The chore ahead of UCLA's offense when the Bruins face 15th-ranked Arizona on Saturday is obvious.
The Wildcats are ranked seventh nationally against the run. They are second in sacks. So you can't run on them, and throwing is a dangerous option.
"This is a challenge," tight end Cory Harkey said. "They do have guys who are very talented."
Defensive ends Ricky Elmore and Brooks Reed top the list. Elmore has seven sacks, which leads the Pacific 10 Conference. Reed is tied for second with 41/2 sacks.
Arizona also leads the conference in tackles for a loss, with 56. That pressure is on quarterback Richard Brehaut's mind.
"Obviously, you've got to get rid of that ball real quick," Brehaut said. "They try to disguise everything they do. What you see presnap is not what you're going to get. You have to have your eyes up and your eyes on what they are doing. You can't predetermine anything."
The one advantage the Bruins take into the game is familiarity, center Ryan Taylor said.
"We run kind of the same defense, so we see it every day," Taylor said. "The most important thing is to not dig ourselves a hole."
In the last two games, UCLA trailed California, 14-0, and Oregon, 15-0, at the end of the first quarter. The Bruins have scored 14 first-quarter points all season.
Shaq is back
Arizona cornerback Shaquille Richardson returns to the scene of, uh, his first college experience.
Richardson signed with UCLA but was among three players arrested on suspicion of a theft on campus in June. Richardson, wide receiver Paul Richardson and linebacker Josh Shirley all decided to go elsewhere after being told they could not attend UCLA in the fall and were released from their scholarships.
Shaquille Richardson had two interceptions starting in place of injured Trevin Wade against Washington State on Oct. 16.
"When we signed him, we thought he was going be an outstanding corner," Neuheisel said. "We believed he had all the skills to be that kind of guy, and it looks as if we were right."
Richardson returned to his backup role last week.
Paul Richardson went to Colorado and Shirley to Washington. Neuheisel said he tried to retain all three players: "All of those kids were given the opportunity to return to UCLA. But there had to be some penalty, and all of them chose to not have a penalty and go elsewhere."
Tackle Brett Downey has a sprained right ankle and is wearing a walking boot, leaving the Bruins with two tackles, starters Mike Harris and Micah Kia. Freshman guard Chris Ward worked out at tackle Thursday. ... X-rays on free safety Dalton Hilliard's neck and shoulder were negative, but he will sit out Saturday's game because of a concussion. Hilliard was injured in a collision with cornerback Aaron Hester on Wednesday. ... Cornerback Anthony Jefferson had surgery on a broken bone in his foot Tuesday. He is expected to be ready by spring practice.