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Game Day Roundup: Getting Ready For The Debut Of A Bruin Prince & Other Notes

<em>Photo Credit: E. Corpuz</em>
Photo Credit: E. Corpuz

Here we go guys. I am so fired up today that I feel like I want to put up the game thread and get going right away. It is going to be awesome to take in football games all am/pm before settling down for our kickoff at 4:30 pm PST. I will put up a pre game thread around 12:00 pm PST to get us going. Before we start firing off let's check in a bit with the reports in today's papers.

There aren't any big breaking news heading into kickoff this evening. However, I loved reading about how Kevin Prince became a Bruin. From the Press Enterprise:

Prince grew up on Thursday nights at Pauley Pavilion and Saturday afternoons at the Rose Bowl. A UCLA wall clock and banner adorn the walls of his childhood bedroom, as does an autographed Cade McNown jersey. He even briefly served as a ball boy for the football team.

What kept Prince from snapping up UCLA's initial scholarship offer the summer before his senior year was that he never believed the coaching staff considered him its quarterback of the future. Then-coach Karl Dorrell already had secured a commitment from fellow senior Nick Crissman of Huntington Beach Edison, and Prince's scholarship offer was contingent on him taking a two-year religious mission and not enrolling until 2010.

With contact from Dorrell's staff waning as it became clear UCLA would make a coaching change, Prince accepted a scholarship from Washington in December 2007. The only reason Neuheisel was even aware of Prince when he visited Crespi two months later was that his teenage son had raved about Prince's performance at a recent camp.

As Neuheisel sat in the Crespi football office waiting to speak with linebacker E.J. Woods after class, he asked Coach Jeremiah Ross to show him film of Prince.

He learned that Prince had an arm so strong that his father had to buy receiver's gloves to catch him. He learned that Prince was the hardest worker Ross has ever coached. And he learned that Prince suffered a season-ending knee injury in the opening game of his senior season, but served as a quarterbacks coach for the next three months, offering the advice and encouragement sophomore Bryan Bennett needed to pilot Crespi to an 11-3 record.

"A big reason we were able to do that was because of Kevin's leadership," Ross said. "There have been other kids who get injured and fade off. He was like, 'Anything I can do to help this team off the field, I'm going to do.' "

Neuheisel was so impressed by Prince that he put on an immediate full-court press, calling his parents, putting him in touch with Offensive Coordinator Norm Chow and inviting him to visit campus. Less than a week later, Prince was a Bruin.

I can't get enough of stories like that. Obviously we are all anxious to see Kevin's debut in the best looking home uniforms in college football. However, as we have discussed over and over again this off-season the key tonight is going to our completely revamped OL. If they can stay patient and focused against the chaotic Aztec's 3-3-5 defense, and get our running game going early on, it will be a huge assist to Kevin Prince. More after the jump.

Getting the running game going will be key for both teams (not just Bruins):

Defensive coordinator Rocky Long thinks both teams will try to establish the run "because neither team did it all that well last season." The left side of SDSU's offensive line has zero career starts and is facing a physical defensive line, anchored by defensive tackle Brian Price and defensive end Korey Bosworth (7.5 sacks last year) . Offensively, the Bruins have a young backfield with redshirt freshman Kevin Prince at quarterback and redshirt freshman Johnathan Franklin at tailback. UCLA's front five averages about 6-3, 316 pounds. SDSU coach Brady Hoke said he plans to substitute liberally on defense, and as many as 22 players could see action today. The Aztecs were winless on the road last year; their last win away from Qualcomm was Nov. 10, 2007 against UNLV.

Well Brady Hoke's team is going to be a mystery since they have been locked up and away from the press during the preseason camp. From Kevin Gimmell in the San Diego Union Tribune:

Today, we'll see.

We'll see what the man behind the curtain — new San Diego State football coach Brady Hoke — has been doing since coming over from Ball State.

He's kept his Aztecs closely guarded since the start of training camp. He's shaping the message at Montezuma Mesa his way and dishing out a heavy volume of coaching buzzwords.

He's created a buzz by being buzz-less.

Well he has also created a lot of buzz because he is bringing in two fairly accomplished coordinators in Al Borges and Rocky Long. We have talked about them all week but if you need to still catch up on them you can do so reading rest of Gimmell's game preview here.

On the local front today Jon Golden has a profile of Taylor Embree in the Daily News and LAT's Chris Foster has a generic overview (which doesn't really tell us anything new). For those who haven't been keeping track here are the latest injury notes:

UCLA will be without tailback Christian Ramirez (ankle), wide receiver Gavin Ketchum (hamstring), offensive lineman Micah Kia (knee surgery), offensive lineman Nick Ekbatani (sprained knee) and defensive end Reginald Stokes (knee surgery). Defensive tackle Jess Ward (sprained knee) is expected to play.

Beside Henderson, San Diego State will be without safety Romeo Horn (foot), and tight end Tony DeMartinis (retired, knee). Cornerback Davion Maudlin (knee) is expected to play.

While we are all wishing speedy and healthy recovery to the guys, let's hope there any more additions to that list from either side after tonight.

As mentioned above, we will have a pre-game thread up around 12:00 pm PST and then the game thread will go up around 4:00 PST. See you then.