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UCLA FOOTBALL

UCLA's Richard Brehaut to start against Oregon State

Coach Rick Neuheisel says there is not a No. 1 quarterback and the Bruins will make the decision one week at a time. Kevin Prince will be in reserve this week.

September 18, 2011|By Chris Foster
  • UCLA quarterback Richard Brehaut throws on the run against Texas on Saturday at the Rose Bowl.
UCLA quarterback Richard Brehaut throws on the run against Texas on Saturday… (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles…)

UCLA already has a starting quarterback for Oregon State this week. So the Bruins are ahead of schedule.

Richard Brehaut will start. Kevin Prince, who had three passes intercepted in a 49-20 loss to Texas on Saturday, will be in reserve.

This is the latest shuffle for Coach Rick Neuheisel.

Asked whether he had a No. 1 quarterback at this time, Neuheisel said, "I don't know if that's fair. I feel I have two quarterbacks ready to play."

So no one has claimed the No. 1 job and for the second time in as many weeks Neuheisel is making a change.

He was unsatisfied with Brehaut's play in a 27-17 victory over San Jose State on Sept. 10 and went with Prince. He was unhappy enough with Prince's performance against Texas to name a starter after withholding that information until game time the first three weeks.

"You guys are making an awful big story out of this," Neuheisel said. "Richard played well and he is the starter this week. … It's no different than it has ever been, except Richard is starting."

The Bruins have been unsettled at quarterback since training camp began.

Neuheisel touted the competition throughout August and then was unable to settle on a winner. He announced both would play in the opener at Houston. Prince suffered a concussion and sprained right shoulder in the second quarter.

Brehaut started against San Jose State and directed an underwhelming performance in victory. He completed a modest eight of 19 passes for 150 yards against Texas.

"There were three or four balls he had to throw away and three or four times we didn't catch the ball like we should," Neuheisel said. "I thought Richard played well."

Brehaut made a good effort at rallying the Bruins against Texas, which got him one start … and one start only.

"We're going one week at a time," Neuheisel said. "Richard is the starter for Oregon State."

Neuheisel said, "I would love to" have the same player as the starter. His staff is certainly in line with that, as offensive coordinator Mike Johnson said, "You would like to see it come to an end at some point."

But "injuries" have often forced changes in recent seasons, Neuheisel said. That has carried into this season.

Neuheisel said Prince's shoulder was still sore and that he had X-rays during halftime Saturday.

"He said it felt like it was clicking, was the term he used," Neuheisel said.

Hundley not in mix

And then there is Brett Hundley, the highly regarded freshman.

Neuheisel said, "Brett continues to develop and see if he can be ready."

But to take over the job this season is "asking awfully lot of him," Neuheisel said.

Locked up

Punter Jeff Locke made field goals of 51 and 49 yards with Kip Smith sidelined with a hip flexor injury.

"Surprised wouldn't be the right word; I was elated he came through like he did," Neuheisel said. "I expected him to do that."

As for Smith, Neuheisel said, "We'll wait and see what the trainers prescribe for him."

chris.foster@latimes.com

twitter.com/cfosterlatimes

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