Neuheisel squelches talk of controversy

UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel told reporters during a Sunday conference call that if healthy, sophomore Kevin Prince will be the starting quarterback for the Bruins’ matchup at Cal on Saturday at 12:30 p.m.

“He says he feels good today,” Neuheisel said. “We’ll wait and see what he looks like on Tuesday. No more (X-rays) or anything, just a basis of how he feels. I just saw him, and he said he felt great.”

Sophomore Richard Brehaut led UCLA to a 42-28 win over Washington on Saturday at the Rose Bowl after being told on Friday that he was starting in place of Prince, who suffered a knee injury in a 34-12 Week 4 win over Texas.

Brehaut completed 12-of-23 passes for 128 yards and had a crucial one-yard touchdown run as the Bruins rebounded from a 28-20 deficit. Brehaut’s 128 passing yards were the most the offense has had this season.

“I thought he played pretty darn good,” Neuheisel said. “He had a couple of really good plays. Some inexperience showed up at times. Ran himself into some problems, didn’t realize how to take advantage of some protection issues. But for a first time out, I thought he was terrific.”

After the game, Brehaut said he was most pleased with the way he ran the offense, particularly his reads in the zone run of the Pistol offense, which led to 437 rushing yards, the school’s highest total since 1979.

“I don’t think there was one time where we were in the wrong call,” Brehaut said. “That’s my job as a quarterback. It’s not about hitting every ball. It’s not about the great runs. It’s about making the sure offense is in the right call every time. We had some audibles; on that last score we were in a zone-read, and I saw that there was two guys coming off the weak side, and I checked it to an inside zone play on the strong side, and we ended up scoring.
“That’s what it’s about as a quarterback.”

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email
  • Anonymous

    it should be

  • Martin

    Is it clear to anyone how much of a better QB Brehuat is than Prince. I was at the game and it was clear to me that RB has a better feel of the game, stronger arm, and better mechanics than Prince.

    And it irks me like hell to hear Chow downplay and flat out diminish BR play by giving him a backhanded complement

    “The plan was evident: Get Brehaut in a rhythm with short, simple throws. “Anybody can make those,” offensive coordinator Norm Chow said. (see link: http://espn.go.com/blog/los-angeles/ucla/post/_/id/2932/richard-brehauts-first-start-a-successful-one#more). If Chow’s comment were true Prince would make those throws but has proven on a consistent bases he can’t.

    Fact of the matter is RB is a better throwing qb and with enough time under center he would be a better overall qb with tons more upside than Prince. To me Prince has hit his ceiling and has proven to be injury prone. And if anyone believes Hundley will simply walk into Westwood and take over the starting qb position then they need to watch Friday’s game. I say its better to go for a long term winning strategy by letting RB start and develop so that UCLA can have a balanced offense to go along with the defense.

  • danny

    Brehaut just struggled to beat a pretty good high school team. Last week Prince beat the #7 team in the country. There isn’t any comparison; Prince is the better QB and it’s not close. Of course, Martin, you know more than Chow and Neuheisel and have been at every practice and every film study, so you know much more. This Brehaut argument is tiresome; Prince is the No. 1 for a reason. Norm Chow has a bit of experience on this issue, why don’t you try trusting him?

  • Semi-Pro

    Brehaut is absolutely NOT a threat to run, which is what the Pistol offense demands. I like the kid, but he’s more suited for a pro-style offense.

  • Martin

    Darn danny you got me. I had no idea Prince single-handedly beat #7 Texas all by himself with a god like performance. I mean just look at his stats, he went wait for . . . 5-8, 27 yards passing. If that doesn’t jump out at you I don’t know what will. Clearly danny you know how to spot a top-tier qb. I don’t know why we haven’t started a heisman campaign for Prince seeing as he’s lighting it up in the stats column.

    Facts are facts. Last week we won due to our great defense and amazing running game (Oline). This week we almost lost because our defense laid an egg and got burned in the secondary.

