Tuesday's practice had the team getting ready for Thursday's prime time, nationally televised, seen by possible future recruits game, and Rick Neuheisel knew that the players could not be caught up in the bright lights.
"Being dazzled by a crowd, geting ourselves behind early - if we can come out and get off to a good start and let the game settle in to being a good game and feel good about ourselves with the way we begin the game, we'll have enough to stay in for 60 minutes," Rick Neuheisel said.
Neuheisel, despite having a seat that some may describe as toasty, is still optimistic about this season. UCLA still has a chance to play in the inaugural Pac-12 Conference Championship game.
"I think my guys are excited about being in the race," he said. "We've got a chance with a victory this week to be in first place. That's what we are focusing on."
"There's always some trepidation if you're an old man and you're putting a guy in who's never been in before, but that's for me," Neuheisel said. "He doesn't feel any of that at all. He can't wait. He's got a big grin on his face and is excited about getting in the game."
You have to love the enthusiasm from the kid.
"Or the other way to look at it is both are doing well and both are getting better and both are deserving. I prefer that approach."
Jon Gold also noted that Stan McKay, Kevin Prince and Tyler Gonzalez had a good practice, all gaining more confidence as we head into Thursday's game with Arizona. If you haven't watched this week's Rick Neuheisel show, Tyler Gonzalez was a guest, so check it out if you get a chance. It usually airs on FSPT in the LA Area, and I have watched it on FCS-Pacific on Comcast at odd hours.
UCLA released the official injury report:
- Anthony Barr, FB (right knee) Out
- Richard Brehaut, QB (left ankle) Out
- Jamie Graham, CB (left knee) Out
Alex Mascarenas, S (head(concussion)) Out (he really wants to play!)
- David Allen, LB (right knee) Doubtful (he probably won't play, as per his twitter)
- Kip Smith, K (right quad) Questionable
- Sheldon Price, CB (right knee) Probable
I also want to point you to a piece written by Gold, which graded the football team at the half, and compare it to our ongoing GPA posts about the team. Gold has us at a cumulative 1.89 (check my math, South Campus people) and we have a 1.50. Peter Yoon has us at a 1.90. Academic probation, for sure.