Norm Chow spoke after the game.
Was Kevin Prince ready to come back today?
‘'Yeah, I thought so. He had a decent week of practice, gave us the best chance to win. Obviously, e didn't play well … I thought he played well, efficiently, in the first half. I don't know.''
Was it a matter of rust?
‘'I don't know. I know the first drive he missed two throws that were wide open, but like I said, I think he gives us the best chance to win and we and we needed to get him in the game.''
You used some different personnel, got some guys more touches today …
‘'Well, I felt we kind of wore some guys out last week, you know, and I think Terrence Austin wasn't feeling so hot, and then Jonathan Franklin went down I guess, so it made it hard. Other guys have to step up.''
I know you have to see the film, but just a quick assessment, what is slowing the offense?
‘'I wish I could tell you. I thought we played very efficiently in the first half. You know, we were doing a decent job and then, after the thing went south with those first couple of plays, I not so sure we have the wherewithal, the stamina, the maturity, to keep fighting back. I think our guys always give a good effort. We just have to start making some plays. We have to start making plays down the field.''
Will you review the quarterback situation?
''I don't know. Too early to call. But I think Kevin Prince gives us the best chance to win … that's one man's opinion.''
How close are you to having all the pieces you need for this offense?
‘'Well, we have a freshman left tackle. We have three sophomores on the line, and a junior college transfer. We have a freshman at running back and a freshman at quarterback. We have two sophomores at wide receiver. Who knows? Nobody feels sorry for us. We just have to get something together … we just have to. Our defense played very well, our special teams played very well other than that return. We have to uphold our end of the deal. But we're not going to manufacture veterans. We're going to play with these young kids, that's what we're committed to do. They give us the best chance to be successful.''
Have you ever faced this type of situation before?
‘'Not as young as we are now. You know, it's very seldom that a true freshman plays left tackle. Besides the quarterback, that may be as critical position as there is. Now, no excuses, we've got to get it done and we're not.''
What's been hurting the most in the red zone?
‘'Well, I wish I could tell you … some inconsistencies, we haven't been able to run the ball. There's not a lot of room – you run out of room. We have to be able to run the ball better, be a little more patient, maybe.''
Richard Brehaut answered questions from the locker room.
That didn't go quite as you were anticipating …
‘'I mean, yeah, of course. Coming into the game, I want to lead scoring drives. It's on me, I screwed up some. I've got to get the ball out on some of those ones where I got hit. I came in and did what I could, unfortunately it wasn't enough to get it done. I've just got to learn from this.''
The four sacks, just holding the ball too long?
‘'It wasn't about holding the ball and trying to find receivers, it was getting the ball out fast because they were bringing too many that we could block. I kind of screwed a couple of those up so that's on me and I've got to learn from this tape, go watch this tomorrow, and just get better from it.''
Do you feel like next week you should get more of an opportunity to play?
‘'I mean, that's not on me, that's on coach. I can only do what I've been doing and be ready to come into the game like I have been.''
You feel prepared for that now?
‘'Yeah, definitely. It was cool to actually come into the game where it's not just, 'Here's some cleanup time,' you know, it's ‘Let's get this done and get that job done.' It was cool to know that Coach Neuheisel had that faith in me to put me in there. I've just got to show him that I am that guy and I can be that guy.''
How would you rate your performance?
‘'Like I said, I screwed up a couple of those hot balls when we were down on that 10-yard line. I screwed up that last third down. I've got to get that ball out. I'll take the blame for that one, as well as some other ones. It's just about understanding your protection … they've got so many blitz schemes, and I've got to recognize it. That's what, if I could take anything from this game, I would take that. But also, you know, from this game, I got some confidence, going in, when I had that time in the pocket and knew my protection was OK, I thought I delivered the ball.''
Coming out of this game, you feel you rate a legitimate shot that you can be the guy next week?
‘'Yeah, I think I can be that guy and for sure I have the confidence in myself that I'll be that guy and now, whatever Coach Neuheisel and Coach Chow decide, you know, they're the head guys.''
What do you have to show them this week in practice?
‘'Probably just the screw ups that I did have, show them that I can fix that in practice this week and just stuff like that, make sure I go in tomorrow and I understand what I did wrong and that I can learn from it and stuff like that.''
It's obviously a huge transition, going from the spread you ran in high school to this offense …
‘'It is a little bit more, but at the same time, this is what I asked for, this is why I came early to UCLA, to get that, to get spring ball, and understand these protections. I've got to show the coaches that I know what I'm doing out there and can get the ball out in time and keep delivering.''
So the understanding is there, you're just short reps?
‘'Yeah, probably just a few more reps … just understanding those, just seeing the blitzes in practice and stuff. I mean, that's not on the coaches, I mean, we didn't really expect … when you go into the game, you're the backup, you're one shot away, but at the same time Kev is going to get more of the reps. He's going to see more than I saw, but that's on me. I've got to get mental reps when I'm the No. 2 guy. I've got to come in there and have that fire and make the coaches believe in me.''
When you did get in there, how much were you thinking, ‘Man, I've got to spark this team, get them going?'
‘'Yeah, of course. I think when I came in we were down it was 21-10 or 21-3, but we had a shot. So, the coaches obviously had that confidence in me to put me in there and believe that I could get it done. Now it's just about going in tomorrow and learning from my mistakes and just make sure I can move forward from this.''
It seems like you guys are just one step away, a little thing here, a little thing there …
‘'I mean, it's just about shoring up some stuff, some protections … just stuff like that. We really struggled in the second half just to get momentum and I think that was the biggest key in the second half, what we struggled with. We would have a good play, then a bad play, then a three and out, then we'd have a drive and get stopped short. It's about having that momentum and just carrying that momentum to the next play and the next play.''
Why was it so difficult to find that rhythm?
‘'I can't really say. In that third quarter we were struggling a lot. It's just about executing like we know how. We all know what we have to do out there, now it's just about when you see something that kind of confuses you a little bit, you can't be confused. You've got to know, you've got to know everything, you've got to expect everything. That's just what it's about, just executing.''
Chow and Brehaut After Oregon
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