Eight for….Eight? With Alterraun Verner

Told you I had a lot from the Receptionist:

On the team expecting this success:
“We’ve expected that since the beginning. We knew we had the capabilities to do big things. For it to come true, it’s kind of a reality to us. Were trying to build off of that it as a team and not rest on anything.”

On the hype surrounding the Stanford matchup”
“We take every game basically the same. We know every game is big, especially from here on out. The Pac-10 is very unpredictable – any team can beat another at any given time. But we put weight in the fact that you have to bring you’re A-game every week. With us being 3-0 and them 2-0 in Pac 10, of course it’s a big game. But we’re not putting extra weight on it.”

On the hype affecting younger players:
“It might cross their minds because they are young. With veterans like me, Reggie, Brian, even veterans like Logan, Ryan Moya, we’ll squash that in the locker room. Especially us being UCLA, we’ve gotta always have that chip and play hard. We’ll let them know to treat this like any other game.”

On the benefits of the bye week:
“It definitely allowed us to be able to go over some technical things. We’ve shown a lot of excellence, but we also have a lot of room for improvement. We have to iron that out, the penalties, the lack of concentration in a lot of areas.”
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Neuheisel On: UCLA

On Kevin Craft getting reps with the ones in practice:
“Kevin played a consistent game the other night. I hope that he’ll improve just like I hope the rest of the team will improve. If he can have a consistent good performance, he’ll give us a chance to be successful. Richard Brehaut will continue to get reps and continue to compete.”

On last season’s last-minute win over Stanford, and how it bodes for Craft:
“I think all positive memoires are goods. They certainly beat the alternative. I think that can only be helpful. It’s a different team, a better team that we’re playing. Hopefully we are, too.”

On how the Kansas State win reaffirmed faith in Craft:
“I think it’s not so much their faith in him, I think they were just happy for him. He’s a very popular player amongst his teammates. They respect him for the way he’s handled the adversity, for the way he kept getting up despite some tough licks he took a year ago, both literally and figuratively. I think they admire the fact that he wasn’t pouting when it wasn’t going to be his turn. Competitors sense that in other competitors, and they respect it.”

On how last season’s turnovers affect this year:
“I haven’t thought about that, and hopefully Kevin isn’t thinking about it. This is a different team and Kevin is a diff player. I don’t want to give him any negative thoughts to harbor on. We all know we can’t turn the ball over and be a successful team. He’s got big boy shoulder pads. He can handle it.”

On the cornerback battle:
“Right now Sheldon Price is on top of that spot. We’ll wait until absolutely necessary to making that decision. It’s a comfort factor as we put in the defensive game plan, matchups, all that stuff goes into it. Right now (he’s starting) because of how he played against Kansas State and his size.”

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Neuheisel On: General Thoughts

Opening thoughts:
“The bye was important, and I think we got done what we needed to get done. Especially for the youngsters on the team. But we’ve got a tremendous task at hand here with Stanford. They are a very, very good football team, very well coached, very sound, and playing very well. It’s a huge challenge for us as we enter Pac-10 play. The experience of having been on the road at Tennessee will be helpful in that we know what it takes to concentrate on the road, to play in a tough environment and find a way to win.”

On the magnitude of the game:
“I think the players understand that this is our Pac-10 opener, and we’re playing the first-place team in the Pac-10. A very, very worthy football team. We’re going onto foreign soil again, and all those are challenges and have to be met with great concentration and great effort. For our fans, I’m excited that they’re mentioning the term ‘big game.’ That’s fun for them.’”

On how the Pac-10 is shaping up:
“I said it before we took the field against Kansas State, after what had taken place that day on TV, that the cards were being reshuffled in the Pac-10. Certainly last weekend did nothing to dispel that notion. It’s a very, very competitive conference and you better line up each weekend or you’re going to get one in the chops.”

On coming out to play every week:
“From where this team has come from were well aware that great performances are a mandatory thing to get victories in this league. You can’t happen into one. You have to play. I think our guys are excited about the chance to do it again. It’s an ABC game. It’s exciting. But we have to block out the excitement and make sure we’re getting the painstaking work done.”

On knowing where his team stands after three games:
“We have to line up and see how it goes before we know. But I do have optimism for the way were playing. I do believe we can go toe to toe. I think we’re improved, and hopefully the improvement right now will escalate.”

On what it will take for him to know for sure his talent level:
“Time. This is now the fifth week of an offensive line coming together. Even though we’ve had to change the QB position, the QBs are starting to get comfortable with some of the run schemes, play actions off of them. Now we have to settle in at the receiver spot so that we can get the timing down. I don’t think we have to wait for another season or another offseason or spring ball. We have to be urgent in the details.”

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