Neuheisel ON: The Stanford game

Opening thoughts:
“I love everything about this job. I love the planning. I love the strategy involved. I love the interaction with young people. I love recruiting. I like alumni. I even like emails from disgruntled alumni
I just don’t like losing. The key is getting rid of that feeling as quickly as humanly poss. Were on to the next game; it’s a great test for us. It’s fun to think about playing the No. 13 team in the country in the rose bowl. We had a good game with us a year ago. They got us in the end. But our guys are going to respond in the exact right way. Every time we’ve asked them too, including being down 24-6 in this last game and battling back with a chance to tie it. I still feel good about our program. We’re still relentlessly positive. We’ve just got to get better on both sides of the ball.”

On the Stanford loss being a momentary setback or symptomatic of what ails UCLA:
“I think momentary setback. You have to give credit to Stanford. They played very, very well. They had one turnover in the game in the first drive that we turned into points. A couple of things that could have been plays for us that didn’t turn out that way. They made their big plays. The flea flicker and another big deep ball that got them down inside the 10. In terms of what ails us, we’d like, to get chunks of big yardage too, we just haven’t had the ability to get that done. That’s one thing that does ail us, and we have to keep looking for chances for some chunks of yardage.”

On not converting long plays against Stanford:
“It isn’t that we haven’t called it. Sometimes when you call things, different things pop up within the defense. We did have the op against Kansas State and we hit it for a touchdown. Part of it is wanting to stay within the comfort zone of players who are on the field. Some of it is bad luck in terms of timing.”

On not hitting the deep pass:
“It’s a combination of things. Sometimes protection is not quite holding up long enough to hit the ball downfield. Sometimes it’s a pressure that you have to throw the ball hot rather than get the ball down the filed. Sometimes it’s a quarterback seeing something else and taking something that isn’t as big as a play as you might have had. We need to keep bringing focus to it.
“I feel that we’ve got the best play-caller in the business in the standpoint of calling his spots. I’m not going to second guess him. You don’t have to go back very far to see plays that are very explosive.”

On the Wildcat formation with Christian Ramirez for one play:
“We jumped offsides, were trying to figure out exactly why. Because it was new for Christian, and didn’t know if there wasn’t some unsettling, we just decided it wasn’t prudent to go back to it.”

On his role in the play-calling:
“I just follow along and keep reminding about situations. I look on the list and try to give up ideas that haven’t been thought of. Again, its timing. You don’t want to be so vocal that you’re interrupting the rhythm of the play callers. We saw a lot more nickel, which means a lot more Two High, which means you have to be a lot more underneath. The chances were diminished when you get that. It isn’t lost on us that we haven’t been a downfield offense. Especially as we keep bringing in more speed.”

On the deep pass:
“You have to be able to stretch the field both horizontally and vertically. Everybody just wants to see deep balls. Long throws in the air, it’s exciting. It’s a big play. It’s like a play at the plate loves to see it and see what’s going to happen to happen with the ball in the air. But you have to have the ability to make them play the entire field before you start seeing the heave and hoes.”

On the sky is falling mentality after one loss:
“If we can find a way to win this weekend, it will be, ‘Look, here come the Bruins.’ It’s a great time of year, and we can’t wallow in the pity of a defeat. We have to focus on the task at hand which is to get ready for the No. 13 team in the country and be excited about it. Use all the stuff that churns competitive people into a positive and get it done.
“Look at Oregon. They took one on the chin in the opening game and you would’ve thought the sky has fallen with all the stuff that’d gone on with the program. Four weeks later, they’re the No. 13 team in the country.”

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  • Anonymous

    “Part of it is wanting to stay within the comfort zone of players who are on the field.”

    Translation: Our quarterback can’t throw the ball with any accuracy past 20 yards.

  • UB (Ultimate Bruin)

    Let’s all take a deep breathe. I, too, sat there on Saturday frustrated at the offense and its inability to move the ball effectively. It had some spurts, but could not sustain any momentum.

    If there is anything such as a ‘good’ loss, this may have been it. At least it wasn’t a 59-0 meltdown. At least the Bruins made it a game in the 2nd half. At least they didn’t fold their tent like to KD teams. At least we gave up less points to Furd than the Dawgs.

    I sulked Saturday night and on the plane ride back home Sunday, but when I apply some perspective, it was not a BAD loss.


  • theuclan

    Still would like to see coach let Craft throw the ball more! he looked pretty good saturday. The stanford O line just dominated us! Price may be a stud but he needs to lose some LBs!!! He gets winded too quick out there and has to come out.