Well I am heading back to DC this afternoon and getting back in late tonight. So I will try to throw up couple of quick posts and cue up a game thread for our hoops team before I head out to LAX. Bruins checked into DC on Christmas day and have been settling in. They have been practicing at a local high school (@ Eastern Senior High School) near RFK. If you are wondering about weather conditions it's not too shabby. It was in the 40s on Saturday and it looks like it will be in the 30s on Tuesday without any rain or snow. Yeah, I think that's not a bad deal considering how the weather was when we left the District about a week ago. If you have warm gloves, scarf, hat and layer accordingly, you should be good to go.
The coaches from both teams met the media on Saturday. CRN went to the press conference with ATV, who is just about the perfect representative for UCLA. Temple's Golden downplayed the hype around weather:
"It means nothing," Golden said. "Absolutely nothing. I'm sure Rick will say the same thing. Even people say, 'Well, it's farther for them to travel.' Hey, a lot of our kids have already seen Washington, D.C., and for them, the newness and excitement of it might be an advantage. Certainly the weather is not going to be an advantage for us."
Given that there is no snow or rain in the horizon, pretty much have to agree with him. The weather right now looks pretty much the same conditions Bruins dealt with up in Pullman little more than a month ago. Some more practice notes after the jump.Of course everyone is wondering about Prince's health condition. Right now it sounds like it is about as good as it can get. Gold posted the following report from Saturday's practice:
"It's the best it's been," said Prince, who threw for 1,829 yards and six touchdowns in nine starts this year. "A couple days off for rest helped a lot, and hopefully it will continue to keep up like that. We don't have all the resources that we have back at home in terms of treatment, but I think they'll be able to maintain it enough for me to be fine without it hurting."
For the past several practices, Prince said the issue wasn't so much pain as it was discomfort, a nagging pinch when he attempted to throw certain passes.
His biggest issues were with pass attempts across his body and on the run, but on Saturday, he struggled more about the basic throws in 7-on-7 drills. After a handful of erratic throws, however, Prince settled into a groove.
"Today I was able to do that kind of stuff pretty well," Prince said. "Still a tiny pinch, but nothing that would even concern me. Especially once you get into battle and start playing in the heat of the game, you don't even pay attention to that kind of stuff."
UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel said Prince would be the starter against the Owls, with senior quarterback Kevin Craft backing him up. Craft started three games this year, completing 60-of-107 passes for 722 yards and two touchdowns, and has looked efficient in his repetitions during bowl practice.
"He looked improved; no question, a couple days of rest has been good for him," UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel said. "He'll be our guy. There was one today where he was on the run and made a great throw down the field to (sophomore wide receiver Nelson Rosario). That had been the one where he'd been wincing just two days ago. Today, no pain."
The key for Prince is going to be stay warm once he gets it going. I am still worried from that report that it sounds like it took him a while to "settle" into a "groove." Not sure if he is going to have that luxury against a team like Temple, which will try to chew up as much clock as possible via ball control. Hope he is well warmed up once he gets into the game and gets in his rhythm early.
Also, from practice apparently Brian Price had a little "scare" but he is "fine." Probably only cement his decision if there was 1 percent chance of him returning for next season. Meanwhile, CRN gave a reminder to his players how they need to be on their best behavior while representing the four letters during the trip:
UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel spent the final minutes of practice talking to his players about how they should behave during the public appearances scheduled over the next few days. His main concern is that no one does anything foolish.
"It's always national news when kids make poor decisions on bowl trips and have to be sent home," Neuheisel said. "I'm just making sure that guys understand (that) while I don't want to (send a player home), I will if guys don't do the right thing.
"You want to treat them like adults and have them be able to go and enjoy, but they have to be wise enough to do that. You're doing your best to head it off before it happens."
As for local coverage, not surprisingly at the early going Temple seems to be the local favorite in DC. Guess everyone loves that Cinderella story as there is a nice profile on the Owls in the Washington Post. We have said this so many times now on BN not sure it's even worth repeating. Bruins need to come out and start strong because if they fall behind against these guys early, I think they will find themselves playing against Temple and the entire stadium except for perhaps couple of thousands of us in Bruin blue.