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UCLA finishes spring practice with questions at quarterback

Last year's starting quarterback, Kevin Prince, still recovering from knee surgery, doesn't play in UCLA's spring practice scrimmage. Richard Brehaut and three others combine at the position, but Coach Rick Neuheisel says he won't select a starter until Prince rejoins the team.

April 23, 2011|By Chris Dufresne
  • Quarterback Richard Brehaut completed 11 of 20 passes for 102 yards, including a three-yard scoring pass to Nelson Rosario, during Saturday's scrimmage at Drake Stadium.
Quarterback Richard Brehaut completed 11 of 20 passes for 102 yards, including… (Kelvin Kuo / US Presswire )

UCLA concluded spring practice Saturday night at Drake Stadium with a scrimmage that looked nice against an evening sunset but settled nothing at the quarterback position.

Next stop is fall, to the backdrop of Tom Petty's song "Into the Great Wide Open."

Four UCLA passers combined to complete 23 of 45 passes for 185 yards, with two touchdowns and an interception.

Photos: UCLA spring practice scrimmage

Please, though, don't draw any conclusions. Kevin Prince, last year's starter, didn't participate as he recovers from knee surgery.

And the guys who did play weren't overwhelmingly impressive.

Richard Brehaut got the first call and led his unit on a drive that led to a three-yard scoring pass to Nelson Rosario, yet no one called it a coronation.

It's a long time till fall, but USC, UCLA appear to have a long way to go

UCLA Coach Rick Neuheisel, in fact, said he wouldn't even offer a depth chart at quarterback until Prince joins the audition process in fall.

"We'll see," Neuheisel said.

Here are the raw numbers: Brehaut completed 11 of 20 passes for 102 yards; freshman Brett Hundley completed seven of 13 for 57 yards; Nick Crissman completed two of four for 17 yards; and Maxwell Schuh completed three of eight for nine yards.

"I thought it went well," Brehaut said afterward. "It could have been better.... It was a little bit sloppy."

Neuheisel liked some aspects of Brehaut's performance. But he said, "Sometimes he makes the same mistake. And that's what we have to correct."

First-year offensive coordinator Mike Johnson says Brehaut probably will enter fall practice as the starter, but you could pencil that in with a very large eraser.

"That competition is open," Johnson said.

Johnson, who replaces Norm Chow, said he isn't disappointed by what he's seen so far but says consistency at quarterback is the key to turning around last year's 4-8 record.

"Our quarterback cannot be a guy who hurts our football team," Johnson said. "I don't care who he is."

Worth noting

Johnathan Franklin was the most impressive of the UCLA backs, rushing for 50 yards in four carries, with a long of 39. Jordan James had 45 yards in seven carries. Taylor Embree led all receivers with five catches for 24 yards while Ricky Marvray added four catches for 26 yards…. First-year defensive coordinator Jim Tresey was happy with the way his unit played. But he said, "The biggest thing in a spring game is nobody gets hurt." … Jordan Zumwalt led Bruins tacklers with five (three solo, two assists)....The announced crowd for Saturday's scrimmage at Drake Stadium was 6,400.

chris.dufresne@latimes.com

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