Rick Neuheisel watches Jerry Neuheisel lead UCLA past Texas

It was almost too perfect.

Three decades after his father led UCLA to the Rose Bowl, Jerry Neuheisel’s dreams came true. In three-plus quarters of injury relief for Brett Hundley, the redshirt sophomore completed 23 of his 30 passes for 178 yards — guiding the Bruins to a 20-17 win over Texas at AT&T Stadium.

And of course, the coup de grâce: his 33-yard pass to Jordan Payton for the game-winning touchdown.

Back at the Pac-12 Networks in San Francisco, Rick Neuheisel watched the whole thing.

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Who was the last to play both ways the way Myles Jack did?

My story in today’s Los Angeles Daily News tries to figure out comparisons for the two-way eruption UCLA linebacker Myles Jack had this past weekend. You probably won’t guess at least one of the names mentioned.

Not in the article was how well Jack has handled the attention so far. Continue reading

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Dan Guerrero’s contract extended through 2019

UCLA announced Thursday that it has extended athletic director Dan Guerrero’s contract through 2019.

The Bruins have won 22 NCAA national championships since Guerrero was appointed in 2002, guiding the program to what chancellor Gene Block said is a “national example of how intercollegiate athletics serve and further the mission of higher education.”

The new contract is retroactive to April 1, and will replace the one that expired on March 31. Guerrero has a rolling five-year clause that would have taken effect had there not been an extension. As the the Daily Bruin first reported, Guerrero will be paid $734,774 with an annual 5 percent increase.

His new term of appointment will end on Dec. 31, 2019.

Prior to the extension, Guerrero was already the highest-paid athletic director at a Pac-12 public school with $715,211 in guaranteed salary.

The school said in a press release that no tuition or state funds were used in his compensation, which comes from athletic department revenues and private fundraising. Continue reading

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Neuheisel On:

On Wednesday’s practice:
“We’re right on schedule with respect to our plan, with respect to the eagerness to play. We’re very respectful of our opponent, but we’re anxious to play. We’ll keep putting the finishing touches as the week goes on, but I like where we are.”

On the excitement of the Stanford game:
“The guys are into it, there’s certainly an eagerness associated with this kind of game – opening Pac-10 game and ABC has picked us for that 12:30 slot. It’s exciting for the UCLA football program to be thought of in this way. Now we have to go play like we need to play to get this opportunity again.”

On winning on the road in the Pac-10
“Road wins in this conference are kind of difficult. Everybody is kind of finding that out. It takes a special kind of mindset. Fortunately we had a good road test going to Tennessee. I know that doesn’t count for any points in this game, but certainly we go in expecting good things of ourselves. When you except that, rather than wonder that, you can focus on the things that are going to help you win.”

On Stanford’s offensive line:
“They’re a very good looking offensive line. Very sound. They’ve got two young players on the front who, just like our younger players, are playing very well. They’ve got a toughness about them. It’s obvious they preach that toughness.”

On the eagerness to play:
“I just think our guys are dying to play and to prove that what’s happened thus far is not a fluke. The only way to do that is to prove it on a weekly basis. We’re trying to get that done.”

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Neuheisel On:

On Tuesday’s practice:
I was pleased to see the intensity of the work. We understand the quality of the opponent, and our guyas are aware that it will take a big-time effort to get it done.

On blaring “Hokey-Pokey” over the loudspeakers:
“We’ve got some guys who haven’t been listening to me when I say I’m going to make them go to class. We have a little bit of a regimen they’re going to have to go through now they’ve missed class. That’s the music they’re going to be doing it to. We call them the roly-polies, and hokey-pokey’s as close as I can get.”

On field position:
“It’s important when you feel like you need to protect your defense. When you feel like you’re playing defense with your offense. You’re trying to keep the ball away from them, you’re trying to make the opponent impatient. That’s not necessarily the case against a Stanford team that’s going to pound and pound and pound. I’m not sure it’s as meaningful statistic in games like this.”

On starting the same offensive line for four straight weeks:
“The offensive line might be the most important group that has that continuity. They just all have to be on the same page. The communication that’s going on in the trenches is huge, and when you get good at it, you start using dummy calls, and then the defense really doesn’t know what the heck’s going on.”

On competition on the offensive line:
“You still want to keep competition going – that’s always going to be the hallmark of a program – but you have to be able to count on guys. When another guy comes in, it’s like a badge of honor to be part of it.”

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