    Prince, danny, is the number 1 qb because Chow has a man crush on him. Prince is a better QB b/c he has more game time experience. If Brehaut were given the opportunities Prince was given UCLA would be in a better position right now. Prince should be, hands down, head and shoulders ahead of Brehaut but he isn’t. Prince redshirted his freshman year and has a whole year of game time experience yet still can’t hit open receivers and constantly overthrowing his targets.

    And btw your argument of trusting experts simply because they have years of experience is also tiresome. Just look across the way to SUC and how GREAT they are doing listening to Monty Kiffin.

    But you know what its alright. I am confident that Prince won’t make it till the end of the season as he’s injury prone. I only take comfort in knowing that Brehaut is his backup and so should you. Don’t worry danny there will be plenty of room for you in the wagon when Brehaut lights it up.

  • Dean

    This offense requires making the correct reads. Both QBs have shown success at that. Chow and Nueheisal have insisted that Prince is a better game manager … that should the point of argument.

    How much do passing statistics don’t matter when we’re racking up all these yards on the ground? How much are the WRs to blame for the very publicized drops? How has the o-line’s struggles in pass protection contributed?

    In my opinion, this is a moot point. We have two QBs capable of showcasing our two star running backs. The players elected Prince as their team captain, so that to me is the deciding factor.

    But Brehaut was far from perfect or clearly better yesterday. Despite what he’s saying above, I don’t think he made the perfect read every time. He sent our RBs into a wall of defenders a few times when he should have optioned into a run/pass.

  • Anonymous

    martin:

    most of us are not as gifted about spotting qb talent as you are, and are forced to rely on the head coach or offensive coordinator to decide which qb to use. that being said, most of us also know it is a team game, and after enduring the BO/pat cowan competition, really don’t care which ucla qb starts, we just care that he wins and plays his best for us. as long as we win, most of us won’t whine or complain about the qb situation, but we will defend your right to go on whining about which qb should play. you can whine and complain about how the coaches intentionally diminish their young quarterbacks, too. if we all were not so starved for ucla fb info, more peeps would simply skip your future comments.

  • bbruin

    Semi-Pro is right.

    RB might be the better thrower, he gets rid of the ball faster/quicker release. KP is the better read/option guy at this point and he is definitely faster than RB. It’s a toss up but I would still go with (a healthy) KP due to experience and less chance of mistakes. The problem is how will an injury plagued QB stay healthy in this offense?

    Both these guys were expecting a ProStyle O when they came here. Hundley is probably better suited for this O than either as long as he is not injury prone.

  • werner

    im with martin all the way. chow has a man crush with prince but as long as we win i dont care. i do believe RB is a better QB and if he was given a fair chance he will be our staring QB. Prince will get hurt again and chow and RN will take a chance with him even if that means he gets no reps before a game. in case you people have forgotten remember what happen at K-STATE i was angry when they decided to go with prince. i will be shock if RB does not think about transfering after this season.. hell look at SUC they have according to them the best coaching staff in the nation and yet that does not mean crap in the end..

  • danny

    Martin, you clearly know much more than the coaches at UCLA. You saw Brehaut struggle to beat a fairly good, but not great, high school team yesterday. Prince beat the number 7 team in the country. But clearly you know more than Coach Chow, who’s seen a couple of QBs in his time. Ever even been to a practice?

  • danny

    i didn’t think my first post went through, sorry for the repetitiveness.

  • BAM

    It all depends on what you want to see. If you like Prince, you see it one way and if you like Bre you look at it another way. The only thing that counts, in my view, is what the coaches see and think. They are not going to play one person over another if it means that the team is in a worse position to win. Not at this level. No way. I see it Prince and don’t even think it is that close. He has a stronger arm, better game manager, better runner, bigger threat, etc. The only point of agreement with Martin is the durability issue. Just as KP gets some momentum he has a set back. Personally, I look at the rest of the QBs in the Pac-10 and wonder why we cannot recruit better.

  • Anonymous

    Martin must be Brehaut’s dad. Yeah, let’s start Brehaut – the guy who didn’t fully know the playbook in the fall scrimmage and made up one of the plays that wasn’t even in the playbook (according to Chow).

