UCLA fires Rick Neuheisel; will coach Pac-12 title

By Greg Beacham

Associated Press

Published: Monday, Nov. 28 2011 1:22 p.m. MST

Johnson joined Neuheisel's staff this season, replacing Norm Chow after Neuheisel's messy public breakup with the longtime offensive mastermind. The former NFL assistant coach was the San Francisco 49ers' offensive coordinator for most of last season, and he has helped Neuheisel to lead a resurgence of UCLA's offense this year.

Neuheisel and Chow installed Nevada's pistol offense at UCLA last season, a surprising decision viewed as desperation by two veteran coaches with a wealth of experience in other systems. The switch revived UCLA's nonexistent ground game, but the formation still felt gimmicky and unsuited to UCLA's personnel even this season, when the Bruins had decent success with the emergence of Kevin Prince as a running quarterback.

Neuheisel remained confident in his abilities until the end, saying last week that he thought UCLA had "closed the gap more" in its rivalry with USC. The Trojans then delivered the third-biggest blowout in the rivalry's history, shutting out UCLA for the first time since 2001.

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