Monday, September 12, 2011
Neuheisel perplexed by passing dropoff
By Peter Yoon
After an encouraging opening week in the passing game, UCLA took "a step backward" in that area Saturday night in a 27-17 victory over San Jose State, coach Rick Neuheisel said, and he had a hard time pinpointing the reason.
"I don't know," Neuheisel said when asked why the passing game was not efficient Saturday night. "We had shown that we are capable of it in game one. We show that we are capable of it in practice and for whatever reason we were not as efficient as we needed to be."
Quarterback Richard Brehaut completed 12 of 23 passes for 145 yards, with 43 of those yards coming on one pass. A week earlier he had completed 17 of 26 passes for 264 yards in three quarters of work. UCLA was four of 13 on third-down conversions and Brehaut completed only two of seven third-down passes.
"We took a step backwards in the throw game which surprised me," Neuheisel said. "I didn’t think we would do that. We have to look at ourselves and figure out exactly why that happened and make sure it doesn’t happen again."
Brehaut offered some insight as to what went wrong Saturday night after the game when he said he tried to do a little too much on third down situations.
"I could have done a better job of finding my underneath option," he said. "They were doing a great job of taking away our deep stuff and at times I was trying to tuck the ball and run and trying to find a crease. I've got to learn that when it's third down and long, just take that underneath route."
Kevin Prince had started against Houston but left early in the second quarter beause of a concussion and a sprained shoulder. He was available to play against San Jose State, but Neuheisel said he "didn't see a need to make that change."
He also refrained from naming a starter for Saturday's game against Texas, hinting that he wouldn't name one until game day.
"My thinking is I’ve got two quarterbacks and I’ll let you know when it’s appropriate as who is going to be in," he said. "Both will be ready to play. I’ll need to know if Kevin is healthy before he’d be considered to be the starter."