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UCLA FOOTBALL FYI

UCLA's Richard Brehaut might get in games

Coach Rick Neuheisel said he's looking for chances to play the freshman quarterback.

September 25, 2009|Ben Bolch

Norm Chow told Richard Brehaut to make 52 marks on one part of a sheet of paper and 52 marks on another.

Then the UCLA offensive coordinator asked the freshman quarterback to cross off three marks on the first side and 40 on the other.

The message was clear: The freshman Brehaut would be experiencing only his third college game last Saturday against Kansas State, while Kevin Craft was a battle-tested senior.

Experience won out when UCLA coaches picked a starter to replace the injured Kevin Prince against the Wildcats. Brehaut said he learned Friday morning that Craft would get the nod and acknowledged feeling disappointed, especially since it had appeared earlier in the week that the freshman was on track to make the start.

"The media kind of made it out Tuesday and Wednesday like I was the guy, so I got a lot of 'Good luck this Saturday' from all these people," Brehaut said. "But all my friends, all the people who matter to me, they're going to pull for me whether I'm in the game or not. So I didn't feel like I let them down or anything."

Craft turned in a steady if unspectacular performance during the Bruins' 23-9 victory over Kansas State and is expected to start Oct. 3 when UCLA opens Pacific 10 Conference play at Stanford. But Bruins Coach Rick Neuheisel said Craft might not have to struggle for Brehaut to play.

"I'm looking for chances to put him in the game," Neuheisel said of Brehaut. "So I wouldn't say it has to be anything negative happening for him to be in the ballgame."

Brehaut said consistency in practice could be the key to playing time: "I don't want to have three good plays and a bad play. I want to have all good plays; I want to take care of the ball and manage the game."

Quick hits

UCLA is 3-0, but Neuheisel said he is operating as if the Bruins are 0-0 entering conference play next week. "Here at UCLA you walk in a Hall of Fame that has [dozens of] national championship trophies; you can't become part of that scene until you win a Pac-10 championship," he said. "And that season starts this next weekend."

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ben.bolch@latimes.com

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