Rick Neuheisel's opening statement:
‘'Good day of practice. Really pleased with the way the scout teams preformed for the first day out, and the tempo that they provided. I thought that was excellent. The attitudes that the kids had were terrific, and we've just got to keep setting that as a standard. We can improve, certainly, but if we don't ever dip below what we did today we'll be a good football team with the work that we're getting from those demonstration teams.
''In terms of guys who are nicked, I don't know of anybody that came back today that wasn't here yesterday, so I don't have much to say about that other than we hope to get those guys back soon, certainly by the beginning of next week.
''We'll practice again tomorrow morning and then we'll go out to the Rose Bowl and go through a game-day simulation on Friday, and then we'll let the guys get their legs back a little over the weekend. But, feel good about our football team, understand that we're thin in some places, but guys aren't making any excuses. We're going to fight through and we're going to find a way to be a good football team.''
Do you think Joseph Fauria is going to be ready against Kansas State?
‘'You know, I hope so. I certainly hope so. I know he's trying hard.''
How did Kevin (Prince) feel out there today?
‘'He didn't do much today, just kind of resting him today.''
‘'No, they asked him not to do anything today.''
How much do you see this current o-line group jelling together?
‘'I think it's going really well right now. Certainly there's still a lot to be done and we won't know until we're tested, but they're five seniors, they like each other, they believe in each other and, you know, if we can keep them all together we have a good chance.''
What do you expect out of Tony Dye this season?
‘'I think he's a great player. Obviously, with the kind of year that Rahim (Moore) had a year ago, people will probably lean to his half of the field, try to stay away from Rahim, and I think Tony is up for that challenge. I think he's poised to have a great season. …
‘'One other thing from me, the NCAA denied the appeal for Jeff Baca. It just came in late yesterday and so we'll see what the next step is in that process.''
You were optimistic. Do you have any idea what went on?
‘'I wasn't in the meeting. I just know that they turned the appeal down, so we'll do what's appropriate with respect to that.''
Any idea what the next step is?
‘'I'm not positive, but I'll let you know as soon as I do know. I don't know if there's a second appeal or what have you.''
Kai Forbath, is he close to returning?
‘'Yeah, I think Kai will be ready for the game.''
Would you say you're happy with where the team is right now?
‘'I'm elated with where the team is, I just wish the team had a few more healthy bodies. I think the guys who have gone through have worked their tails off, I think we're a better football team than when we started, I think we've coached them hard. We're tired, like most teams, and the art now is to get them fresh and yet still get better between now and game time.
''That takes a lot of discipline, takes a lot of concentration. But I think we're up to it and I know Kansas State is as eager as we are, so it will be a good football team.''
Have you seen a lot of maturation in your second-year players, guys like Randall Carroll?
‘'Certainly, yes. They've grown up a little bit. Still more to do. We're not there yet. When you're there you're graduating, that's what they say. But it's a fun process.''
How much of a setback would it be if Prince in unable to go on Friday?
‘'Well, I don't think he will go on Friday. I think we've got to hope that we can have Kevin back in some meaningful form starting on Monday, but Richard has to be ready to go. He's had a great camp and he was outstanding in the scrimmage and I think he can be great. We just have to handle the line of scrimmage and everything that goes with that and he'll be a terrific player.''
How long can you wait on Kevin, to make a decision on who is going to play?
‘'I don't put a timeline on that. Obviously, you'd like him to be available as much as possible, but we'll see.''
Kevin Prince was very limited in practice, given what was called a day to rest. Coach Rick Neuheisel said that he is not likely to play in the closed scrimmage on Friday at the Rose Bowl, which means that he will go into game week without much practice time and any live work.
Prince went into a game last season without much work during the week, that against Oregon when he was coming back from the broken jaw. He struggled in that game, hitting 13 of 25 passes for 81 yards with an interception that was returned 32 yards for a touchdown. But he said he is better equipped to deal with the lack of practice now then he was a year ago.
Kicker Kai Forbath was not in practice again. In two-minute at the end of practice, Jeff Locke took the field goal.
Stan Hasiak said last week that he really missed practicing. He has been in practice for three days now, added shoulder pads on Wednesday and got to have a little fun. He had Cassius Marsh riled up on one play - Marsh took two swings at him (Hasiak did not retaliate) and also had a nice block on Aaron Hester downfield on a running play.
Receiver Ricky Marvray (back) and freshman running back Jordon James (hamstring) did some light running on the side. They are expected back at some point this week.
Freshman running back Malcolm Jones (ankle) did not practice.
The coaches were pretty vocal trying to pick up the tempo getting out of a play, into the huddle and into the next play.
