VIDEO: Neuheisel on Living the Dream

SEP. 18 -- Quarterback Jerry Neuheisel talked more about the Texas game, working to be an effective quarterback at UCLA with Brett Hundley, being a Bruin, and more...

Jerry Neuheisel spoke to us during the bye week.


On being named Pac-12 Player of the Week:
Not the year, but the week. My mom was the first one to text me and she said 'oh you were the Pac-12 Player of the Week.' I said 'mom, you're more pumped about this than my teammates were.' It's a very cool experience to be named player of the week and was a result of how hard our team worked all week. It's an honor to me but it should be a tribute to our whole team. Paul Perkins ran the ball hard, over 150 yards rushing, the offensive line came to life run blocking in the second half and when you've got wide receivers like we do, it's not hard being the quarterback. I was just glad to be put in a position that I was and I'm glad it came out the way it did.

On if he prepared this week like he'll be the guy:
I think you do that every week. If you're a starter or anything. If you don't prepare like you're the starter, than I don't think it would have gone as well as it did for us against Texas. It's hard to do as a backup when you know you're not going to play, but if you don't prepare like a starter, you won't take advantage of it.

On if it's easier to prepare as a starter when you've played significantly:
There is definitely a newfound confidence. There is always that bit of indecision, can I do it or not. I got a little time last year, but my first real time as a replacement came at Utah and I got a snap over my head so that sets in a little bit of doubt. But for it to go as well as it did, it sets in a little confidence.

On if he saw some good things on film:
I saw I did a lot wrong, but that's a coach's kid talking. A win is a win and I'll take it. There is always so much you can get better on. A win is a win and we'll take it and I'm just glad to be 3-0.

On where he could improve:
I threw a ball into double coverage down the sideline to Jordan Payton and I know you guys saw it and my dad saw it and I had to watch it with him and that was the worst part. I have to learn to take care of the ball. Make the plays when they present themselves and take what the defense can give you.

On his conversation with his father:
When I talked to him after the game, I was shocked I got to talk to him because he was in the studio. He talked to me and he said 'what were you thinking on that deep ball to Jordan Payton in the first quarter? Nah, I'm messing with you. Great game.' It's just kind of the relationship we'll have, where he's the coach and the dad, but I wouldn't have it any other way. It made me fall in love with the game and probably why I'll be a coach one day and it's very cool to watch the game with my dad and for him to come over and tap me on the shoulder and say 'hey, great job.'

On how many passes were short ones:
The game plan really didn't change much. It's just when you have success, you don't want to change it. With our offensive line moving the way they did, there was no reason to go away from the run pass option. I'd like to think we'll have success with that moving forward.

On if they'll throw more downfield if he starts again:
I think, you'll always take what the defense gives you. If it's short passes and runs, that's what it will be, if we need to air it out, we'll do that too. At the end of the game, we just want more points than they do.

On how he felt in practice this week:
I showed up a little nervous. I made a hitch and go throw that was even better. We're trying to get better, a lot of self scout to be better than we need to be and our focus is on Arizona State.

On his relationship with Brett Hundley:
Me and Brett have always been good friends. We like to talk about defenses a lot on the sidelines. We'll always be good friends and we'll be each other's biggest fans, no matter who's in the game. It doesn't really matter to us, we just want a victory for our team.

On how much more comfortable he felt in the game:
Well, the first drive I felt comfortable, even though you're kind of in a daze, but we marched the ball down the field and scored a field goal. Then I started getting my first hits and thought 'these guys are a little bigger than high school.' During the game, you don't really think about it. Luckily, we had the right play call for the right time. Texas played a great game, but we were fortunate to come out with a couple more points that they did.

On Jim Mora helping lift him up after the game:
It was one of the coolest experiences of my life. The fact my teammates felt that way to lift me up means the world to me. To be a Bruin and wear the blue and gold means the world to me, so to be lifted up by my teammates in celebration of our victory, it gives me goosebumps right now. I love being a Bruin, I love my teammates and it's a great experience.

On how he and Jim Mora relate as coach's sons:
You both know. You go home and you get coached by your dad. It's the way it goes. Dad's get fired and dad's get new jobs. You always wish you are the one who gets fired because it's hard. Coach Mora the first meeting I had with him after my dad got fired was 'you'll get a chance. I'm not going to say anything bad about your dad's regime, he worked his tail off and put this team in a position to be where it is.' Coach Mora gave me a chance and it culminated in the game against Texas, I think attributes to the relationship we've built over the years.

On if he's more recognized:
A little bit, I was out at dinner with my girlfriend and her family in Huntington Beach and a cute couple came up to me and said 'great game and you have an even cuter girlfriend.' Which was the biggest compliment I could have gotten.

On if he's more recognized around campus:
I'm still the water polo player, I still have to wear a sweatshirt for people to recognize me.

On what he showed in camp to be the backup:
I think it was over a couple of years. All the guys in the quarterbackk room worked to be a better quarterback every day. I just took the opportunity. Playing quarterback is taking what they give you and never being greedy. It's a tribute to how well we played and how our defense played and it was a great team win.

On not having an official No. 2 quarterback:
I would say it's always a competition. I still want to push Brett to be the No. 1 quarterback. The quarterback is a hard position where only one guy gets to play. A couple receivers, a couple lineman get to play, but only one quarterback. It's a constant grind.

On preparing for Arizona State:
They're built to stop what we do. They run the same kind of offense, a lot of zone reads. We know they know what we'll do and we know what they'll do. It will come down to execution.

On the running game helping him:
I couldn't put a value on it, because honestly, it was everyone around me, they all had complete confidence in me. Coming out of the locker at halftime, I knew we were going to win the game.

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