The disappointment of last Thursday's loss to Arizona has lingered long enough for the UCLA football team and the Bruins can't wait to get back on the field Saturday against California.
The best way to rid themselves of that nasty taste will be to get off to a fast start, but the Bruins aren't exactly know for those. They have scored first in a game only one time this season, when they took a 7-0 lead against San Jose State.
UCLA has been outscored, 51-21, in the first quarter this season and 144-60 in the first half. Last week, Arizona bolted to a 42-7 halftime lead. The game before that, UCLA needed a fourth-quarter comeback to defeat Washington State and before that, Stanford raced to a 17-0 lead after the Bruins squandered an opportunity to take a lead by failing to score on four straight plays form inside the five.
Even against Oregon State, in a game in which UCLA held a 21-3 lead at one point, the Beavers struck first for a 3-0 lead.
"The last couple of weeks it been an issue and we’ve got to rectify it," Neuheisel said. "We’ve got to start faster, there’s no question about it."
And that's doubly important this week given the thrashing UCLA took last week. Another slow start and early deficit might send the team into a hole.
"It’s always important to get off to a good start," Neuheisel said. "We can’t go in the tank if they get off to a fast start, but we’ve got to make sure that we do everything we can to start quickly and play aggressively from the get go."