Sunday, October 9, 2011
Upon further review: Neuheisel on Wazzu
By Peter Yoon
Coach Rick Neuheisel held his weekly Sunday conference call with reporters to discuss UCLA's 28-25 victory Saturday night against Washington State.
He said quarterback Richard Brehaut would probably be out anywhere form three to six weeks because of a broken fibula, but remembered that Brehaut rebounded quickly from a sprained ankle during training camp.
"The last time I was told he was hurt and was going to be down for a while, he was back in two days," Neuheisel said. "This is not a two-day injury, but this is a motivated young man who is going to do everything to get back as soon as he can."
Neuheisel also reported that defensive back Jamie Graham has an MCL injury and will be out several weeks. He said it doesn't look as if Graham will require surgery.
Graham, a transfer from Vanderbilt, missed the first four games this season while recovering from surgery on his right knee.
Receiver Shaquelle Evans, injured on what proved to be the game-winning touchdown reception, has a laceration on his face, but should be fine, Neuheisel said.
Other highlights from the call:
- Neuheisel said that he reviewed the "leaping call" that went against UCLA on a Washington State field-goal attempt and would take his findings through the proper channels. "I’m going to refrain from comment because I don’t want to get myself in any trouble," he said. "There is a protocol when we’ve got some questions with officiating that we use and we’ll stick to that." Washington State missed the field goal, but got an extra set of downs because Joe Fauria was flagged for "leaping" even though replays showed no foul. The Bruins held on three plays and forced another field-goal attempt and this time it was good and Washington State took a 9-7 lead.
- Neuheisel praised the play of the defense, which held particularly tough in the red zone as Washington State kicked four field goals. "There were some plays being made by our front guys coming off of blocks, chasing down quarterbacks and diving and making plays that were huge in the game," he said. "There were some plays being made by our secondary in terms of knocking balls down and eventually some of those balls that get tipped in the air, we’re going to catch. It’s just going to happen. The more hands we get on balls, the more opportunities we’re going to create for ourselves. But there was some flying around going on. There was some urgency and that was neat to see."
- The Pistol offense, which requires the quarterback to run on occasion, inherently puts quarterbacks at injury risk and both Kevin Prince and Brehaut have missed time because of injuries after running plays. Still, this is the offense UCLA has chosen so Prince will be asked to run it, though Neuheisel hinted that small changes could be lurking. "Kevin is an accomplished runner," Neuheisel said. "He’s proven that on more than one occasion. ... It helps make everything else go because he’s viable threat. Now, how much we do it remains a question because the more we do it the more he’s at risk so it’s a great question and one we’re going to have to work on to decide what is the right balance.
- Walk-on kicker Tyler Gonzalez, the former soccer team manager, had an "ear-to-ear grin" after making two extra points in his collegiate debut, but things might have been different. UCLA pulled to within two points on a fourth-quarter touchdown and missed the two-point conversion to keep Washington State's lead at 22-20 with 10:52 to play. The Cougars answered with a field goal and then UCLA got a touchdown, but for a minute it looked as if it might come down to a game-winning field goal attempt for Gonzalez. "I know he was sitting there looking up at the scoreboard at 22-20 going 'Wait a minute,' " Neuheisel said. Reporters asked earlier this week if Neuheisel would send Gonzalez out there in a game-winning situation. "The thought crossed my mind and I said, you know I knew those beat writers were really smart, but I didn’t realize they could actually predict the future," Neuheisel said.