Coach Rick Neuheisel announced Sunday night during his weekly conference call with reporters that Richard Behaut will be the starting quarterback when UCLA opens Pac-12 play Saturday at Oregon State.
He said Brehaut "played pretty darn well" and deserved the nod, considering Kevin Prince was sent to the bench after three first-quarter interceptions in UCLA's 49-20 loss to Texas.
"At that point you are wondering about a young man’s confidence and I have the luxury of another guy that’s experienced so that’s why I made the switch," Neuheisel said.
The bench wasn't the only place Prince went. He also went to the locker room to get X-rays on his ailing right shoulder, Neuheisel said. That's the same shoulder injury that knocked him out of UCLA's season opener at Houston and kept him sidelined for the Bruins' Week 2 victory over San Jose State.
The X-rays were negative, Neuheisel said.
Other highlights from the call:
Neuheisel is still considering a package of plays for freshman quarterback Brett Hundley, but didn't sound confident in Hundley's ability to handle a game situation right now. "We'll continue to develop him and see if he can be ready," Neuheisel said. "I’m not going to make any determinations. I want to watch him continue to get better and we’ll see if there is a package for him."
With the quarterback controversy resolved for at least this week, the kicker situation will step in and take its place. Kicker Kip Smith did not dress for Saturday's loss to Texas because of a hip flexor strain and his status for this weekend is uncertain. Punter Jeff Locke filled in admirably, making field goals of 51 and 49 yards, but Neuheisel said the kicking duties would be determined on a wait-and-see basis. "We’ll see how Kip is," Neuheisel said. "They did not let him kick on Saturday. They thought his hip flexor was still too tender so they didn’t even let him try. It’s a hip flexor strain so I’ll wait and see what the trainers prescribe for him."
UCLA unveiled it's "Turbo Package" which turned out to be a no-huddle offense that didn't move particularly fast. Neuheisel said he would like it to move a little faster, but that it's not intended to be a hurry-up offense. "It’s always a question of what kind of impact it's having on the defense," Neuheisel said. "It’s a good way to play, it’s up tempo and it gets going, but when we got off to the sluggish start with the interceptions, I made the determination I wanted to slow things and right the ship, so that’s why we stopped."
Cornerback Andrew Abbott was released from the hospital Saturday night after CT scans came back normal. He will go through the concussion protocol and his status is uncertain for Saturday. If he's unable to play, it would leave the Bruins with only three healthy cornerbacks: Aaron Hester, Sheldon Price and Brandon Sermons. Vanderbilt transfer Jamie Graham is progressing in his recovery from knee surgery, but isn't likely to be ready for Saturday. "It doesn’t look promising so we’ll have to shore that up some other way," Neuheisel said.