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Neuheisel still undecided on a quarterback

8/21/2011

UCLA's scrimmage Saturday night did little to settle the quarterback competition between Kevin Prince and Richard Brehaut.

According to coach Rick Neuheisel, both quarterbacks had their moments during the scrimmage--both good and bad--but neither did anything to win or lose the job.

"For the most part I thought the quarterbacks played well," Neuheisel said. "I get irritated when they miss assignments that we’ve gone over. They get A's in the classroom and we get out here and it doesn’t translate to the actual testing area and so we’ve got to continue to make sure that there’s not so much that the saturation gets where they can’t remember what to do on the field."

Prince completed four of 11 passes for 81 yards, though receivers Josh Smith and Nelson Rosario had bad drops that cost him completions. He also rushed five time for 11 yards, including a five-yard touchdown. Brehaut completed seven of 12 passes for 75 yards and had a potential touchdown pass dropped by tight end Jordan Barrett. He rushed three times for 12 yards.

Neither quarterback had a pass intercepted and both completed long passes, but both made mistakes in reading the defenses, Neuheisel said, but he shouldered some of the blame for that.

"Easy things that they have all the right answers to when we’re in there and I’m asking them on the board," he said. "The professor has to take responsibility for that, not necessarily the pupil. I’ve got to make sure they know what they are doing."

Brehaut led the offense to two touchdowns and a field goal in his four drives. Prince failed to get a score with the offense in his first three drives, but led a touchdown drive in his fourth. The quarterbacks alternated playing with the first team offense, but Prince faced the first-team defense three times while Brehaut did not face the first-team defense.

Neuheisel said those things will not factor into his decision.

"I’m not weighing their performance based on who is in the game," Neuheisel said.

Brehaut said he would like to get a shot at facing the first-team defense more often, but said he can't get caught up in things he can't control.

"All I can worry about is doing my part and whoever we’re going against, whichever team I’m with, do the right thing, make the right calls and make the right reads," he said. "All I worry about is leading that group down the field and scoring touchdowns."

Prince, who won the job over Brehaut the last two seasons but missed half of last season and all of spring football after a knee injury that required surgery, seemed to be the favorite to win the job entering camp, but Brehaut has gained ground. He, too, is only focused on doing his job and not which defense he is going up against or the fact that he's almost always with the first team.

"I’m not reading into it too much," Prince said. "I don’t feel like it puts me anywhere further in the quarterback competition because Richard has been playing great so there is still a lot more competing to do."

Prince would like to know what Neuheisel's decision is going to be, however.

"Obviously with the Houston game coming up so quickly, it would be nice to know if I’m the starter or not," he said. "I’m just preparing like I am the starter and I know Richard is doing the same. So I’m not too concerned about when they are going to name the starter, but obviously it would be nice if they did it sooner rather than later."

Neuheisel offered no timetable on when he would make the decision.

"I’m going to know when I know and then I’ll let you all know," he said.