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Spaulding Roundup: Practice For Youngsters, QB Updates, Golden's Wandering Eyes & Other Bowl Prep Notes

Let's start the Monday with a football roundup. We have lots of bits and pieces of news coming out of Spaulding (and out of Philadelphia) as the Bruins get ready for their first bowl game under Rick Neuheisel in Westwood. We all desperately wanted this bowl game because it would provide a big opportunity for coaches to get the underclassmen in this program additional practice time. Well from the first reports, it looks like the coaches are doing just that. Meanwhile, out in Philadelphia, an interesting subplot is shaping up around the Temple Owls, as it appears that they will have to deal with constant chatter of Al Golden exploring other head coaching opportunities (just like he did when the UCLA position opened up little more than two years ago).

So, speaking of youngsters getting more practice time here is Jon Gold from the Daily News:

With a still-young offensive unit that can use every second of the team's nine practices before it leaves for Washington on Christmas Day, the evaluation period has once again resumed.

"These first four days are about getting these young guys some reps," junior defensive tackle Brian Price said. "It's just about getting back rolling. We had two weeks off, we worked out, but nothing more. We had a chance to focus on school, which is good. I'm glad it's over with, though; two weeks of nothing is painful."

Richard Brehaut is one of the young guys who is getting to take advantage of additional practice time. He is trying to take advantage of the opportunity as Prince is still recovering from his injury. From the LA Times:

Freshman Richard Brehaut took the majority of the reps Sunday during a light workout that seemed more a chance to stretch out.

"This is a chance to get a better look at him," offensive coordinator Norm Chow said. "We can look at how he manages the team in practice. He looked good today."

Chow said there is no alternative plan at the moment in case Prince is sidelined for the game.

"We can wait and see how Kevin is later this week," Chow said. "We haven't really worked on anything about Temple yet."

Guess we will have to keep a close eye on the QB situation because late last week we thought Prince might have been ready by middle of this week. Now it looks a little uncertain. More on that after the jump.

From Gold's report (and from the LA Times) it looks like there is uncertainty as to whether Prince will be ready by middle of this week:

Redshirt freshman quarterback Kevin Prince (right shoulder) did not throw any passes Sunday and said he still feels sharp pain when he does. Though Neuheisel said UCLA's medical staff expected Prince to return Wednesday, that status is in question.

"It's been better," Prince said. "It's not full-go yet. I wasn't able to throw today. It's just a nagging pain. I've been getting treatment every day; it's starting to get better, it's kind of just lingering right now at the same point of pain. It's a little disappointing."

Guess we will have to keep a close eye on this.BTW there is another little note in the LAT about quarterbacks. Apparently Nick Crissman underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder keeping him out from any action for at least 8 weeks. Feel bad for the poor guy because he has been dealing with one injury after another since coming to Westwood.

Meanwhile, going back to Prince, I think if he is not ready by middle of this week, I would prefer that coaches go with Kevin Craft to start the bowl game (and mix in Brehaut if necessary). Considering the circumstances, I think Craft did a great job his senior year and it would be the perfect closure and bridge to the next step in Neuheisel's tenure at UCLA, if Craft led the seniors in finshing up their career with a memorable win in DC. Anyway, we will find out more on this later this week.

In terms of practice energy, ever quotable Reggie Carter gave a little peak into players' mindset heading into this bowl game:

"I get one more shot to go out there and hit somebody," Carter said. "I hear Temple runs the ball a lot. That happens to be what I like to do the most, hit people with the ball. Hopefully they'll come visit me a couple times before the game is over.

"They're like 23rd in the country in rushing, I hope they run the ball every play. I'll be waiting."

I think it is going to be very interesting to see how Carter performs in this game. There was no question he was banged up during the last few games of the regular season. He had a solid game against Southern Cal, however, he was not as effective as he had been in the past in games leading up to that due to his injury. It looked like he was just gutting it out. I am hoping the time off will enabled us to see a fresh and rejuvenated Cater, who will be able to make an impression on national TV.

Shifting our attention across the country, Temple is dealing with Golden coaching rumor/chatter:

Golden, of course, interviwed for the UCLA job when Neuheisel, a former Bruins quarterback, got it. Now Golden's name is coming up with the Cincinnati vacancy, as it did with the Virginia opening (which has been filled). Or even Notre Dame, which interviewed Golden (in New York) before going with Cincy coach Brian Kelly.

"I just haven't had any contact with anybody [from Cincy]," Golden said. "Right now I'm just going about my business. I don't know what the future brings, but I'm just trying to get ready to play UCLA."

Several sources have indicated that Cincinnati has asked for permission to talk with Golden. Understandably, neither Golden nor athletic director Bill Bradshaw, the man who hired him, will talk about ongoing searches. But Bradshaw in the past usually has given Golden permission to at least explore the interest level.

So, would Golden talk to Cincy?

"I don't know," he said. "I don't know."

That was from the Philadelphia Daily News, which has a report on how Golden is working hard to get Temple to focus on UCLA. I doubt this chatter will linger on for a long time. I have to guess Golden will shut it down throughly in the coming days and get his team locked on to UCLA. This game is basically going to be the Superbowl for Temple program (and an career defining game for Al Golden).

Last time, we were in a bowl game situation like this, we laid egg in Las Vegas against Wyoming Cowboys. We need this win just as badly as the Temple Owls. A win in this game will not only excite our alumni/fan base, I think it will inject even more energy into an already jump charged recruiting effort by Neuheisel and his coaching staff. So, I really hope our coaches and players can match the sense of urgency that will be felt from the Temple program.