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UCLA, Colorado coaches know each other well

UCLA FOOTBALL

Rick Neuheisel lived at Colorado Coach Jon Embree's house for a month when they were assistants with the Buffaloes.

November 17, 2011|By Chris Foster
  • UCLA Coach Rick Neuheisel, left, and Colorado Coach Jon Embree share and friendly and competitive relationship.
UCLA Coach Rick Neuheisel, left, and Colorado Coach Jon Embree share and… (Christian Petersen / Getty…)

Colorado Coach Jon Embree is certain about one thing when he faces UCLA on Saturday.

"Rick Neuheisel wants to beat Jon Embree's behind in anything we do," Embree said.

Neuheisel and Embree were assistants at Colorado together, starting in 1994. Neuheisel even spent a month living with the Embrees.

The competitive relationship "goes back to doing hoops when he was here as an assistant," Embree said. "I don't expect it to change."

Neuheisel said he was on his best behavior while living at the Embree house.

"Whenever you're crashing at someone's house, you want to be as little problem as you can be," Neuheisel said. "I would stay at the office late and kind of slip in when I knew they had all gone bed, then wake up early."

So Neuheisel was the perfect house guest … sort of.

"I did know what ice cream they liked, because I raided the refrigerator," Neuheisel said.

Taylor Embree, Jon's son, knew only that he had a new playmate.

"I would go down to the basement where his room was and bug him," said Taylor, a senior wide receiver for UCLA. "That was a sanctuary. We would have fights with 'Star Wars' swords. He wouldn't put on the Darth Vader mask. He just had the sword."

Emergency only

Quarterback Richard Brehaut, who returned this week after sitting out four games because of a broken leg, received little practice time. Neuheisel said Brehaut will be available only in case of emergency Saturday.

Freshman Brett Hundley will be Kevin Prince's backup.

"I don't think Richard is quite ready," Neuheisel said. "He's trying, being valiant, but he is still hobbled. I told him I couldn't afford to use him [in practice], even though he is dying to get in there, because he is still limping."

Penalty phase

UCLA had 91 yards in penalties, including six for false starts, in its 31-6 loss to Utah.

Neuheisel and his staff have spent the week addressing the issue.

"We have been thorough in our investigation and commentary on it," Neuheisel said. "It comes down to the team doing a great job of concentrating. There was some harsh criticism because it cost us. Our offense is such that it needs to stay in rhythm. To go back five yards causes a lot of problems."

Mascarenas out

Safety Alex Mascarenas, who had returned to practice this week after sitting out six games because of a concussion, experienced dizziness during practice Wednesday. He sat out practice Thursday and will not suit up Saturday.

Quick hits

Running back Malcolm Jones, F-back Anthony Barr and punter Jeff Locke were selected to the Pac-12 Conference's all-academic team. Jones is on the first team. Barr and Locke are on the second team. … UCLA's loss to Utah cost Neuheisel $20,000, the bonus he would have received if the Bruins won eight regular-season games. He can still get $100,000 for winning the conference championship. … Linebacker Jordan Zumwalt (hip pointer) practiced but is questionable for the game. … Guard Albert Cid has replaced Wade Yandall with the first team.

chris.foster@latimes.com

twitter.com/cfosterlatimes

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