The Bruins finished up the on-field practice portion of their ASU week preparation Thursday on Spaulding Field. With a win on Saturday putting UCLA in a tie with the Sun Devils for the Pac-12 South lead with 3 weeks remaining in the regular season, and the coaches possibly thinking - and Bruins throughout the country fearing - that a Lavin-like run through November could bail out Neuheisel and friends for another year, the coaches have spent the week stressing the players to stay focused.
"I thought our focus was right," Neuheisel said. "I thought guys understand the magnitude of the game, understand the magnitude of the opponent and I think are poised to play well. Certainly a lot of work to do between now and kickoff, but I like our situation as it sits currently."
Neuheisel and the coaching staff have been preaching focus this week, urging players to forget about the consequences of the game and worry only about playing well. They are trying to win consecutive games for the first time Since Sept. 25 and Oct. 2 of last year against Texas and Washington State.
Neuheisel said he felt as if the team gave him the type of focus he wanted. . .
No matter the circumstances surrounding the team, keeping focus is a necessity when playing against Arizona State, particularly for our offense when lining up against a Sun Devil defense that will enter the Rose Bowl 4th in the nation in takeaways, including a D-1 leading 12 fumble recoveries.
Brehaut, ... had X-rays taken Wednesday and everything checked out OK. He has been doing some light exercises on the side this week -- mostly riding an exercise bike -- but was doing some light tossing as well.
Great to hear that Richard's leg has healed quickly, and that he has reached this stage in his recovery and rehab. While it will be good to see him back under center wearing the blue and gold, the important thing is to make sure that his leg has fully healed before he sheds the red no-contact jersey in the confines of Spaulding Field, as well as enough time to return to game shape after the past few weeks off, as well as to get back into a grove with his teammates. In other injury news, Jeff Locke is listed as probable after taking a cheap-shot to the shoulder in the 1st half against Cal last week, and will play on Saturday. David Allen and Iuta Tepa are also listed as probable, while Dietrich Riley, Chris Ward and John Young are out - as are Brehaut and Tony Dye.
In his Friday notebook, Gold noted a couple of former ASU players that have since come over to the Bruin fold - Mike Johnson (who played on their '86 Rose Bowl squad) we knew, but also Jordan Zumwalt's dad, Rick, who was actually a teammate of Mike's during his time in Tempe in the mid 80's. Peter Yoon wrote about the progression of Tevin McDonald throughout his redshirt freshman season and his breakthrough performance last week against Cal.