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The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

November 16, 2010 at 10:57 AM

Neuheisel: “There’s been ample time” for UW to fix itself

One of the subplots of Thursday’s game is the return of former Husky coach Rick Neuheisel to UW.
It’s a smaller subplot than in 2008, however, when he was coming back for the first time. And Neuheisel acknowledged that today on the Pac-10 coaches conference call saying “well, having done it before, I imagine more water is under the bridge now and it will be a lesser impact than maybe it was the first time.”
In 2008, with UW having already fired Tyrone Willingham and the Huskies finishing out an 0-12 season, the return of Neuheisel was the only interesting thing about the game, and he was the subject of lots of attention from the crowd.
That also figures to lessen with each return visit (though with the new Pac-12 schedule, he won’t be back again until 2013 or 2014).
Asked today if he thinks he’ll always be regarded as the villain in some segments of the crowd said “I’m sure that’s the case for some segment of the crowd, and I don’t know how large that segment is. I know they are pulling for their Huskies, as it should be, and I hope they are rooting for them rather than against me.”
The occasion of his return, however, also led to a question about his time at UW and the fact that the Huskies have not been to a bowl game since his last season in 2002 and whether he feels any responsibility for UW’s downfall.
“Well, I think that there were a lot of mistakes made,” he said. “Certainly I made some. But it’s been seven years. My last year coaching there was 2002. So there has been ample time to fix things. And I know they are excited about the regime that is in there now, and they’ve got guys who are good football coaches and are doing a good job recruiting, so I’m sure it will turn here quickly.”
Neuheisel also repeated that he has no doubt that Jake Locker will play against UCLA and that it will rain.
“Both are certainties,” he said.
As for the rain, he said UCLA has practiced a bit with “the old wet ball drill” this week to prepare. But he also said that “you run the ball and you don’t worry about it.”

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