November 8, 2008
UCLA won't play in the Rose Bowl game this season, but the Bruins can have a say about who does. Oregon State needs to win out to secure its first January date in Pasadena since 1965. A look at some issues surrounding today's game: Pop quiz: USC flunked its Oregon State quiz, letting running back Jacquizz Rodgers run wild. UCLA has a good defense that would look better if it wasn't always on the field. On their shoulders: Kevin Craft has tested the Bruins' patience, but he's healthy.
April 26, 2008 |
UCLA's football team will end spring practice with bigger questions than when it began, as senior quarterbacks Patrick Cowan and Ben Olson are out with injuries that could affect their 2008 seasons. Cowan has a partially torn anterior cruciate ligament, as well as damage to the cartilage on the inside of his left knee. A decision on whether he will need surgery will be made once the swelling has subsided.
December 3, 2008 |
Whether UCLA wins or loses, senior tailback Kahlil Bell has noticed that junior quarterback Kevin Craft doesn't pour out his emotions. "If people watch the games, they would realize he takes a butt-kicking every single game," Bell said. "But he keeps getting up." Arizona State returned three interceptions and a Craft fumble for touchdowns Friday in a 34-9 win over the Bruins, and Craft says he wants to rectify UCLA's 4-7 season when it faces USC on Saturday.
October 27, 2008 |
UCLA's football team gets a week to catch its breath and try to find answers to what have been difficult questions following a 41-20 loss Saturday to California. Coach Rick Neuheisel said that the coaching staff would reevaluate personnel and schemes with an open date. "Things we've been doing we've proven we have not been able to execute," said Neuheisel, whose team has a 3-5 record overall and is 2-3 in the Pacific 10 Conference. "You have to ask yourself, 'What can we execute?'
October 28, 2008 |
There has been no hiding UCLA's biggest concern. Even before the first day of practice, it was clear the Bruins' offensive line was going to make or break the season. Sweeping up the pieces is this week's chore. Quarterback Kevin Craft is coming off an abysmal game against California; he had four passes intercepted. But he didn't have much help. The Bears were able to tee off on Craft, knowing the Bruins were incapable of running the football. UCLA had 16 yards rushing in the game.
October 13, 2008 |
At the halfway point of the season, UCLA Coach Rick Neuheisel and his staff will take a deep breath and evaluate the situation. The Bruins received an "A" for effort in Neuheisel's appraisal. But as far as grading out with a "B" for bowl game, there was still serious homework to be done after a 31-24 loss to Oregon on the road. "Looking at the tapes, we played very, very hard," said Neuheisel, whose team is 2-4 overall and 1-2 in the Pacific 10 Conference.
October 25, 2009 |
UCLA's woes on offense were focused on the Bruins' quarterbacks Saturday after a 27-13 loss to Arizona. The Bruins managed only 211 yards -- one week after rolling up 448 yards in a 45-26 loss to California. "We thought we were moving in the right direction with the plays we made against Cal," Coach Rick Neuheisel said. "But they weren't being made today. I don't know what the problem was, but it was a frustrating day for our offense." Neuheisel yanked quarterback Kevin Prince in favor of Kevin Craft , then yanked Craft for Richard Brehaut, who got one series near the end of the game.
October 14, 2008 |
The continuing education of Kevin Craft as UCLA's quarterback touches on a familiar topic this week: his eyes. Craft passed for 288 yards Saturday in a 31-24 loss to Oregon, but the Ducks intercepted one pass and nearly intercepted several others. "Kevin has got to learn people are going to pay close attention to where he is looking, so he has to look them off," UCLA Coach Rick Neuheisel said.
September 27, 2008 |
Jeff Baca will trot onto the field today as UCLA's starting left tackle, the first time the Bruins have started a true freshman on the offensive line since Shannon Tevaga in 2004. Baca, who this time last year was playing for Mission Viejo High, will be asked to help improve a running game that ranks 117th out of 119 major-college teams, as well as protect quarterback Kevin Craft's blind side. That's a big order for anyone, even if he's 6 feet 4, 280 pounds. But Baca knows it's an honor.
November 10, 2008 |
The subject is bound to come up this week. Rick Neuheisel knows he can't avoid it. With his team playing at Washington on Saturday, the UCLA coach will return to a place where he has some less-than-pleasant history. "I have truthfully not thought about it for a long time," he said. "But now that it's here, I've been forced to think about it." Neuheisel spent four seasons coaching the Huskies before the university fired him over his involvement in an NCAA basketball betting pool.