  • Mackenzie Baldridge

    I totally agree with danny on this. Kevin is a better qb. ya RB did look good out there against Washington st. but they are called a team that looks like a good hs team and Kevin looked good against Texas which is ranked 7th. you cant compare these games. people said that washington st. has one of the worst defensive lines any1 has ever seen and people have said texas has one of the best. Kevin prince is by far the better qb. Martin look u said that we had a great running game against texas which we did and kevin didnt do anything but i dont know if you saw the last game because im pretty sure coleman and franklin won the game for us with their amazing runs and RB does not at all have the speed that Kevin does

  • Mackenzie Baldridge

    I totally agree with danny on this. Kevin is a better qb. ya RB did look good out there against Washington st. but they are called a team that looks like a good hs team and Kevin looked good against Texas which is ranked 7th. you cant compare these games. people said that washington st. has one of the worst defensive lines any1 has ever seen and people have said texas has one of the best. Kevin prince is by far the better qb. Martin look u said that we had a great running game against texas which we did and kevin didnt do anything but i dont know if you saw the last game because im pretty sure coleman and franklin won the game for us with their amazing runs and RB does not at all have the speed that Kevin does

  • tom962

    Maybe there’s a shadow of an argument if we had a passing offense (good pass blocking and receivers who got open when they’re not playing Wazzu, the worst team in Division I). But we don’t. Prince is the better QB for the Pistol and it’s not close. No way Brehaut scores on the long TD run against Texas. With Prince, we have a running threat in our QB, which he showed against Texas. Brehaut did his job against Wazzu and I’m glad – but let’s not get carried away by an adequate performance by our backup QB against a horrible team.

  • http://http:://www.yahoo.com BruinRob

    I’ve been a Brehaut fan ever since he was at Los Osos, he’s a very confident kid that believes in himself and it was apparent that the team on the field also believed in him. From the get go, RB was making pin-point accuracy passes, and as for his speed, I don’t think Prince is much faster than Brehaut, if at all.

    Brehaut loves running with the ball, in high school he reminded me a lot of Tim Tebow he has the knack for eluding tacklers, and putting the hurt on the DBs, and if given a chance all you nay sayers will see that Brehaut is much better than what some of you think. Kevin Prince or Richard Brehaut, either one will be fine with me, but being a

    Brehaut fan, I would be ecstatic to see him in the QB role…and YES, I do believe that Prince is Chow’s “prince” and that Neuheisel does not want to rock the boat with Chow by insisting on Brehaut to be the QB. Go Bruin!!

    Win On!!

  • Coach Thom

    Why is no one questioning why Darius Bell isn’t getting a look-in? It must be because The Revolver demands accurate, split-second reads on the part of the QB and the correct decision to follow. I’m sure Darius can throw quite well, and I know he can run like a gazelle, so maybe there’s something more to being a Revolver QB than having top-notch physical skills. I don’t have the opportunity to see any practice sessions, so I will have to go with the coaches’ decisions. At the moment, Prince roolz in Westwood. So be it. Now, on to Berkeley and beat the Bears!!!!!

  • highlander

    I think Brehaut is a better passer, but Prince is a better runner and athlete. Most importantly, against a good team I think Prince is a better leader. Brehaut will get plenty more chances though since Prince is too fragile to play big time football. Glad we have them both!!

  • VBs Cat

    i say start Prince, since i feel he’s better at running the Pistol even though i feel RB has the better arm. Plus to me you dont lose your Job because youre injured(see Coleman vs Jones. i want to see MJ more). If RB beats KP all week during practice so be it.

    Atleast We can say we have a QB battle here at UCLA. Havent said that in a long time

  • The Big Woof!

    Your title seems to be wrong as far as the contributors to this blog are concerned – all I see is a bunch of extremely knowledgable people (sic.) continuing to stir it up. And of course, they all know more than the coaches and have no agendas themselves!!
    I’m glad the coaching staff listens to each other and not all our so called “experts,” and there IS no controversy where it counts.

