Former UCLA head football coach Rick Neuheisel was probably one of the most satisfied people in America after UCLA beat USC 35-17 Saturday night.
Neuheisel recruited Brett Hundley three or four years ago to play for UCLA. Hundley was supposed to be the player who was going to put UCLA football back in the national spotlight.
Against USC he showed why he was so highly recruited out of Chandler High School in Arizona. His performance against USC will go down as one of the best games played by a quarterback in the 83-year history of the rivalry.
In the two years that Hundley has been the starting quarterback for the Bruins he has put up better numbers but his game management against USC was perfect. He ran when he needed to run and he completed his passes when he needed to. He ran the ball 13 times for 80 yards and completed 18 out of 28 passes for 208 yards.
What everyone forgets is that he was recruited to do this for the 2011 season. That's the season USC destroyed UCLA, 50-0 at the Coliseum. That's the year Neuheisel was fired because Hundley was injured in the spring of 2011 and missed the entire season. What a difference a good quarterback can make.
"It's been a while since a quarterback has played that well against us, especially running the ball," said USC coach Ed Orgeron. "We knew going into the game that he could hurt us on the quarterback draw. We tried everything to stop him but he still kept making plays. No excuses, but overall we did not play well."
When UCLA head coach Jim Mora was asked if this was the best game a quarterback has played for his team he said "We've had quarterbacks named Michael Vick and Steve Young play some pretty good games for us."
He referred to his years in the National Football League.
Now, the next big question Hundley needs to answer is he turning pro after this season? "I am still focusing on this season," said Hundley. "After the season is over we'll sit down and make my decision."
If Hundley plays another great game in the bowl game this month he will probably turn pro. Remember, everyone said former USC quarterback Mark Sanchez was not ready for the professional football so Hundley has a big decision to make. At 6-3 and 220 pounds Hundley has the size, arm and speed to make it at the next level.
"I give the credit to the offensive line, the receivers and the coaches for us playing a great game," said Hundley after beating USC for the second year in a row. "We came into their house and got the win and now people can wear their UCLA stuff proudly."
Probably one of the proudest Bruins of all is former UCLA quarterback and head coach Rick Neuheisel.