Arizona confident with either QB heading to UCLA
By GREG BEACHAM
AP Sports Writer
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — Whether Nick Foles or Matt Scott lines up for
the first snap behind Arizona’s offensive line at the Rose Bowl on
Saturday, the 15th-ranked Wildcats already know their offense is likely
UCLA is certain Richard Brehaut will be
its quarterback, yet the Bruins have no idea what to expect from their
popgun Pistol offense and a defense about to get another brutal Pac-10
Arizona (6-1, 3-1 Pac-10) has kept Foles’
health under wraps throughout the week leading up to arguably the least
intimidating game left on its schedule. His sprained right knee kept
him out of last week’s win over Washington, but Scott scarcely made a
mistake in his place.
“Matt is a bit more fiery kind of guy,
Nick is kind of more collected,” Arizona receiver David Douglas said.
“They’re both great leaders, though.”
UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel doesn’t expect any breaks from the Wildcats’ purring offense no matter who’s calling the shots.
“This Scott kid is certainly very
athletic, as witnessed by his game against Washington,” Neuheisel said.
“He’s obviously very accurate. They give him a lot of time to throw,
which is the mark of a good offensive line. We have to find ways to
create pressure, but in so doing, you can’t open up running lanes so he
picks it up and is gone. You’ve got to pick your spot where you’re
going to come after him and hopefully get home.”
Neuheisel has plenty of his own problems.
After two straight blowout losses, UCLA
(3-4, 1-3) has lost starting quarterback Kevin Prince for the season to
knee surgery, leaving Brehaut to make his third career start in charge
of the FBS’s 117th-ranked passing offense.
Nobody knows what to make of the Bruins,
not even their next opponent. UCLA is good enough to win at Texas and
take down nationally ranked Houston on consecutive weekends last month,
but the Bruins also are bad enough to be outscored 95-20 in their last
“They’ve been up and down,” Arizona
offensive tackle Adam Grant said. “We’ve been that way too this season.
You don’t know what’s going to show up there. You just have to come
prepared and play as hard as you can against them. They have great
But they don’t have Prince, who beat out
Brehaut for the starting job before failing to stay healthy yet again.
The Wildcats have special knowledge of the quarterback they’ll face:
Arizona recruited Brehaut, offering him a scholarship before he chose
Arizona’s defense is rounding into fine
form, giving up 21 points in the last two games and allowing more than
20 twice all season. The Wildcats are seventh in the FBS in rushing
defense, while UCLA’s running game is ranked 22nd behind tailback
Brehaut realizes he’s facing the
Pac-10’s sack leaders — Arizona defensive ends Ricky Elmore and Brooks
Reed — without starting left tackle Sean Sheller protecting his blind
side. Brehaut also knows that if he survives the rush, starting
receiver Ricky Marvray won’t be waiting for a pass: Marvray and Sheller
are suspended for a game for an undisclosed violation of team rules.
It’s enough to make any quarterback
panic, but Brehaut is eager to see whether UCLA’s run-based offense can
keep up with Arizona’s increasingly fine-tuned unit.
“They’ve got that great pass rush, and
they love to disguise what they do with it,” he said. “You’ve got to
make sure you’ve got your eyes up, watching everything that’s coming
from both sides. That’s going to be a key to the game, seeing how well
we can monitor their pressure.”