There is more pro-Bruin happy talk in this Register article than I've seen in quite a while. The writers basically think the Bruins have what it takes to beat any Pac-10 team on the schedule. Per Maya:
The program took a major step forward this past weekend. A year ago, despite having talent comparable to what they have now, the Bruins would have never won at Texas. You just knew going in they wouldn’t beat the Cals, the Oregons, the USCs. Now, I wouldn’t be shocked if they beat any of them. Everyone on their schedule is fair game.
They remember Prince's 300+ yd. performances from last year, and don't jump on him for the paltry passing yards so far this season.
Prince can throw the ball. He had 300-yard games last season. The passing numbers tell only a small part of the story. I actually think he might be the most underrated QB in the Pac-10. He has done a great job of running this offense, he has a presence in the huddle and at the line of scrimmage that gives his teammates confidence. In practice he has looked very sharp passing. The larger question with the passing game is, if UCLA does have to throw it against Cal or Oregon, will the receivers catch it?
They could, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, go 8-4. At the same time they’re an injury at quarterback or center away from disaster.
I have the same concern about our receivers' ability to catch the ball, and share their concern about back up center Greg Capella.
Maya: At quarterback, yes. At center, I’m not so sure. That was a lot of people’s contention when Kai Maiava went down. His replacement, Ryan Taylor, was just selected the Pac-10’s offensive player of the week, the first lineman since 2003.
Reid: That’s my point. Backup center Greg Capella has been a complete disaster. I don’t think I’ve seen Neuheisel as angry at a player this year as he was toward Capella during the week after Maiava’s injury. And even the couple snaps he had Saturday in Austin were an adventure.
Maya doesn't agree with Reid, who thinks that the UCLA running backs are better than the Trogans', but he does think we are playing better football than $UC.
Reid: I will say this UCLA has better running backs than Tailback U.
Maya: Hope you’re prepared for the scorn of USC’s uber-sensitive fans for that one. I don’t agree in the slightest but I’m hardly offended. Last week I had the nerve to suggest UCLA’s and USC’s records might be flipped if their schedules were. But forget about hypotheticals. I’ve been watching both teams and, as of late September, 2010, the Bruins are playing better football than the Trojans. I don’t think that’s been true since October of 2001.
What a great week to enjoy our program. Sure, I am concerned about Prince's ability to play this week and complete the season, and there is no guarantee that we won't regress to the team that was stomped by Stanford, but this week it doesn't feel that way. It really feels that we took major strides over the last three weeks and we are ready to compete every week. There's no harm in being optimistic. Go Bruins!