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Spaulding Roundup - It's Good to be Home

I missed the game on Saturday - I was at a wedding - but when I managed to sneak glances at my Scorecenter app, I saw the score climb and felt my disappointment grow.  I did manage to catch two highlights on TV that night - Andrew Luck with the one handed catch, and Cory Fleener catching the TD.

Oh well.

This week's Rick Neuheisel press conference started with the usual pleasantries about our opponent this weekend, Washington State.  He's hoping we get a big home victory this weekend and we get to 2-1.  

Let's go over our injury report, which started with the bad news of Anthony Barr, who underwent arthroscopic surgery for a torn meniscus and will be out 3-4 weeks.

Our other injuries, and the many players listed as questionable for this weekend:

It looks like Tony Dye (neck), Sean Westgate (hand), Chris Ward (shoulder) and Dalton Hilliard (shoulder) will be back this weekend.

As a side note, UCLA has a new injury reporting policy - injured players are off limits to the media, and injuries will only be discussed on Mondays and Thursdays.

Other highlights from the press conference after the jump.

Neuheisel said it's been the "most unusual" year of his coaching career in regards to injuries to kickers.  It isn't just one kicker who has gone down, but two.  Jeff Locke has missed three out of his past four point after attempts, and reminds us why programs should not have an all-in-one kicker.  "We have to be better than that.  Four out of five extra points, that's woeful." 

But Neuheisel wants it on the record "I still trust Jeff Locke."

There was a lot of time spent on the kicking game during the presser, with questions about Joe Roberts (still out) and Tyler Gonzales (an option but probably not for this weekend.).

Some other quick interesting grafs (I listened to the entire press conference four times so you don't have to!)

As to why Stanford pulverized us:

"Stanford could convert on third down, and get to third and short a great percentage of the time, and hit passes underneath, and when you are able to do that, hit your second, third, fourth choices, it makes you hard to stop."

I wonder why this sounds familiar.  *goes back in time four weeks.*  Oh.  *Goes back in time three weeks.* Oh. *goes back in time two weeks* Oh. 

Were the players still into the game?

"In the locker room at halftime, there was energy, the kids were into it, they're dying to be the team you all want us to be.  We will continue to go forward and come out of this much better for having had the experience.  We want for nothing.  We don't need anything else from the outside.  We just need everyone to get incrementally better each week and get ourselves to be the program everyone wants us to be."

When asked about the goal line stuffing by Stanford:

"3rd down is the down they (Stanford) dominated on the line of scrimmage.  They got underneath our pads on the left side and we were unable to get it in.  (EDITOR'S NOTE:  TWSS.)  We could have picked another play from our arsenal to throw, but we'll learn from that...  We did learn and did throw later in the game on 4th and 1 for a TD.  The down that cost us was 3rd down, when they pushed back.  Everything else was good football players playing football."

Someone asked Rick Neuheisel if UCLA is a talented team.

"We have a number of talented guys in the skill positions, but we are a little depleted and depth wise in our front, especially offensively, with injuries and issues over the last few years have caused that.  But I believe we are on course to be a very good football team.  But if we continue to do what we do and stress fundamentals we will be very difficult to beat.  The key component is not to beat yourself."

I got a game rundown from Mr. F (Arrested Development is coming back!!) and he said if we didn't commit some of our turnovers, MAYBE we would have been much closer.  Maybe.  I think Andrew Luck is too good and would have marched through us anyways.

And finally, Richard Brehaut's job status:

"Richard is playing well and doing better.  There is no reason to make a change now."

Finally, some job security during uncertain times.