Quarterback Richard Brehaut made some nice throws in 7 on 7. The two-minute at the end of practice with the No. 1 offense did not go particularly well, though.
What's next? Do you have any recourse, anything?
‘'As far as I know there's nothing. There's really nothing, like I said, that we can do at this point, so I'm ineligible as of right now and will be for the season.''
How disappointing is this?
‘'I'm very disappointed. Disappointed in myself, mostly. I'm disappointed in myself, but then again, it's something that I wanted to do, in terms of academics. I wanted to become a doctor. That was my goal when I came in here. I took some very tough courses and I didn't do as well as I wanted to and it affects my playing on the field. But they say we're student-athletes, student first, athlete second, and that's how I wanted to approach this and I didn't get it done.
‘'I'm disappointed because I let down the team, but then again I think to help the team in the long run it's best for me to redshirt this year, and I think I'll help the team, coming off an injury, I think I'll help the team after a redshirt year more than I would than if I missed three or four games and then came in, stepped in, and had no training camp, no previous playing at any position, not even playing football. I wouldn't be in shape, and those kinds of things are big for an offensive line. And chemistry, you can't just throw a guy in there. These guys have been working hard since spring. I wasn't there in spring, unfortunately, and I wasn't there in camp because of this injury.
‘'That's big for an offensive line, for team chemistry, and these guys have to going right now and they're progressing every day and I'm real confident in these guys that they're going to do what to takes to take this team where they want to go.''
Are you going to keep the pre-med major?
‘'No, I'm not. I changed to political science.''
How is that going?
‘'Yeah, it's going real well.''
So you've taken some classes …
‘'Yeah, I took 14 units in the summer, so I banged out a bunch of courses in six weeks.''
Given the injury, how much football were you expecting?
‘'I was hoping and pushing for Stanford, so I was going to miss just one game, and be here for Pac-10. With this ineligibility now, it's probably going to be an extra two weeks, one week at least. It's something that is a blessing, because I wouldn't want to rush this back and I wouldn't want to miss four or five games. It is what it is right now, and you know, I'm not happy, but you've just got to take the good out of stuff like this. You've got to say, I'm going to get in the weight room with these freshmen, I'm going to be a leader down there because I'm going to be the oldest guy, and I'm going to shoe these guys how we life, how we work and how we play and how we run scout team and how we do everything.
''Because, I've been on the starting squad for two years now, and I'm going to show these guys what it takes and when I go to the defense and I'm up against the defense every day, I'm going to make them better, because I'm going to be going against them all day and they're going to be going against a guy who basically has played in the games, you know? I've just got to take this year, get in the weight room show these guys how it's done downstairs and come back out here and try to improve and get better.''
The rest today, was that a reaction to the way you were feeling?
‘'No, I think that was the plan all along. We wanted to see what we could do yesterday and we got some throwing in and it felt pretty good today, just a little sore, nothing unusual. It didn't affect anything else that I was able to do. I could still run around, make cuts, do all the things that I needed to do in that aspect of the game. We just wanted to take today off from throwing and then we'll re-evaluate and see what we can do tomorrow.''
Rick said Friday is probably not going to happen. How do you have to adjust off that to get ready for Monday?
‘'Just do all we can. If I can't go Friday, obviously I'll be here this weekend getting treatments and doing all that I can. If it happens that way, then I'll just have to come out here, if I'm healthy this weekend but just miss Friday, come out here and start getting back in the rhythm of things by myself, throwing, doing drills, doing whatever I need to do. I've missed a lot of time now, and there's a lot of ground to be made up, It is what it is, Everything happens for a reason, that's what I believe, and I'll find a way to overcome this.''
How much more challenging is it going into game week without some live work?
‘'It's different for sure. That's kind of what I had to do against Oregon last year. You know, I broke my jaw, and then the week of the Oregon game just did a few practices and then it was game time. So, you know, it's tough. But I've had a season of experience now and I think that will help, as opposed to last year where I only had two games of experience under my belt. We'll see what happens. I think I'll be able to start throwing some, hopefully by the end of the week, with a lot less pain and we'll just continue to work on it.''
That Oregon week give you a guide on what to do, what not to do, what to do more of?
‘'Obviously, I was pretty disappointed with the way I played against Oregon. I think part of that was I was nervous that I hadn't gotten enough practice. I think that we do so much in practice and I've done so much in the offseason that I know what's going on, I just have to be confident in the fact that I know what's happening and that I can execute it in a game.
‘'I think if I had that mindset going into that game last year against Oregon, I would have been better. If it happens that way against Kansas State, I'll definitely have a different mindset going into it.''