With the Bruins beginning their bye week, the team's schedule is being thrown for a bit of a loop from the norm. For one, Coach Neuheisel did not have his normal Monday press conference - He did have a conference call on Sunday with members of the media. From whichever source, we'll be sure to bring you all of his thoughts and excuses for the team's struggle with Washington State as they become available. Our next opponent has already taken advantage of the extra time to throw their 1-5 reality for a loop by firing their own underachieving head coach.
We all either saw or have heard by now that Richard Brehaut suffered a fracture of his left leg in the second quarter on Saturday night. There has been no word on the severity of the break, but given that Coach Neuheisel told the media on Sunday that Richard is expected to miss 3-6 weeks, it sounds like a hairline or another type of minor fracture. With that said, the outlook for Richard is not yet clear.
Neuheisel said that the exact healing time was unknown, and that Brehaut has been quick to recover from injury before, so he's not ruling out a return this season.
"It's tough, establishing myself as the quarterback and then for something like this to happen," said Brehaut, . . . "But everything happens or a reason, and hopefully I can be back in time for the season."
While I do prefer to see Brehaut running the offense all else equal and that he recovers quickly, I do not want to see him back on the field, whether at Spaulding or inside the Rose Bowl until his leg has completely healed. Given that Neuheisel has a history of throwing injured players into the fire (see Kevin Prince - 2010 Cal, 2011 Texas - for example), this is something to keep a close watch on.
With Brehaut out for the foreseeable future, a couple of developments at quarterback arise. Kevin Prince will be the starter during Bre's absence, and Brett Hundley will be the #2 QB behind Kevin. Nick Crissman will be the #3 Quarterback. Kevin talked a bit about his return to the Rose Bowl field on Saturday, and the boos that greeted him from assorted idiots in the crowd.
"I understand why they were booing," Prince said. "If I was a fan sitting in the stands I might have booed, too."
"I love winning games and I love when the fans go crazy but I’m not going to worry about getting heckled or booed or anything," Prince said. "The ones that I love most and care about most are always there for me and that’s all that matters. I just kind of brush it off and set it aside."
At least Kevin was able to take it in stride, though it is unfortunate that it came to that. His role in the offense is rather clear cut - run things well, throw the occasional pass, and DON'T GET INJURED! Whether or not Kevin makes it through the season unharmed, there is a good chance that we will see Brett Hundley take the field for UCLA this fall. Nestor wrote in more detail on the subject of Quarterback usage from here on out earlier this morning,
With Brett forced into the number-2 role, behind an oft-injured Quarterback, there is a good chance the he would have to take the field, like it or not. Given this, Neuheisel is planning to create a mini-training camp during the by week to get Hundley closer to game readyness. And following from the idea that he is likely to have to see action, Neu is turning toward using a 'Hundley package' in the coming weeks. the question is how extensively will Neuheisel use this prized recruit.
"We have this off week so we can have a training camp-like experience for Brett," Neuheisel said. "We can really accelerate his learning and get him caught up when you don’t have that luxury when you are game planning for a particular opponent."
... Now, however, seeing 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."
On Sunday, Neuheisel addressed the most blatant SPTR-ism to come out of the Washington State game during the media conference 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 initial Arizona-week injury report was released yesterday. Besides Brehaut, Jamie Graham was added to the list of players expected to miss the trip to Tuscon, having injured the MCL in his left knee. The injury does will not require surgery, but he is expected to miss 'several weeks'. Really a tough break, for our depleted secondary but especially for Jamie, having just recovered from surgery on his other knee to begin play in his only year in Westwood. Anthony Barr, Tony Dye, Alex Mascarenas and Sheldon Price are all listed as questionable for the Arizona game, with Neu saying that there is a chance that they can all return after the bye. The entire list of injured players is on the Daily News UCLA blog.