UCLA quarterback Richard Brehaunt releases a pass to Joseph Fauria for… (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles…)
Quarterback Richard Brehaut seemed to miss an opportunity Saturday night.
UCLA Coach Rick Neuheisel would like to have seen Brehaut complete five more passes. Brehaut threw for only 145 yards, 43 of which came on one pass, and the Bruins struggled against a San Jose State team in what was supposed to be a gimme victory, lurching along for a 27-17 victory.
All are things that could point to Kevin Prince returning to the starting lineup against Texas on Saturday, if his sore right shoulder is as sound as Neuheisel claims.
"I have two quarterbacks," Neuheisel said when asked about Saturday's game against the Longhorns.
Could Brehaut have made that "one" with an impressive performance against San Jose State?
Neuheisel won't go that far, but did say, "He had a chance in the game to continue to improve as a quarterback. I don't think he necessarily regressed, but he didn't take that next step in terms of full authority of the offense."
Brehaut's immediate assessment after the game was, "I took care of the football, made the right decisions mentally. I think I could have checked down a little more, found my underneath receivers a lot more.
"There are things I have to work on next week if I'm going to take that next step and be the quarterback I know I can be."
Brehaut, who threw for 264 yards and two touchdowns in UCLA's season-opening loss to Houston, completed 12 of 23 passes against San Jose State.
But, Neuheisel said, "We should have never been anything less than 17 of 23 just by doing things that are simple."
Neuheisel said two people were to blame.
"It's Richard and me," Neuheisel said.
UCLA converted four of 13 third-down attempts. Brehaut completed two of seven passes on third-down plays, one a 14-yard touchdown pass to Joseph Fauria.
"I think while he was tougher than nails and did some really good things in the game," Neuheisel said, "there were chances to get better.
"We have to hit the balls that are there. Some were accuracy issues; some were going through the reads a little too quickly."
This is Texas' first road game after beating Rice and Brigham Young at home.
"Our crowds have done well and gotten into it," Coach Mack Brown said.
As of Monday morning, UCLA had already sold 50,000 tickets for the game after drawing 42,685 for San Jose State, the second-smallest home opener since the Bruins moved to the Rose Bowl.
Either UCLA fans were wowed by the victory Saturday or there will be a lot of burnt orange in the Rose Bowl.
Center Kai Maiava, suspended for the San Jose State game, will be in "competition" to regain his starting spot, Neuheisel said. Greg Capella started at center against San Jose State. … UCLA's game at Oregon State on Sept. 24 will begin at 12:30 p.m. and will be televised on Prime Ticket.