Come rain, come shine, come snow, come sleet, no matter what the weather forecast is for Salt Lake City on Saturday the Bruins better be ready to handle the things in their control so they can continue on this winning streak. UCLA head coach, Rick Neuheisel again was pleased with his team's work and said so when he met with the media after Thursday's practice.
Neuheisel: "Good Thursday and it needed to be a good Thursday as we get ready to do something that we haven't been good at over the course of the last few years, which is play a great game on the road. We have done it a couple of times but we've lacked consistency and for us to take the step as a program we have to be able to do that on road. It is a great challenge for us and hopefully we are up to it. Looking forward to the chance."
Is Aaron Hester serving a suspension?
Neuheisel: "For the first half."
Is that a Pac 12 suspension?
Neuheisel: "No, it is my suspension. Over the comments he made about officiating. You just can't do that. It's not something that he should talk about. It is not something he should talk about. It's not something anybody should talk about. Those guys do the best they can and certainly there is frustration at times, but we can't condone that so, he will miss the first half of the game and hopefully he will have the right attitude to help us in the second half."
Was it going to be just a private suspension?
Neuheisel: "Yeah it was internal discipline, but he tweeted it and so now it's in the domain and so away we go."
How is Aaron physically?
Neuheisel: "Physically, much better. He twisted his ankle yesterday and we were concerned, but much better today and given the amount of improvement from yesterday and today, I think he will be ready to go."
Is Tony Dye looking like he's on track to play?
Neuheisel: "Tony Dye may be available. I don't know what the chances are, but he is chomping at the bit and wanting to participate and his parents after careful deliberation are of the mind they he would like to continue to play and participate the rest of the season. So if he's healthy and gets the stamp of approval then he'll be able to get back in there."
Are you waiting on if Tony is cleared to play?
Neuheisel: "I think he's been cleared to play. It's just a question of the family saying this exactly what we want and that's the way they are leaning right now."
Obviously that would mean Tony wouldn't be back. Is that a decision you guys...
Neuheisel: "No, it's...wouldn't be back, we would have liked to have Akeem Ayers and Raheem Moore back, but they decided to move on. Those are decisions that families need to make and we need to support them and if Tony is going to be able to play, I want him to be healthy and be productive."
Being somewhat down at depth at linebacker looking at your drills there's not too many scholarship guys working out...
Neuheisel: "Well I think we will be ready by game time, but certainly we at that portion of the season where there are some bumps and bruises."
Neuheisel: "He's going on the trip and I think he will be ready to go."
Neuheisel: "Chris Ward, no, maybe eventually surgery for him, sooner than later."
Do you have anything special to prepare for snow?
Neuheisel: "You know we went to Pullman a couple of years ago and drove in a snow storm and the next day was nice, but there was snow around the side of the field. I think our guys will respond. It is, what it is. We don't get to choose the weather, we just get to play in it."
Is it going to be another parking lot night of taking off your shoes?
Neuheisel: "I don't know. We will see. We will see."
You said that Ward may get surgery. What will he have surgery on? Is it a MCL?
Neuheisel: "It's a knee and I think it involves the patella."
There has been a lot of talk about Utah's running game so centralized on John White. When one guy is so good, yet as a whole the team doesn't run for a ton of yards does that change the coaching?
Neuheisel: "Well he's (White) a very talented back. They like their fullback (Shawn Asiata), he's a talented player. We are going to have to be good against the run. That's going to be a key. That's been a vulnerability of ours. We have to man up and find a way to play better in this circumstance."