Oct. 2, 2010
UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel
(opening statement): "It has been a habit of mine to congratulate the opponent regardless of the outcome because that is the spirit of competition, and I do so every weekend. I really want to congratulate Washington State. For a program that has been through it and struggled, for them to come and fight like they did and take us to the limit, I just want to congratulate Paul (Wulff) and his staff because I know how hard it is when you are on the mat to get back up. I just think it was a great effort by them and I'm not saying that just because we won, but I'm saying it because I admire that kind of competition. We are going to look at the film and see a bunch of things that we have to get better at quickly. I think the lesson that I'm going to focus on from this game is our ability to respond when things look bleak. Down eight points after having turned it over and giving up two touchdown drives in the opening moments of the second half and being behind to an opponent that everyone said all week long that it would be no contest, to respond and to come back as spirited as we did to finish the game, I'm pleased. That is what I will focus on and we will spend time in practice to fix things that put us in that situation. We are going to have to obviously play better to continue to hang around the Pac-10 race. But for a brief time as competitors to look at the abyss and respond the way we did, I'm going to have that be the focus as we go forward. I'm looking forward to next week. It's a big game. Cal had the weekend off and I'm sure they learned a lot from watching the telecast. They had the week off playing us last year too (a 45-26 Cal win), so we know how they'll respond. Defensively we have a tall order and we have some guys who are dinged up. Nelson Rosario has a sprained ankle and x-rays were negative. Dalton Hilliard has an AC sprain in his shoulder. I don't know the significance; hopefully it's not too serious. This team (Washington State) came here and meant business and that's what happens when you play in this conference and you play this game. You better understand that you just don't walk out there. I'm looking forward to continuing to build, but I'm fired up about being 3-2."
(on Washington State's overturned touchdown in the fourth quarter and UCLA's goal line stand): "The official came over and told me that they got buzzed right before they kicked the extra point which was missed. And I'm saying that if they score again they are going to get another extra point, so I was in between whether this was good news or bad news. But our defense went out there and did an unbelievable job of stopping them on third and fourth down. It was a defense that had been on the ropes all day. That was huge and equally as large was the ability to go 99 yards and score a touchdown. Getting the ball off the goal line with a quarterback making his first start and throwing the ball on first down and then churning out some big yards, that was a testament to (Brehaut's) character. Obviously we are going to build off it."
(on where his team stands after this win): "I'll have to look at the film. There are some things that will tell me that we got better as a team that can run the football. The numbers were such that we were able to control the game on the ground. We made some silly mistakes in the first half that made touchdown drives field goal drives. But I'll have to wait and see the film before I can answer that. Certainly we are not better on defense and we are going to look at ourselves in the mirror. I'm excited about the way we responded when we were pressed, but that many yards and that many drives is not indicative of how we play defense."
(on the decision to start Brehaut): "We made the decision to start him yesterday afternoon. We had waited to see where Kevin (Prince) was on Friday. As much of it was about Richard and his practice time during the week as it was about putting Kevin in there and getting him hurt. I think he could have played in an emergency, but I think that Richard played real well and he deserved this opportunity. There were a couple things that need to be fixed, a couple throws that he wishes he had back. But he was pretty darn good for a first start."
(on giving up big plays on defense): "I'm going to have to look at the film before I accuse effort as the reason. It looked like when the ball was up in the air that we were just waiting for it to come back down rather than looking like it belonged to us. I don't know if we got tentative because of the number of penalties, but when the ball was up we didn't act like it belonged to us. We've got to get that back fast."
(on running back play): "I'm pleased with the way we ran the football. The numbers are indicative of the fact that we were able to churn it out and that's a good way to play. It'll be fun to watch the film to see what we can get better at. We are still as a staff trying to find the ying and the yang with this. Because it's relatively new for us, it takes longer than the head coach would like it to, but we've got to weather that storm. I'm very pleased with the communication that's going on in terms of trying to find the answers and they ultimately arrive. I thought individually, both Derrick Coleman and Johnathan Franklin had great games. I know that Johnathan was disappointed with the fumble. But he picked his head up and went back in there and was instrumental with the next drive."
Washington State Head Coach Paul Wulff:
"We fought and we played like a Pac-10 football team today. We haven't done that before. It's a tribute to their mission for four quarters and their effort. So there was some growing up out there obviously. There were a lot of really good things that we can work on."
(On the attitude of the team on the sidelines in the fourth quarter): "It was good. They were acting like they should. The attitude was good all the way to the end. I'm very proud of the growth we took today and the fight. The outcome isn't where we wanted it, but we got to keep fighting."
(On the decision to go for it on 4th-and-1 in the fourth quarter): "We had the ball on the one-foot line. I figured the worst case scenario if we didn't get it, that they would have to go 99 yards. I didn't think it was going to be the last score. We struggled stopping them so I just felt that we needed a touchdown. To grow this team, we have to have some accomplishments. I just felt a touchdown was needed."