Brehaut, Prince vie for starting position much like Longhorns

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At Texas, a lot of controversy has surrounded the decision regarding which of the three quarterbacks will play this weekend at the Rose Bowl. UCLA’s Kevin Prince and Richard Brehaut can relate.

Prince, who started the Bruin’s season opener against Houston, fell hard on his shoulder and head in the second quarter of the game and did not return. He was still not 100 percent last weekend, so junior quarterback Richard Brehaut stepped in and played the whole game against San Jose State, which the Bruins won 27-17.

After the game last weekend, Prince said it was tough not playing, but that he understood head coach Rick Neuheisel’s reasoning behind it.

“It’s a long season and it wasn’t worth being out four weeks if I could be back this week,” Prince said. 

Brehaut, who completed 12 of 23 passes, and the Bruins experienced a lot of scrutiny for their lethargic play.

“I could have done a better job of finding my underneath option -- my third option,” he said. “As a quarterback, I’ve got to learn that when it’s third and long, just take that underneath route. You never know what’s going to happen.”

Now, it is unclear who will start on Saturday and UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel is not providing any answers.

“If Kevin is healthy, then Kevin will be back in the mix and we’ll see how it goes as to how we divide those reps and play the game,” Neuheisel said.

Neuheisel said Brehaut did a good job managing the game against San Jose State.

After practice on Tuesday, Neuheisel said Prince was not 100 percent, but that he will be by Saturday, which poses the question — who will play on Saturday?

“I think they both bring unique talents to the game and I wouldn’t hesitate to play them both,” Neuheisel said. “I’m not going to commit to playing them both because I don’t know how games go, but I don’t feel the need to name a starter up until time of game time. I just want both of those guys to keep getting better … as long as they both have great attitudes, and I’m fortunate that they do, we can continue to go down this path.”

Neuheisel will trust his instincts on Saturday when determining who will play, but both players will be ready.

“It has not been a distraction to date,” Neuheisel said. “We got to do what’s best for the football team. Sometimes I think that’s left better unsaid rather than to always be out there telling everybody what you plan to do.”

Case McCoy, David Ash and Garrett Gilbert all know the pressure of fighting for a starting spot. Brehaut said he and Prince are good friends and competing for the number one spot on the squad has been good for them.

“The competition with Kevin is something I’ve had since the first day I stepped on campus,” Brehaut said. “There’s no one ever getting complacent because you always have a guy who is not necessarily breathing down your back, but fighting for your job.”

Brehaut actually knew Gilbert in high school where they played in the Elite 11 in California during their senior year and spent four of five days playing together.

“Texas is switching quarterbacks and having guys rotate and that’s something that we are obviously doing here as well,” Brehaut said. “We can definitely relate to the feelings that those guys are having.”

Brehaut is excited to see Gilbert again and see the progress he has made. Texas fans and players have not forgotten the 34-12 loss that the Bruins reaped on the Longhorns at home last year. But Brehaut said the Bruins are not resting on their laurels.

“Last year was a whole different team for us and for Texas,” Brehaut said. “Last year was last year. We don’t focus
on what we did in the past. We’re looking ahead and we’re looking forward to Saturday.