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UCLA FOOTBALL FYI

Now UCLA's Rick Neuheisel has a QB 'situation' to address

It may not be a 'controversy,' at least not yet, but freshman Richard Brehaut appears to have moved into the picture after spelling a struggling Kevin Prince in fourth quarter of Bruins' loss to Oregon.

October 11, 2009|Chris Foster

This is how quarterback controversies start.

Kevin Prince returns after missing two games because of a fractured jaw and struggles Saturday in UCLA's 24-10 loss to Oregon. He is yanked in favor of freshman Richard Brehaut, who looks a shade better.

The question came fast: Will the Bruins' coaches look at the quarterback situation?

"We'll review it," Coach Rick Neuheisel said. "There are too many guys on this team dying to have a successful season. . . . We can be a very good football team. We've got to determine which quarterback gives us the best chance to do that."

Prince completed 13 of 25 passes for 81 yards. One of his passes was intercepted, and returned for a touchdown.

Brehaut completed five of 10 passes for 64 yards in the fourth quarter. The one pass he had intercepted bounced off the hands of receiver Taylor Embree.

"It was great to come in a game where it's not just cleanup time," Brehaut said. "It was a situation where we had to get that job done. It was cool that Coach Neuheisel had that faith in me. I just have to show him that I am that guy and I can be that guy."

He may get the chance this week.

Prince, though, may suffer some harsh judgments after being sidelined for four weeks. He won his first two starts before being injured late in the Bruins' victory at Tennessee on Sept 12.

"I'm confident in myself and confident I can get the job done," Prince said.

Offensive coordinator Norm Chow's take was straightforward enough.

"I don't know, it's too early to call," he said, but added, "I think Kevin Prince gives us the best chance to win. That's one man's opinion."

Youth is served up?

Chow's assessment of the Bruins' offensive struggles: The team is still having growing pains.

"We have a freshman at left tackle, three sophomores on the offensive line, a junior college transfer, a freshman at running back, a freshman at quarterback and two sophomores at wide receiver," he said.

Ayers' big play

UCLA's only touchdown came on an extraordinary effort by linebacker Akeem Ayers, who leaped to intercept a Nate Costa pass in the end zone, then did a toe dance to stay inbounds.

"I think the ball hit my facemask and stuck to me," Ayers said. "I knew I was pretty close to the end line, so that's why I tried to hurry and get my feet down."

You can hurry your feet to the ground? "It's all instincts," he said.

Ward commits

Chris Ward, an offensive lineman from Santa Ana Mater Dei High, said before the game that he will attend UCLA next season.

Injury report

Tailback Johnathan Franklin left the game in the second quarter with a sprained left ankle. Linebacker Reggie Carter suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee, and may have an MRI exam today. Safety Glenn Love sprained his right ankle. Tailback Milton Knox was ill and did not suit up, a UCLA official said.

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chris.foster@latimes.com

twitter.com/cfosterlatimes

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