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September 12, 2011UCLA head coach, Rick Neuheisel opened up his press conference and his Bruins have great respect for Texas coach Mack Brown and his Longhorn program. Texas football is one college football's great programs, not just this year, but every year and through the ages. Texas always has great players and it will be an honor to host them.
Neuheisel is looking to see great improvement from his team this week on both sides of the ball. Everyone is healthy including Kevin Prince and Glenn Love, who missed last week's action.
Texas as always is very athletic and talented. They are kind of searching for a quarterback and will play two. One is freshman, David Ash and the other is Case McCoy, who is the younger brother of former Longhorn great, Cot McCoy. Ash is very athletic and McCoy is your more traditional drop back quarterback.
Texas has a new defensive coordinator from Mississippi State and his players fly around and make things difficult. It is a great challenge because they have so much athleticism and talent on that side of the ball.
Much of the talent that Texas had on last year's defensive squad returns, but the look will be much different. It won't help the Bruins much watching the defense of last season's game, but watching Mississippi State tape might.
Beating Texas would be a huge win for the UCLA program.
The Bruins didn't play up to their expectations on either side of the ball against San Jose State, but there were some good things that came out of that game besides the win.
Neuheisel would like for his defense to play faster and the offense has to hit the passes that are there.
Another area of improvement has to come on third down efficiency. The Bruins were 4-13 on third down and that hurts significantly and didn't execute well on offense in general.
The Bruins showed what they are capable of doing against Houston and even though they didn't play as well offensively against San Jose State, they still came away with the win.
UCLA has to start playing better, starting this week against Texas.
Much of the presser Neuheisel had to talk about why he didn't speak after the game. BruinBlitz.com has already addressed the reason why, but his decision was made long before the San Jose State game. He was asked if the reason was the way the Bruins played. He may talk with the crowd again.
Neuheisel was asked about the monopoly add and once he again he had to remind everyone that he had nothing to do with that add. It was UCLA's marketing staff that came up with that idea, though Neuheisel mentioned he wished the monopoly was over.
Both quarterbacks, Prince and last week's starter, Richard Brehaut should be ready to play. He won't name a starter until, he knows if Prince is 100 percent ready to play.
The team has full confidence in both quarterbacks and would have confidence in Brett Hundley, too if he were to play.
Neuheisel was asked about punting from the San Jose State 38 on a fourth and three and if he thought about going for it. He said he is not shy going for it on fourth down, but felt that Locke could pin them down inside the five but that was not to be. Locke like many of the Bruins had an off night.
Questioning went back to the defense and Neuheisel reiterated that the Bruins need to play faster and when they do they will be able to play up to their potential. Neuheisel also said that the coaches have to do a better job as well. He did say he feels his defense will play better this week.
Neuheisel was asked why his team doesn't have any tackles for loss. Week one was because of too much Case Keenum getting the ball out in 1.7 seconds and poor tackling. Week two they team lost containment and San Jose State was able to get outside.
With the return of Jeff Baca, the play of both, Albert Cid and Greg Capella, it looks like there is depth along the offensive line. That is the first in the Neuheisel era that there is some depth at the position. There will be plenty of competition at the position this week.
Both, Jordan Zumwalt and Eric Kendricks are at the top of the tackles chart, but they need to play with more discipline and be where they need to be, but everyone has to understand these two guys haven't played a lot. They will only get better as they play more.
Early in last year's game with Texas the Bruins were able to construct pressure and that created an early turnover. Though the Bruins didn't score on that early turnover, it rattled Texas and it did set the tone for UCLA's ultimate victory.
This week UCLA has to play a very spirited contest if they are going to win. Neuheisel is confident that the Bruins will have a great week of practice and it will equal a great effort on Saturday.
Former Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda will speak to the team at the hotel before Saturday's game. Neuheisel is very pleased that Lasorda will be giving a pre game speech.