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Spaulding Roundup: Making Up For Past Heartbreaks, Staying With Prince & Other Football Notes

I have never really cared for rooting for the Halos. Yet I found that victory last night up lifting for couple reasons: 1) don't like the Red Sox and 2) it made other huge chunk of BN join the Dodger fans about feeling good about something sports related involving Southern California teams this weekend. Also, it made a number of friends - Halos fans - finally move past previous heartbreaks from Halos-Red Sox play off series in the past. 

So congrats to the Angels and of course the Dodgers. I like the Yankees but honestly I am not going to be crushed at all if both the Blue Crew and the Halos make the Fall Classic and set up some epic open threads right here on BN. On that positive note (and I will tie it up with the Bruins at the end of this post) let's start the first spaulding roundup of this game week. Of course the QB question is on lot of people's mind. Neuheisel is sticking with Prince (for now):

"I think Kevin Prince is our quarterback," Neuheisel said. "I think Richard Brehaut went in there and did good things, and I want to see Richard Brehaut coming in. And I'm extremely fortunate I have a guy like Kevin Craft who can go in there and do things the way we need him to.

"For the immediate future, we're going to stay with Kevin Prince and believe in him."

Norm Chow was also very clear saying Prince "gives us the best chance to win." Kevin Prince on his part was incredibly gracious about Brehaut getting a shot:

"I wasn't making plays," Prince said. "They were going to try to calm me down, get me back feeling confident. And give Richard a shot, that's only fair. I understood their decision completely. I wasn't able to move the ball, and we just weren't clicking as an offense. As a coach, you have to try something new."

He also understood the urgency of those moments and getting it done on the field:

"I think it's always been about now," Prince said. "Coach Neuheisel made it clear last year that we weren't going to label it a rebuilding year. That's disrespectful to the seniors, to the guys who have been working their whole careers here at UCLA. It's always been about now for us. That should be a wakeup call to myself. I can't sit here and make those mistakes and keep on playing. I need to start improving now."

One thing is clear that this is not the nightmarish situation we underwent with Matt Moore and Drew Olson during their freshman years in Westwood, when a clearly disenchanted Moore was not making the most graceful remarks in public, and his coaches had no idea on how to navigate through that situation. If anything it's clear that Prince clearly "gets it" and is on board with basic premise of team always coming first before individual interests, something that often got lost during the previous regime.

As for the team the seniors called a players only team meeting after the game:

Senior linebacker Kyle Bosworth said after the game team leaders were calling a players-only team meeting to address what ails UCLA.

"These kids want this so badly," Neuheisel said. "If they think a meeting to redefine, to reassure each other that the goals are still high, then so be it. I don't see any of that seeping into our program, at all.

" These seniors really want to lead, and they want desperately for good things to happen. I don't see any fault n that. This is about just playing better."

Well that is encouraging. I like hearing that the players care about these games and hurting after losses. That's different than what I have been used to reading and hearing about the mindset of UCLA players after dispirting losses during previous regime(s). I still have the stories of Ricky Manning yacking it up on his cell phones following the devastating loss against Stanford in 2001 and players laughing and joking around after losses to Trojans during both Toledo/Dorrell years.

So the fact that the players are taking these losses hard is kind of encouraging. It reminds me a little of AA getting into total funk after tough losses on the basketball court. The question right now is how these guys come back this game week at practices and focus on our next opponent. I am sure we will hear a lot of talk about the importance of execution and taking advantage of moments when UCLA has chance to grab control of the game.

Let's see how the guys come back out and perform during game situations next week. One thing that was encouraging on Saturday was that the defense did play a cleaner game and cut down on their penalties. That is something to build on. Although, I still think they will have to do a much better job of tackling, which is going to be a premium when lining up against a super star such as Jahvid Best.

As usual we are not going anyhere. The last group of people Reggie Carter has to worry about sticking with him and his team-mates are the people hanging around here or other online communities of greater Bruin Nation. We are used to getting our hearts ripped out and have our hopes routinely crushed at this point. That is why we had realistic expectations heading into this season.  But hey the Halos showed how history can be reversed and previous heartbreaks can be erased for memory.

I am not sure whether the Bruins will be able to match what the Halos did in the Hub yesterday, but what would be great if Reggie and co. come out and play like warriors, leaving everything on the field, and have their coaches let them play in a way so that no matter what the results are next Saturday we are not left with what ifs.