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UCLA Quarterback Thoughts: Positive Vibes from Brehaut, Rooting for Prince & Meaningful Action for Hundley

Good guys. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Good guys. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Getty Images

So by now everyone knows that Brett Hundley is slotted in as the number 2 QB in the program. I think it's worth noting how all the parties involved in the latest installment of our QB drama, have handled the situation since Richard Brehaut went down with his unfortunate injury.  Brehaut to his credit has been positive:

"It's tough, establishing myself as the quarterback and then for something like this to happen," said Brehaut, who was named starting quarterback before Week 4 after relieving junior Kevin Prince in the second quarter of a Week 3 loss to Texas. "But everything happens or a reason, and hopefully I can be back in time for the season."

In addition Brehaut was very gracious towards Kevin Prince:

"It's not as bad when Kevin steps up like he did and plays the way he did and led those guys. I'm proud as hell of him. Coming from his situation, what he's been through this year, that says all about his character, and I believed in him and in this team."

For number of valid reasons Coach Rick Neuheisel has taken a lot of heat here and all over the internets this season. The reasons include his handling of the QBs in game situation early in the season. Yet I have to give him a lot of credit for the way he has been able to manage our student athletes into having a positive mindset in public despite the adversity on many friends. I do think these kinds of comments from Bre help the team. They help the chemistry around it.

As concerned I am about the overall aspect of the program, I did take note how the players fought back and showed resiliency against Washington State. Lot of that has to do with the amazing attitude from guys like Brehaut and others who have hung in there despite the tough times in Westwood.

Of course the fact that we had to be "resilient" at home against Washington State is something that we are rightfully concerned about. At the same time, I give our players a lot of credit for hanging in there and battling despite all the criticisms, coming at the program from all kinds of different angles.

Now in terms of how the rotation will work, let's delve into some of Neuheisel's comments after the jump.

Per Peter Yoon it appears that Neuheisel is not thinking about waiting around for an emergency situation to work in Hundley:

[S]eeing Hundley in a package at some point this season is all but a certainty.

"I've toyed with that idea to date, but I just haven't felt that it was worth throwing a year away for him," Neuheisel said. "But now we've got a situation where he may very well have to play and rather than wait for that time when he has to, we might get him involved."

But Neuheisel doesn't want to give up any information on exactly how Hundley will get involved.

"I'm going to keep my cards close to my vest on this one," he said. "I don't know when and what situation will prompt me to put him in the game, but I'm going to have him ready. That I need to do."

I am pretty conflicted on how I feel about all this.

I am not sure I can fault Neuheisel if he works Hundley in game situations with special packages that could give the Bruins an advantage and get Hundley a "feel" for game speed. That sounds fun but given what we have seen this year, it's tough to have the confidence that this coaching staff can pull it off. I think I have written this before but it's worth writing it again.  I can just see a nightmarish scenario unfolding where the coaches decide to run a "Hundley package" only to realize Hundley is not lined up in formation. The Bruins then frantically take a TO to get the right package in the formation only to discover Hundley didn't make it into the lineup. I know this sounds extreme but can you blame yours truly for having this kind of nightmare after what we have seen this year or in recent past?

The best case scenario here is a rejuvenated and re-inspired Prince taking total command of this team so that there is no need for Hundley. I doubt Bruins will have the luxury for using a QB in "mop up" duty in the remaining games. However, if they do, I hope coaches go with Nick Crissman. This also goes for if the Bruins find themselves in "garbage time" on the wrong side of scoreboard.

All I ask for Neuheisel at this point wrt to Hundley is to ensure that if he uses him in game situations this year - they are meaningful ones. I don't want to see the repeat of Brehaut freshman year, when his redshirt was burned during garbage time against San Diego State. He wasn't ready and his shirt was burned when Bruins had a good enough backup like Kevin Craft in place.

Anyway, good luck to Prince, Hundley and Crissman. I still think this team has a chance to make a run to get to the Pac-12 championship game. I really do given how the conference has shaped up to date this season. The team is set up perfectly with what I believe is a very winnable road game against Arizona. This is a game that has given us lot of trouble over the years. The crowd in Tucson will also be charged up for an ESPN nationally televised Thursday night game. Yet if the Bruins play up to their potential and get this win, they will be well set up to make run. Let's get this done.