We are getting close to the end of the week and to the final UCLA home game of the season, and in the careers of 18 of our Bruin football players - and a number of coaches, give the need for Regime Change in the Football program and throughout Morgan Center. The main storylines surrounding the game itself include the deserved focus on those seniors, as well as the halftime commemoration of Randy Cross's induction into the College Football Hall of Fame, and even our hopes of achieving bowl eligibility and the likely bid to the Kraft Bowl that a victory over Colorado would likely bring. With that said, the big news coming out of Spaulding Field yesterday was the status of Richard Brehaut.
While Richard has recovered sufficiently from his leg fracture to participate in practice this week, Coach Neuheisel does not think he is game ready, at least in more than an emergency role.
"I don’t think Richard is quite ready," Neuheisel said. "He’s being valiant with respect to wanting to be out here, but he’s still a little bit hobbled."
"He’ll be available in an emergency, but it’s probably Brett Hundley as the backup," Neuheisel said. "I think at this point we’d need to use the best guy available and Brett is that guy right now."
Brett Hundley remains the Bruins #2 Quarterback, and would play on Saturday (burning his redshirt in the process) if Kevin Prince is injured and the outcome of the game is at all in question. As Neu told the media, Hundley is currently seen as the best option available to backup Prince in a game that has so much at stake for UCLA's season.
During his post-practice remarks to the media, Coach Neuheisel went beyond the Brehaut/Hundley update with a quick discussion of the excitement of the Pac-12 newcomers coming to LA to play their first game in the Rose Bowl as a conference member. Much of Neu and the staff's focus this week has been on Looking for a clean game, in light of the penalty-fest in Salt Lake last weekend.
The final injury report for the Colorado game was released yesterday. No real surprises on it; Alex Mascarenas was able to return to practice earlier in the week, but after a non-contact session on Wednesday did not dress yesterday and will not play be available tomorrow.
Richard Brehaut, QB (ankle), Probable
Derrick Coleman, RB (hip), Probable
Tony Dye, S (neck), Probable
Alex Mascarenas, S (concussion), Out
Dietrich Riley, S (neck), Out
Chris Ward, OL, (knee), Out
Jordan Zumwalt, LB (hip), Questionable.
The Pac-12 announced its All-Academic Football teams yesterday, and a total of 13 Bruin players made the cut, led by Malcolm Jones on the 1st team, and Anthony Barr and Jeff Locke on the 2nd team. To round things off:
Ten UCLA players earned honorable mention nods: quarterback Kevin Prince, kicker Tyler Gonzalez, linebackers Sean Westgate, Eric Kendricks, Phil Ruhl, Aramide Olaniyan and Jared Koster, long snapper Kevin McDermott, defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa and offensive lineman Chris Ward.
Otherwise, Joseph Fauria talked with Jon Gold about his expanded role in the UCLA offense this fall, particularly his improvement in run blocking. Fauria also answered some questions after practice earlier in the week. Peter Yoon wrote about the Bruins' tendency to bounce back after losses - also noting the effect of scheduling to help those brief recoveries.