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November 18, 2011The next game is this roller coaster of a season will commence on Saturday November 19th at 4:30 PM PST at the world famous Rose Bowl. This season sure has been an E ticket for UCLA fans and through all the highs and lows that this season has brought. Not only does a win tomorrow get the Bruins bowl eligible, but it will set up the next big game in a season of big games, against a school that whenever the Bruins play them, it's a big game.
UCLA head coach, Rick Neuheisel as always, addressed the media after Thursday's session.
Neuheisel: " A good day, still things to clean up, still things to correct and make sure that we play our best game on Saturday because I think it is going to take it. Colorado is going to be excited to play coming off a big win trying to finish their season and in grand style. Everybody gets excited when they come to the Rose Bowl. It is going to be a huge game for both programs and we are looking forward to the contest."
Will Brett Hundley go in as your No. 2 quarterback this game.
Neuheisel: "Probably, I don't think Richard Brehaut is quite ready. He is trying and being valiant in respect to wanting to be out there, but he is still a little bit hobbled."
Richard didn't look like he was getting a lot of reps.
Neuheisel: "I told him I couldn't afford to do that even though I know he is dying for them because he is still limping, and he will be available in an emergency, but it is probably, Brett Hundley as the backup."
At this point would you use Richard over Brett even though Brett might be more ready?
Neuheisel: "No, I think at this point we need to use the best option available and Brett is that guy right now."
Any concern about looking ahead to USC next week?
Neuheisel: "None, whatsoever. We have a huge game this weekend and I think everybody knows it."
Did you have to address it at all?
Neuheisel: "No, but I would be shocked if anybody was looking past this particular weekend. Not with what's at stake."
You need to clean some things up, what are some of those things?
Neuheisel: "You know just the little things that go into being an effective football team. Whether it is a step in the right direction. The timing of a throw. The nuances of the game. All that as you put in new plans, takes a little while to ferment and so we are just waiting for that and we are going to get it done and we are looking forward to playing as clean a game as is possible this Saturday."
In your experience do teams play better on senior day?
Neuheisel: "That's an interesting question. There has never been a lack of emotion on senior day. Two years ago, when we were in a similar circumstance, we played a great game against Arizona State, so I am hopeful that we can do the same against Colorado."
Even the lowest rated or regarded team in the conference has a talented running back. Talk about from top to bottom that is what you have to deal with.
Neuheisel: "It is that kind of conference. We have known that since we have been here, as you guys know. There is no game that you line up for in this conference that you can take lightly. If you do, you're going to get whacked. It doesn't mean why you lost. It just means that you better be ready to go because everybody is talented and everybody recruits well and everybody is coached well and it just the nature of this particular conference. It's a rugged test for nine weeks."
Bringing Utah and Colorado into the conference is two more teams syphoning the L.A., recruiting pool and everything. How important do you think this game is for them in terms of setting up L.A., recruiting?
Neuheisel: "They were working in L.A., extensively anyway. You don't have to be in the Pac 12 to come to Los Angeles. Every school in the country is here and for good reason. There's lots and lots of talented people here that are ready for that next level so these games are important because this is their first foray into the new conference and everybody wants to step in the right direction. Those of us that have been in the conference for a long time also want to so I don't think that has any bearing."
Have you ever been involved in a race before where no one seems to be stepping up and really taking control of things?
Neuheisel: "I wouldn't characterize that way. I think there has been a lot of good football played. I think that it's just a rugged, rugged conference and certainly there are a couple of elite teams that have had their way with the rest of the competition, but there are also a number of good teams and you just be ready to play and we're just excited to continue to fight for that and it starts this Saturday against Colorado."
Colorado's quarterback more or less guaranteed a victory. What is your philosophy on bulletin board material like that?
Neuheisel: "Everybody is entitled to their opinion. We are going to play the game, the same way regardless of what the opposition has to say."
If you see Jon Embree before the game, will you bring that up, because he kind of said it too...
Neuheisel: "I don't have much comment on that other than we are going to be excited to play."
You have had a lot of players who have either been out for the year and have been trying to come back to the team and it seems they keep close, come to practice, whether they are on the field or not, they seem to be a part of the team. Can you talk about what role they have played?
Neuheisel: "When you are part of a program, you want to be part of the program whether or not you are actually going to be able to contribute on the field, whether it be at practice or whether it be with the morale. Everybody has a chance to be a part of this and everybody is pulling for each other and that's part of the chemistry that creates a successful program and a successful team. I wish everyone was healthy and everybody would have the chance to play like they all came here to do, but the facts of the matter are some are available and some are not able to and in their absence, they need to stay engaged and be positive and stay productive and that's their way to do so."