Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Dust settles on UCLA quarterback mini controversy
By Peter Yoon
Kevin Prince is still UCLA's starting quarterback.
That's not a new development, but it's worth noting because he was and then he wasn't and then he was over the last three days.
But Prince is the guy, and offensive coordinator Norm Chow said that as far as he knew, Prince was always the guy.
"I never thought there will be competition for that job," Chow said. "As far as I’m concerned Kevin Prince is our quarterback. Richard Brehaut is the backup."
Coach Rick Neuheisel said Sunday he would open the competition for the job this week in practice, but then changed his mind and announced Monday that the job belonged to Prince. On Tuesday, Prince ran most of the first-team drills and reported that he felt as healthy as he had all season.
He missed most of fall camp because of a strained oblique muscle and then practiced sparingly last week because of a sore shoulder.
"After the [Stanford] game, the next day I woke up and it felt as good as it had in a month and a half," Prince said. "Not just my shoulder, but my body as a whole."
Neuheisel said he wanted to give Prince another shot in part to help him regain some of the confidence he's lost after a rough start. Prince has completed 15 of 38 passes for 159 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions. UCLA ranks last in the nation in passing efficiency.
"We’re getting him through a rough spot and the key is for his confidence to remain intact," Neuheisel said. "If you keep yanking the chain, it’s difficult to get your confidence back. He’s in there because we believe in him."
Prince said he need only look at the numbers to understand why there was indecision on Neuheisel's part, but that he still feels he's capable of leading the UCLA offense.
"When you’re not playing well and not helping the team you've got to understand that it’s the coaches job to put someone in there who can help the team," Prince said. "I believe and obviously Coach Neuheisel and Coach Chow believe that I can still help this team win and I just have to get the job done."
Brehaut says he is fine with that decision.
"I’m going to prepare the same way if I’m the number one, two or three," Brehaut said. "If Kevin is the starter this week, that’s not going too change how I go about my approach. I don’t worry about who is going to start the game, I just worry about being ready to go in there if I’m called upon."