The Bruins lifted up their quarterback after he led them to a 20-17 win over unranked Texas. However, this quarterback was not Heisman-hopeful Brett Hundley…it was Jerry Neuheisel.
Hundley left the game with a left elbow injury in the first quarter, enter Neuheisel.
Neuheisel was 23/30 for 178 yards and two touchdowns, including a 33-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Payton with three minutes left.
“My first thought was excitement for Jerry Neuheisel,” said UCLA head coach Jim Mora. “This kid is everything that’s right about college football and about UCLA.”
While the Bruins (3-0) tried to rely on the ground game to win the game, 47 touches wasn’t enough to put the game away and they needed to rely on the arm of Neuheisel to bring the team back from behind.
“It took until I got in the locker room and we did the fight song that it really sank in,” Neuheisel said. “Right now I’m just kind of on cloud nine and enjoying the moment.”
The moment, however, could have easily been the Longhorns (1-2.,) but there was bad news from the beginning.
A coin toss that caused confusion gave the Bruins the ball to not only start the game with the ball, but also the second half.
“I had trouble believing it at first,” Mora said. “We were able to steal a possession without taking the ball away. I’m not sure what went on out there, but we were the beneficiary and we’ll take it.”
Carrying the load for the Bruins on the ground was Paul Perkins, Perkins also led the team in receiving.
Perkins had 126 yards on 24 carries and 69 yards from five receptions.
It’s unclear how long Hundley will be out for, but Neuheisel is up for the challenge.
The Bruins will head to Arizona and take on the Arizona State Sun Devils on Sept. 25.