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Quarterback situation still up in the air

Rick Neuheisel says Bruins might go with two quarterbacks against Oregon State.

October 26, 2009|Chris Foster

UCLA Coach Rick Neuheisel had the opportunity to still any quarterback controversy, but he remained noncommittal during Sunday night's conference call.

Would Kevin Prince go back in as the team's starter after the 27-13 loss to Arizona Saturday?

"We will continue to look and evaluate our options as we go forward," Neuheisel said.

Asked if that was a slight shift in direction, he said, "We're going to keep looking."

The Bruins have lost four consecutive games and the offense has failed to score a touchdown in two of the last three games.

They were in this same quarterback spot two weeks ago, after a 24-10 loss to Oregon.

Neuheisel said they would "review" the quarterback situation after that game, then said Prince would be the starter a day later.

This time, Neuheisel did not stand firm behind the quarterback who won the job in spring practice.

"We're not angry at Kevin Prince," Neuheisel said. "He's a fine young quarterback. We're asking him to do an awful lot as a freshman. I wish things were easier.

"I wish all pieces around him were flourishing and there was more experience."

Prince completed seven of 15 passes for 60 yards against Arizona before being pulled early in the second half. Kevin Craft came in and completed six of 15 passes for 75 yards, then he was replaced by Richard Brehaut, who completed two of three passes.

Neuheisel said Sunday he did not "want to have a knee-jerk reaction" and that "we'll know what we're doing Tuesday."

That may entail a plan to use two quarterbacks against Oregon State on Saturday, "each with a portion of the plan rather than the entire plan."

That, though, would run counter to offensive coordinator Norm Chow's philosophy of sticking with one quarterback. He was against making a permanent switch after Saturday's game, saying, "That is the worst thing that could happen."

Neuheisel said he would meet with Chow today, but also said, "There's an old coaching adage that if you're playing two quarterbacks, it means you don't have one."


Unhappy campers?

Two players expressed their unhappiness last week. Cornerback Aaron Hester was confused and angry after getting little time in practice while trying to regain his starting spot after recovering from a fractured fibula. Wide receiver Randall Carroll then criticized Chow in a Twitter posting.

But Neuheisel said that neither problem was because of a lack of communication on the part of coaches.

"Aaron is well aware where he is and what has to happen to get back in the lineup," Neuheisel said. "Randall was just an oversight in respect to the technology."

Neuheisel went on to say, "Frustration is an interesting thing. The thing is you need to stay positive. My mom and dad have frustration."

When it was pointed out that his parents don't tweet criticism about the offensive coordinator, Neuheisel said, "True enough."

Carroll will not be punished for his remarks, Neuheisel said, adding, "He and Norm talked and cleared the air."


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