When UCLA head coach, Rick Neuheisel met the media in the after practice scrum he was pleased how his team approached the first day of practice for Texas. He was asked an assortment of questions. The following is what transpired.
Neuheisel: "I thought it was a terrific practice. I thought guys were into it as I anticipated they would be. I thought the scouts gave us great, great effort. We will look at the tape and make the corrections and the cleanup that is always a part of a Tuesday practice and hopefully come out here again with the same urgency to be a better football team tomorrow, but it is always fun to go to work when you have that kind of effort on the practice field."
Neuheisel: "Just general soreness. We are just trying to get him to not take as many hits in practice so he can save them for Saturday."
Texas seems to say they are going to start Case McCoy? How different is he?
Neuheisel: "Certainly he comes from a great lineage. No question is a winner and they have a lot of confidence in him. In terms of what he does in their system, it is fairly traditional. He's athletic and has all the throws and he can certainly make plays with his legs, but in terms of packaging things for him, it looks more traditional in terms of their offense. That doesn't mean it can't be extravagant by Saturday, but right now, it's traditional.
"When David Ash goes into the game, then they use him and his athletic exploits probably more than the other packages with the other quarterbacks. He caught a reverse pass the other day. He runs option. He runs zone read. He's a very, very nimble player and certainly somebody they are excited about and deservedly so."
Probably everybody to a man probably admits they have to play better this Saturday than the past two weeks to get a win and a lot of guys are talking about the little things of discipline that you have been harping on.
Neuheisel: "I think when you are talking about playing your best, it always comes down to little things. Everybody wants to make big plays and everybody wants to figure in the deciding plays that usually determine an outcome, but football is really about fundamentals and it is about playing great technique on every play you are allowed to participate. The little things come down to those techniques and that is what we have to do. We certainly have gifted enough athletes. I think we have plenty of care in the program. It's now just going to be fun as we concentrate on those little things to see them exhibited on Saturday and hopefully lead to a big win over one of the marquee programs in all the land."
Neuheisel: "I thought they were both really good. It is a situation where I am fortunate enough that I have two guys that can play."
Is that a Wednesday decision?
Neuheisel: "No, I don't know. I'm going to continue to watch and I think both bring unique talents to the game and I would hesitate to play them both. I am not going to commit to playing them both because I don't know how games go, but I don't feel the need to name a starter up until the time of game. I just want both of those guys to keep getting better. You saw a clock drive where both were in today. I think that as long as they have great attitudes and I am fortunate that they do, we can continue to go down this path."
Before Houston you did commit to playing both. Why the change?
Neuheisel: "I did and because coming out of fall camp they both deserved a chance to play. While they both deserve a chance to play, I want to make sure that I am not guaranteeing that and putting that in front of what the needs at any particular time. I'm going to trust my instincts to what we should do during a course of a game, but certainly both will prepare as if they are going to play and both will be ready to play."
Does the situation dictate or does performance dictate?
Neuheisel: "Possibly, I don't want to play all of my cards, but I have my thoughts as to what situations call for whom and when to make changes at that positions. I like both kids and they are both getting better and I think it hasn't been a distraction to date.
"Certainly it is a common theme amongst us, but in our room, they just like getting better."
Is it more likely that performance will dictate over a situation?
Neuheisel: "The more I say, the more I get pinned down, so I am just going to tell you that I like both quarterbacks and I am looking forward to having them both ready to go."
Prince was healthy enough to play on Saturday?
Was Prince 100 percent?
Neuheisel: "On Saturday, no he was not 100 percent."
Where is he now?
Neuheisel: "Closer to 100 percent than he was on Saturday and I think he will be 100 percent on Saturday."
What is it about the situation on Saturday that you didn't want to bring Prince is?
Neuheisel: "Because he wasn't 100 percent and we didn't want to retard the recovery by having it hit again. So things are always better off fully healed then becoming nagging and I just felt like it wasn't the prudent thing to do. Always subject to second guessing which you guys are experts at (laughs)."
Sometime ago, Kevin was your number one and Richard was your number two. What has evolved for them to be this even at this place and to be this competitive?
Neuheisel: "I think you have seen that Richard has gone in and played well. He's available and ready should he be needed and Kevin got the start in the opening game because he had earned and I felt gave us a great chance and as he continues to get better, I think, in terms of his health, I think he deserves it too, but we have to do what is best for this football team and sometimes I think that is left better unsaid than always be out there telling everybody what I plan to do and then having to do exactly as I said I would just because I said I did it. So if you say less, or say little, you don't have as much to back up."
Richard had the first snaps with the ones today. Was that just because he started Saturday?
Neuheisel: "Yeah, Richard has played the lion's share of the snaps this year."