Neuheisel: Turnovers can’t con­tinue

Los Angeles Times - - College Football - Chris Fos­ter chris.fos­ter@latimes.com twit­ter.com/cfos­ter­la­times

One thing UCLA has been this sea­son is gen­er­ous.

Only Ohio’s 11 turnovers top the Bru­ins’ 10. With five fum­bles and five passes in­ter­cepted, UCLA is mi­nus­five in turnover ra­tio. That is on Coach Rick

Neuheisel’s mind as the Bru­ins pre­pare to play at sev­enth-ranked Texas.

“We go into this game with the un­der­stand­ing that we can’t do any­thing to beat our­selves,” Neuheisel said. “We have not been a good foot­ball team in that area the first three weeks.”

The Bru­ins’ “pis­tol” of­fense can lead to more turnovers, given the quick-read de­ci­sions the quar­ter­back has to make on hand­offs. But UCLA’s turnover woes have not been at­trib­uted to the new of­fense.

“I think it was some­thing we were concerned about,” quar­ter­back Kevin Prince said. “We feel like we took care of it. We’d get to­gether for seven-on-seven drills be­fore spring prac­tice and at the end we’d do hand­offs with the backs to make sure we got the mesh right.”

The Bru­ins have eight fum­bles this sea­son, los­ing five, but, “It hasn’t been part of the pis­tol’s ma­chin­ery,” Neuheisel said. “It’s been dis­ci­pline and fun­da­men­tals.”

Im­mov­able ob­ject

Texas comes into the game ranked No. 1 na­tion­ally against the run, al­low­ing 44 yards per game.

“They are the most tal­ented de­fense I have seen in the five years since I have been back in col­lege foot­ball,” UCLA line coach Bob

Pal­cic said. “ … They have strength and quick­ness. I don’t see a flaw.”

Tackle Micah Kia, who missed the Hous­ton game with an an­kle in­jury, saw min­i­mal time in prac­tice Tues­day. Mike Har­ris worked with the first team. Kia is ex­pected to start if healthy.

The Bru­ins rank 31st na­tion­ally in rush­ing, av­er­ag­ing 203 yards a game.

Asked who on the of­fen­sive line has ex­ceeded his ex­pec­ta­tions, Neuheisel said, “They all are ex­ceed­ing ex­pec­ta­tions be­cause I wasn’t sure any of them would be

where they are now.”

Painful play

UCLA coaches were diplo­matic talk­ing about Hous­ton’s open­ing kick­off, which re­sulted in Bru­ins linebacker Jared Koster be­ing lost for the sea­son with a shoul­der in­jury. Hous­ton’s en­tire front group charged UCLA play­ers on the kick­off.

“It’s le­gal,” Neuheisel said.

Asked whether some­thing be­ing le­gal made it right, Neuheisel said, “It was clear to me that it was some­thing they were look­ing for­ward to be­cause their whole bench was jump­ing up and down. The whole side­line was look­ing for it. Chalk one up for them, they got us. It’s just too bad Jared Koster got hurt on play.”

Quick hits

Wide re­ceiver Tay­lor Em­bree­was held out of prac­tice be­cause of a hip flexor in­jury. … Run­ning back Der­rick

Cole­man (con­cus­sion) re­turned to prac­tice wear­ing a no-con­tact red jersey and could re­turn to full prac­tice Wed­nes­day. … De­fen­sive end

Iuta Tepa, who will have surgery to re­pair a torn pec­toral mus­cle, is out for the sea­son. … F-back Chris­tian Ramirez sat out prac­tice with a ham­string in­jury.

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