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November 7, 2011UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel and his Bruins are looking forward to the challenge that Utah brings. After watching film it is obvious that the Utes are a talented and opportunistic football team. They are fundamentally sound and understand field possession and they are a team that takes advantage of turnovers. One more thing, they are well coached.
The Bruins know the are going into a tough environment and they remember the last time they went up to Utah would something they would like to forget. It is a huge challenge and the team needs to focus like a laser beam.
UCLA needs to put a good week of practice together to play a good game. UCLA has earned the right to play in a another big game.
One thing that is for sure, the Bruins were fortunate that they didn't give up any points on their two turnovers last week. Both times the Bruin defense held ASU to three and outs.
Obviously that was huge in a one point game. It helps the emotional well being of the team.
The elephant in the room this week is the reunion with Norm Chow. Contrary to what has been written, Neuheisel thinks Chow and his wife are great people. He hasn't talked to Chow this week, but hopes to catch up with Chow on game day.
Neuheisel enjoyed his time with Chow and was glad to get to know him and his family. He wishes Chow all the success in the world, except of course this Saturday when the Bruins play the Utes.
The Bruin head coach said that he learned from Chow, he's not sure if he learned anything from him.
The reason UCLA didn't have success at when the two were together was not because of a stormy relationship . There were just too many injuries during their time together.
Bruin fans remember the duo lost two senior quarterbacks for the season on their 14th day on the job and were forced to go with Kevin Craft, who had some moments, but obviously not enough.
If people focus on Chow's body of work only while at UCLA they would be wrong. He has a long rich history of success.
Neuheisel and Chow have talked earlier this year after Utah's, BYU game. Chow thanked Neuheisel for a concept that worked out well for him against the Cougars.
It was a great phone call for Neuheisel. It showed that their friendship was more than just their work at UCLA.
The game is probably going to be rock, scissors, paper because they know each other so well. They will both probably try to change things up because they know each other so well.
UCLA's offense is ahead of last year mostly because they are in their second season running it, but also the addition of Jim Mastro has been huge and the health of Kevin Prince has also been beneficial during the last four games that Prince has played the majority of snaps.
Quarterback Richard Brehaut will be back tomorrow at practice, but in a limited capacity. He will come out run some routes, but Neuheisel doesn't know if Brehaut will be able to do any team stuff. At this point, Brehaut is considered questionable. Neuheisel has to wait to see how he performs on Tuesday.
Neuheisel was asked about Johnathan Franklin's fumble and he said it was more a freak thing being hit by somebody on is own team. Franklin's fumbling was a problem a year ago, but it has not been this year and he has complete faith in his running back.
Franklin is a great team player. He will work this week to correct his the problem and so will Derrick Coleman, who also fumbled. Both are consummate team player.
Asked about the elevation, Neuheisel talked about when he coached at Colorado and the teams that didn't let it bother them were the teams that did the best. That will be the approach the team takes.
Dietrich Riley will be seeing another doctor this week. Riley thinks he's ready to go, but UCLA's doctors are being cautious. He should be back sometime this season though so the prognosis is good, but they don't know the exact timing of the event.