Bumped. GO BRUINS. - N
Yes, the immediate reaction this morning to the temporary loss of Prince is disheartening -- to say the least. The kid was doing very well; he may not have been lighting it up statistically but he was indeed leading and he wasn't committing major mistakes that were giving games away. This, after not having played since high school two entire years ago. The kid earned the starting job and now he has to deal with this injury. Sad and definitely not what we needed, esp. after two solid wins. However, with this loss comes new opportunity for this young team.
We have no choice but to move on and focus on KSU this Saturday. And that means true Frosh Brehaut should be at the helm. The kid is our #2 guy and left h.s. early to get here, and he's extremely talented. We may very well discover that he's even better than Barkley over at $C (who looks like he's about 13, by the way).
Brehaut and our team will be better off by getting some time to play together. Given how injury prone our QBs have been in recent years (due to bad luck and not necessarily poor recruiting, at least I would say), it is probably a good thing that our #2 guy get some experience, esp. against Kansas State and at home, no less. This will also allow us to at the very least TRY to re-establish a solid running game -- if anything it looks like we have some pretty good talent back there once again in Franklin, Knox and Coleman (if Moline can stay healthy, maybe we can add him to the list as well).
Norm Chow is probably the perfect guy to have in our corner during times like these, because he's such a great teacher (as is Coach Rick). There was one scene during the game on Sat. where Coach Neuheisel was animated on the sidelines talking to all THREE of his QBs on the sideline... he was involving all of them and he looked genuinely like a teacher, like a counselor, almost like a big brother (Dorrell never looked that interested whenever on the sidelines, as you all recall -- night and day comparison with Coach N.), exhibiting patience, emphasis, and just genuine passion. It was great! These next few weeks, I am certain, Chow will take some time to cultivate a real learning environment and set up a gameplan where our next QB will be allowed to move cautiously, but smartly, as he attempts to guide the team.
Our o-line, in many ways also becomes stronger because of this, getting to know Brehaut and how he functions... this sort of symbiosis is essential between a QB and his line. Prince clearly has been bonding more with his line in recent weeks and the same will now be allowed to happen with Brehaut. We may very well discover this kid is the real deal and if we have some type of QB 'controversy' because of it, well, that's a GOOD problem to have, for a change. Not like two years ago where we were dipping DEEP into the QB till and using a walk-on QB against ND at the Rose Bowl (one of the more embarrassing games in our history, I might add).
Most importantly, this provides our Defense the opportunity to rise to the occasion even more... Let's not kid ourselves here, our D won the game in Tennessee this weekend. The play of R. Moore (5 INTs in two games!), Reggie Carter, the Bosworth boys, A. Verner, B. Price(!), this list is getting lengthy isn't it?? Bruins, we have a SOLID Defense... we should be grateful to outgoing Coach Walker who bears some of the responsibility for this as does Coach Neuheisel -- putting the right guys on the field and making them tougher week in and week out is what has led to this 2-0 season thus far. Just keep thinking about what they did to Crompton and to the Tennessee O-line on that last drive on Sat. -- it's something to be very excited about... Against a team like KSU, our D will get even better... and then it's time to rest up for two weeks before we face Stanford... and then it's party time (!)... Hopefully by that point Prince is back (it's a possibility), but if he is not, in Brehaut we trust!
In one of the Sunday articles in the Times, Coach Neuheisel was quoted as such, when he apparently spoke to the contingent of Bruins fans who were in Tennesse, on hand to watch the game live: '"We are going to get ourselves back to the pinnacle!"
I don't think Terry Donahue ever uttered words like that... certainly not Coach Dorrell... Coach Toledo did, and almost took us there, but there was always a 'softness' to his teams. Coach Neuheisel actually means it... the manner in which he pays attention to the Bruin faithful at games proves his passion not only for his sport, and for his job but most importantly, for UCLA. We're lucky to have this guy and this is only the beginning. This little setback is what the good coaches ultimately laugh at and expect -- challenges such as these... that's what makes them good coaches in the end.
I think despite the most unfortunate loss of Prince, albeit temporarily, we have still a lot to be excited about... One game at a time, gents... ONE GAME at a time... one snap at a time... one series at a time... if we take on that attitude, that type of focus, we'll be in the thick of it come November...