All was well on the UCLA quarterback front Tuesday, or so went the pitch.
The Bruins, trying to end a four-game losing streak, will use two quarterbacks this weekend, Kevin Prince as the starter and Richard Brehaut in a limited role, probably in the first half. The idea is foreign to offensive coordinator Norm Chow's philosophy and had the appearance of Coach Rick Neuheisel expressing his will.
"I think that's been overblown," Neuheisel said. "All I said was that Richard was going to get in a series or two in the game. That's not a hard thing to work out."
Prince received about two-thirds of the reps Tuesday, with Brehaut getting the rest. Neuheisel's idea is to get a better look at Brehaut, "so we can continue to create a resume as we get into the off-season."
Chow shrugged and said, "The game plan is scripted to beat Oregon State no matter who is at quarterback. We know what we have."
For Brehaut, this will be an opportunity to get in a game where he doesn't have to play catch-up . . . or so the Bruins hope.
"It will be nice getting in there when the defense doesn't know we have to throw on every down," Brehaut said. "I won't go in cold and have to throw 40-yard passes."
Neuheisel said that Brehaut's relief appearance against Oregon was a big reason he will get the chance this week. Brehaut completed five of 10 passes for 64 yards in the 24-10 loss.
Prince labored against Arizona but looked sharper in practice Tuesday. He completed two long passes and ran an effective two-minute drill that ended in a missed field goal.
"I was just hurrying too much [against] Arizona," said Prince, who completed seven of 15 passes for 60 yards. "I need to calm down, take a deep breath and just play football. It's the same 11-on-11 game I've always played."
As for partially sharing the job this week, Prince said, "I'm still preparing like I'm taking every snap. Just because Richard is going to take a few series, that doesn't mean I can slack off my studying."
Down on third
The Bruins rank 111th out of 120 Football Bowl Subdivision teams in third-down-conversions at 29%. They were two for 15 against Arizona, though that did not point entirely at the quarterbacks.
"Our third-down numbers are horrible," Chow said. "But we also shouldn't be in some of those situations. The offensive line goes offsides, we get a holding call, that's not the quarterback's fault."
Cornerback Aaron Hester was more involved in practice, both in base defense and various coverage packages. Cornerbacks coach Carnell Lake said Hester will play this week.
Ryan Taylor saw significant time at right guard with the first team. Nick Ekbatani started at right guard in place of Eddie Williams (fractured ankle) against Arizona, and was called for two false starts and one holding call.
Tailback Milton Knox received more reps than he has in weeks. He appeared to be in the three-man rotation with Johnathan Franklin and Derrick Coleman.
Wide receiver Taylor Embree, tight end Nate Chandler and tackle Nik Abele sat out practice because of concussions.