During his speech Friday at the Pasadena Quarterbacks Club at Brookside Country Club in Pasadena, Rick Neuheisel encouraged the Bruins fans in attendance to remain optimistic, despite the 0-2 start.
After all, this isn’t the first time Neuheisel has endured an 0-2 start to the season.
During his first season at Washington (1999-2000), Neuheisel lost to BYU and Air Force, before the Huskies rebounded to win seven of their final 10 games, including a 6-2 record for a second-place finish in the Pacific-10 Conference and an appearance in the Holiday Bowl, where Washington lost to Kansas State 24-20.
“I told my coaching staff, ‘We can’t win the Mountain West, but we can still win the Pac-10, so let’s find a way to do so,’” Neuheisel said. “And we came within a whisker of doing so, even beating conference champion Stanford (35-30).”
In Neuheisel’s second year at Washington, the Huskies went 11-1 — including a victory over then No. 1 Miami (Fla.) — and defeated a Drew Brees-led Purdue team in the Rose Bowl 34-24 to finish ranked third in the country. That victory helped Neuheisel become the only Rose Bowl MVP to also coach a team to victory in the annual New Year’s Day game.
“When I walked in here (to Brookside Country Club), I saw a lot of people feeling sorry for me, but that shouldn’t be the case,” Neuheisel told the audience. “Sure I’m disappointed in the way we’ve been playing, but you’ve got to continue to believe it can happen and find a way to get over the hump.
“There’s plenty of good seats available on the bandwagon now right up near in the front because a lot of people have jumped off,” Neuheisel continued. “If you have gotten off, that’s fine, but there’s still time to get back on because I wouldn’t want you to miss being part of an unbelievable ride.”