  • sandiegobruinfan

    Prince is the starter this weekend unless his health dictates otherwise. Brehaut got some valuable game experience against Wazzu and will be a huge asset to step in if Prince is injured or is ineffective running the offense.

    I only played high school ball and I’m certainly not smart enough to be a coach but I’ll play one on the blog this morning. There is SO much more that goes into a successful passing attack than how a QB throws the ball…are the receivers running proper routes and getting separation, are they making catches when they can and should, is the O-line giving sufficient protection to allow the QB to make at least 2 proper reads in his progression, was the offense lined up properly to run the particular passing play,…and yes of course the QB still has to be able to accurately deliver the ball.

    Take nothing away from Brehaut who had a solid performance against Wazzu, but our passing schemes were essentially limited to basic hitches. In fairness we had a similar scheme against Texas although even that was tough as Prince barely had time to make a single read against the ‘Horns pass rush.

    The newfound bruising running attack will carry the Bruin offensive torch this season and unless something drastic happens to the passing game, Prince (or Brehaut) just needs to be adequate to keep opposing defenses honest.

    Go Bruins!

  • Johnny Angel

    The Brehaut Prince controversy is another example of the flaw in Chow’s method. He picks a guy and says this is my guy, end of story.

    It is a Bruin remake of the old sc movie about two quarterbacks, Cassel and Leinart. Like in the original, for whatever reason, Chow picked the lesser player and stuck with him. (One guy is a starting qb and the other was recently out of football and is now the third string qb of the Texans.)

    Hopefully, like Cassel who seldom played at sc and never started a game there, Brehaut will continue to work hard and find some success at the next level because barring injury to Prince Chow isn’t going to give him his due.

  • Sleepy LaBeef

    IMHO: I agree with the posters who opine that Brehaut has a better arm than Prince, at least on short patterns. Prince has a tendency to sail the ball. Brehaut throws a crisper, more accurate ball. Neither has shown much proficiency on longer throws.

    Prince so far has been a better runner, and appears to have a better command of this offense, which is undoubtedly why he is favored by the coaching staff. However, he has had very little practice time with the receivers, and it shows. They have no timing and no rhythm. If Prince can’t practice on Tuesday and Wednesday, which are “install” days, he shouldn’t play on Saturday.

    The wild card with Brehaut is experience. The more he plays, the better he’ll get at making reads, and knowing when to pull the ball back and run.

    Bottom line: if Prince practices all week, he should start. Hopefully the practice time will yield better results in the passing game.

  • Superbruin

    From last year’s game on the road against WSU:

    “Kevin Prince threw for 314 yards and ran for a touchdown as UCLA beat Washington State 43-7 on Saturday in a showdown of the bottom two teams in the Pacific-10.”

    Brehaut looked ok at times and it seems like he throws a pretty catchable ball…but that WSU defense is just not that good. If KP is healthy, Bruins score 60 points.

  • Mike H class of 90

    First and foremost, I’d like to congratulate Neuheisel and Chow for even putting Brehaut in this week. Regardless of who is “best”, this officially puts KP on notice that he can’t miss practice and still expect to start. Just as important is Brehaut getting important reps in the Pistol – seems like he was pretty good running the show, particularly in tight situations. Glad to have him get that experience that he will need if Prince misses any more time.

  • anon

    It still puzzles me since Brehaut wasn’t redshirted why he wasn’t used last year when Prince was hurt and UCLA was going nowhere. What was the point of using senior Kevin Craft? I think Brehaut should see the writing on the wall and get somewhere he can use his passing skills and the coaches aren’t so down on him which they clearly are.

  • Martin

    Anon -

    I completely agree with your sentiment.

  • Johnny Angel

    @anon 11:07

    The real question, which indirectly influenced why Brehaut did not redshirt last year, is why did they start Prince? Craft played as well or better than Prince without getting the reps in spring ball and practice. The coaches misjudged the situation and that led to Brehaut not redshirting last year.