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Spaulding Roundup: Good Weekend Film Reviews For Prince & OL, Pivoting Into A Rocky Top Mindset

Let's start the Labor Day Monday with little more on what the coaches' saw on game film from this past weekend before shifting our mind over to the Rocky Top. Per the reports this am Neuheisel was pretty impressed with what he saw from Saturday's game film. From the LA Times:

The good:

"The touchdown was a perfect example," Neuheisel said. "He saw the defense, knew the opportunity, checked the play and executed it perfectly."

The bad:

"Later in the game, he checked out of a play, executed poorly and forgot how many steps he was supposed to take," Neuheisel said.

Still, even with the mistakes, Prince's reaction impressed Neuheisel.

"They were ill-advised reads," Neuheisel said of the interceptions. "I think we can fix it. On both occasions, he came over and nodded. Now he knows what he did wrong. You learn from those mistakes, and those balls you won't see again."

It was also pretty cool to see how Chow called for pass plays in the early drives which ensured that Prince didn't find himself in 3rd and long situations after run,run, pass calls. Chow got his young quarterback in the flow early and kept him in rhythm. Neuheisel was also happy with the play of his offensive line:

Neuheisel, however, was particularly encouraged by the play of a young offensive line which had moments of greatness against SDSU defensive coordinator Rocky Long's complex 3-3-5 scheme.

"It was a complicated defense they were playing, and there were times when we didn't get the push we wanted, but we certainly look like we're a better front," Neuheisel said. "We still have a ways to go, and there were a couple time the guys looked confused."

Cautious optimism, though, never is a bad thing.

The improved OL play made Palcic sound like a "proud father" after Saturday's game"

"Last year was probably the toughest year of my career," Palcic said. "These kids worked hard during the off-season and did enough good things to be proud."

That can be charted by numbers. Johnathan Franklin had a 12-yard scoring run for the first touchdown.

The Bruins' nine rushing touchdowns in 2008 totaled 18 yards.

Derrick Coleman went 29 yards in the second quarter.

UCLA's longest scoring play was 21 yards -- a pass play -- in 2008.

Of course there is lot more work to do. As much improvements as Prince and his OL showed from last year's squad on Saturday, they are going to have to take their play to another level if they want to hang in there against the Volunteers next Saturday night in Knoxville. I have some early notes on Tennessee after the jump.

We will have time to go through the Tennessee roster notes to check into the matchups. However, the topline for Saturday's game begins with their coaching staff. I know I have seen lot of shots directed at Lane Kiffin over here on BN (because of his connections to Chetey Petey). I am going to stay away from all of that on the mainpage because I don't think getting worked up over those off-season stories is not really worthy it. That said there is a history between Kiffin and his key assistant coaches and UCLA. Apparently they are not shying away from playing up their rivalry with UCLA dating back to their Trojan roots (emphasis added):

Now it's Tennessee with the new coach promising to restore the program to past glory.

That coach, Kiffin, can count UCLA among the opponents from whom he does not receive Christmas cards.

In 2005, as Southern Cal's offensive coordinator, Kiffin called the shots as the Trojans routed their crosstown rivals 66-19. He was also on the staff of USC teams that beat the Bruins by the likes of 27-0, 52-21 and 47-22.

"I tell you what, you will not find anybody else in the world that wants to beat UCLA more than Ed Orgeron and Lane Kiffin.''

That was Orgeron on Kiffin's TV show Sunday morning.

Orgeron, UT's recruiting coordinator and defensive line coach, was 6-1 against UCLA in his tenure at Southern Cal, part of which overlapped Kiffin's. Suffice it to say he won his share of recruiting wars with the Bruins.

Okay then. That was from Mike Strange at which has this early primer on UCLA-Tennessee.

So those guys will most likely be charged up for this matchup. Add into the mix the revenge factor of last year's upset at the Rose Bowl (leading to Fulmer's firing), the entire Vol Nation will be frothing over the prospect of a Bruin massacre on national TV. The key for our guys will be poise and concentration:

"It all depends on your concentration," Coach Rick Neuheisel said. "If your concentration level is strong, it’s added energy. There is nothing like playing in front of a big crowd."

And it the concentration level is not strong?

"It can be a distraction," Neuheisel said. "If you’re distracted, you’re not paying attention, you might miss one of the nonverbal communications we use and end up missing a call."

Needless to say this will be a severe test for Prince and the young offense. I am sure as much as the coaches were pleased with what they saw on game film this weekend, they haven't wasted any time to let their guys know how they will have to set aside all those good feeliings, and get locked and focused on the Volunteers right away.

If the Bruins are hoping for any kind of good showing next Saturday, they cannot afford to have the kind of slow start they had on defense against San Diego State. Tennessee is not the kind of team that will sit on their lead. They will come at us with 60 minutes of relentless tenacity, and they will be even more dangerous given the extra incentives due to prior history with their current coaching staff and the immediate history of last year's tough loss.

Hope our guys are paying attention during practices all week and carry that over to Saturday night.