on 3rd-and-9 that culminated in a safety and Prince’s injury:
“They were out of timeouts so if you make a first down, the game’s over. The risk was, ‘Kevin, you’re not throwing this ball unless a guy is wide open, you’re not going to fumble, and if you can’t (find anything), I understand and we’ll punt and take the 30 yards of field position.
“Had you told me I was going to lose my QB, I think I would’ve gone with your QB sneak.”

On choosing between Craft and Brehaut
“(Offensive coordinator Norm Chow) and I will talk and watch practice and go from there. You’ve got an experienced player in Kevin Craft who has played a lot of football. You’ve got a kid who played pretty well in a brief stint against SDSU. We have a lot of confidence in Richard Brehaut – he was a big-time recruit and he’s proven he belongs at this level. He didn’t look nervous (against SDSU), he went out and he played well. And I’ve seen enough good things from Kevin Craft to know we can go out and play fine.”

On whether UCLA can move forward with Kevin Craft as quarterback, after a disappointing 2008:
“This is a different edition of UCLA football. We’re going to weather it. We weathered the Aaron Hester injury a week ago. I think these guys are resilient.”

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  • http://www.insidesocal.com/fantasy Jon Gold

    Yes, he would have taken the safety either way. That was the plan: Go for a first down, if its not there, burn 40 seconds. The Tennessee pash rush was massive on that play, though, and it backfired. More than Neuheisel could have imagined.

  • BruinJigs

    Jon, can you please ask Neuheisel a question.

    Hypothetically, would he have taken a safety willingly rather than punting, knowing that a touchdown was all that would beat you in either scenario.

  • Bruinswin!

    Bruins need to stop being terrified of the idea of Craft starting. My god he would actually have blocking and a running game backing him up this time! Dan Marino would have thrown 20 picks last year with what we had.

  • RobM

    I agree with “Bruinswin!”… Craft had some decent moments last year… I think he could be effective with the new O-line: he’s been in the system for a year, throws a decent ball and can scramble. Plus, you know he’s a tough kid from all the beatdowns he got last season.

    But with all that said… I’d still like to see Brehaut get the start if he’s got the playbook down.

  • Anonymous

    Well, let’s get both of them in the next game.

  • Anonymous

    BruinJigs,

    In the postgame interview Rick said that his goal was to try to get a first down on that third down play. If they didn’t get a first down he was going to have the punter run it out of the endzone. He never intended to punt from the endzone. As he put it, “19-13 and 19-15 are the same score.”

  • Vu

    it all worked out….
    when SEC refs tried to rob UCLA by taking forever on that instant reply of the RB fumble, that gave the defense a chance to catch its breath.
    and the challenge for the safety… more time to rest.

    and a safety was good because instead of punting from the back of the endzone, you punt from the 20 yard line.

    and the call for the QB on the bootleg was good. Tennessee heavily stacked the middle, expecting the run. try to hit a receiver on the bootleg to end it or take the safety and punt from the 20 instead. now you can argue that you run it up the middle and then take teh safety on the next play.

    but i don’t know how many gift horses you want to give up. it seems we were blessed in this whole sequence except for Prince’s broken jaw…

  • Bruintx

    Whether its Brehaut or Craft is up to Norm & Rick. But Craft really does deserve more love from Bruin fans. He was really put into a “no win” situation for him. He took mountains of crap from the Sunday morning quarterbacks and just kept his mouth shut and played his best. I have a lot of respect for him as a person.

  • correct bruin

    I really really really want to believe that Craft can get the job done. He had it rough all last year with a non-existent o-line and I have all the respect in the world for him.

    However… case and point… Tennessee’s Jonathan Crompton. Crompton did well against Western Kentucky then got devoured by our amazing UCLA defense. I’m just saying even if Craft is chosen and does well against Kansas State it scares me with the possibility of that kind of pattern succuming to the same fate once we go up against the conference play of Stanford. Terrified.

    I truly want to be wrong. Go Bruins.

    PS. I didn’t mean to bash Crompton.

  • Anonymous

    case in point. let’s be idiomatically correct, correct bruin.

  • http://rickbucich.typepad.com/ Rick Bucich

    Got a chance to watch one of the best UCLA games in some time Saturday. On the road, heat & humidity, hostile crowd, a smack talking coach…I couldn’t be more proud.

    Can’t count how many times we wrapped guys up and took them down while trying to go to the outside that would have been able to squirt through for big gains in the past.

    Hope Price recovers quickly but feeling good that the confidence this win brings to the team will be contagious on both sides of the ball regardless who is QB.

  • Trojan Deuce

    Looks like the injury bug has bit the Gutties. Sorry to hear. Prince looks like one tough dude. Good luck with your true Frosh QB.

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous: How about we use correct capitalization then.

  • cv

    That was a horrible call, the way Prince was getting beat up all day and then let him roll out on a naked boot? I just don’t get it. I think Craft will be able to with stand the pounding better than RB.

  • dmc

    I think the call was questionable because there’s no way Prince throws that ball unless it’s WIDE open and Tennessee had to bring the heat. So you know your QB is gonna get hit regardless, and you really don’t want him throwing that ball. Tennessee has to create a turnover there, and it’s the one thing that UCLA absolutely needs to avoid. So the play was kind of doomed from the start. Should have run up the gut again and taken the safety on 4th down.

  • dmc

    I agree with CV on starting Craft. I think he can manage the game better than Brehaut, and you should get a win vs. K-State without having to throw downfield. However, the risk is everybody in the building knows Craft doesn’t have the arm strength to make downfield throws. On balance, take the guy with the experience and you probably get at least one win.

  • Boelter Boy

    Hey, congrats to Dewayne Walker for getting his first win as a head coach at New Mexico State!

  • bruinbiochem06

    I would like to see Brehaut start, but would also like to see Craft get some playing time. Not only does Craft deserve it, but we’ll have a backup QB with recent game experience to play against Stanford in case of another injury.

    Go Bruins!!!

  • pr

    Does anyone see the noticeable difference in patience of our defense? I know this unit is poised and experienced, but they don’t gamble as much as they did with Coach Walker. And our corners have not been getting called for game breaking pass-interference penalties like last year. Kudos to Coach Chuck for refining the D. The D will set us free!

  • Anonymous

    Prince has a bad habit of not using his mouthpiece. He leaves it in his facemask instead of putting it his mouth. I’m wondering where his mouthpiece was when he got his jaw fractured.

  • UCLABZ

    I say let Craft start but use Brehaut extensively throughout the game. Use Craft’s poise and experience to control the temp of the game. Put Brehaut in to keep the defense honest and stretch the field.