UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel said during Sunday’s conference call with reporters that junior quarterback Richard Brehaut could be out as much as 3-to-6 weeks after breaking his lower left leg in the second quarter of the Bruins’ 28-25 win over Washington State on Saturday night at the Rose Bowl.
Brehaut was injured on a quarterback keeper with 9 minutes, 58 seconds remaining in the game with UCLA trailing 6-0 but driving. He popped up from the ground, walked a few steps and then fell to the ground once more, requiring assistance off the field.
Neuheisel said that the exact healing time was unknown, and that Brehaut has been quick to recover from injury before, so he’s not ruling out a return this season.
“It’s tough, establishing myself as the quarterback and then for something like this to happen,” said Brehaut, who was named starting quarterback before Week 4 after relieving junior Kevin Prince in the second quarter of a Week 3 loss to Texas. “But everything happens or a reason, and hopefully I can be back in time for the season.”
Prince entered the game and promptly completed a scoring drive, with a 41-yard pass to Nelson Rosario setting up a one-yard Derrick Coleman score, before finishing 8-of-13 passing for 153 yards and two scores.
After an interception in the end zone toward the end of the second quarter cost the Bruins a scoring opportunity, Prince regained his composure. He led the Bruins on a scoring drive to open the second half and another touchdown drive midway through the fourth quarter, his 19-yard connection with sophomore wide receiver Shaquelle Evans proving the difference.
“It’s not as bad when Kevin steps up like he did and plays the way he did and led those guys. I’m proud as hell of him. Coming from his situation, what he’s been through this year, that says all about his character, and I believed in him and in this team.”
With Brehaut’s injury, Neuheisel said freshman quarterback Brett Hundley would move into the No. 2 position at quarterback during the team’s bye week before preparing for a Thursday tilt at Arizona next week, and that Hundley’s practice reps would increase as a result. Neuheisel also said that the team could tweak the quarterback’s running responsibilities in games to try to keep Prince healthy.
“It changes things from the standpoint of his reps in practice,” Neuheisel said of Hundley. “With Richard unable to go, Brett will get more work in practice, and he’ll have to be ready in the event Kevin gets nicked. That’s happened before, as we all know. We’re fortunate we have an extra week, and if we can create training camp the next three days, maybe we can accelerate his progress.”