As mentioned in last night's post we will probably know in next 48-72 hours whether Kevin Prince will be able to return (or start) for the Oregon game this weekend. From what we have heard from last few weeks that he was on track to be available for this weekend. However, we will have a definitive answer sometime Wednesday when Prince is scheduled to undergo an X-ray on his jaw. From the LA Times:
Prince, out three weeks since being injured against Tennessee, had nearly all the rubber bands removed from his mouth Sunday. He will continue to do non-contact drills until seeing the doctor Wednesday. He has been able to throw, run and lift weights the last two weeks, and he lost only five pounds with his jaw wired shut.
If cleared, there is a good chance Prince will start against Oregon on Saturday.
"We have to wait and see," Neuheisel said. "We'll have to see consistency. It is such a timing position. You have to have the ability to let things go on time. He has been able to work out lately, so hopefully he doesn't have too much to dust off."
Prince is not the only injury situation we are going to keep an eye on next couple of days. Lot of us were wondering about Rahim Moore after he was knocked out in a costly play on Saturday. Here is also the latest on Rahim from the LA Times:
Safety Rahim Moore, who left the Stanford game with a concussion, had an MRI exam on Sunday, which was negative. Under concussion protocol, Moore must go 24 hours without a headache before being cleared to rejoin practice. Neuheisel was optimistic Moore would play against Oregon.
More on Rahim's story and an encouraging note to start this Monday after the jump.
If people were wondering what was going through Rahim's mind when he tried to bring the lumber here is the OC Register:
"I saw the tight end but I couldn't see him from the jump," he said. "I was already close when I went and made the play. I couldn't see anything. The sun was in my eyes. I couldn't even see the ball."
As the ball was sailing over Moore's head, and everyone else's, Moore moved in to make the hit on Fleener.
"All I could see was red and I tried to hit it," he said. "I knew it was late in my mind."
The penalty that accompanied the injury was the least of his worries.
"Everything was good and I thought I was going to be able to play but they decided to sit me out," Moore said. "I was a little mad about that because I wanted to play. I know I'm a part of this team and I didn't want them to go down like that.
"They took it away from me and I was mad, real mad," Moore said after a 24-16 loss to Stanford. "I was going to run onto the field and play if I found it."
Instead, Moore remained on the sideline.
Coach Rick Neuheisel said the Bruins couldn't afford to lose another starter in the secondary. The Bruins, who are thin on experience in the secondary, were already playing without starting cornerback Aaron Hester.
CRN made the right decision. BTW in case you were wondering Hester is not going to come back at least till the Cal game. Meanwhile, it is going to be very interesting to see what happens with Price/Viney situation this game week. I for one would like to see Viney back into the mix by this weekend because we are going to need his experience and cover skills against an explosive Oregon offense.
Speaking of the Oregon game the last I head the Bruins opened up as 6.5 point underdogs to the Ducks. I am going to guess that number is going to move up to as much as 9.5-10 points depending on our QB situation by the middle of this week. Obviously, we have done a lot of reflection in last 24 hours and we will be talking about what went down on Saturday wrt to QB situation at least until we have clarity wrt to Prince's availablity this weekend. However, amidst the disappointment, I do want to share the encouraging notes Kurt Streeter posted about the team yesterday in the LAT:
Despite all this, the Bruins kept kicking and clawing. They launched a nice little comeback, kept the outcome in question until a few ticks past one minute remained. A completed pass here, a better block there, maybe, just maybe, this game goes to overtime.
It was a tough loss. More was expected after a 3-0 start and two weeks off. But let's take the long view here. The Bruins are not yet strong, fast and experienced enough. What they must rely on are intangibles. How hard they fight. How long they can endure. This game proved they've got these qualities.
Streeter went on to provide a big picture quote from CRN and give his own impression of the Bruin locker room after the game:
"I don't want to say we are that far behind a team like Stanford," Neuheisel replied. "But it's going to take time. One more year of our program. One more year of conditioning so we're bigger and stronger. It's going to take time, but we're seeing good things."
When Neuheisel left, I walked the locker room to check the vibe. It was nothing like the dour mood after so many losing games last season. After this loss you could feel the depression, but also an assured calm.
Rahim Moore actually smiled, a surprise since he'd literally blacked-out following his fusillade hit on one of the game's key plays: Stanford third down, a pass overthrown, Moore's blow ruled a personal foul that kept alive a touchdown drive.
Tellingly, neither that hit, nor this game, was enough to dim his optimism. He assured that even with all the other difficult games still to come, this will end up a fine season.
Have to say that is a little more encouraging than the last tough loss in Palo Alto back in 2001. After suffering that crushing loss against Stanford crushing our BCS run, we were reading stories about how players (so called leaders of the team) like Ricky Manning were yacking it up on the cell phone and laughing around, not worrying too much about crushing loss the Bruins had suffered against Willingham's crew.
We will see how the Bruins react this game week and how they work to rebound against the Ducks. The effort they give against the Ducks this weekend will be telling wrt how far we have come in the department of culture change at Spaulding field.