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Spaulding Roundup: Relaxed Prince, Kicker Obsession, Respect For Kansas State & Other UCLA Notes

Well it appears that the traditional media in LA is not going to obsess over Kevin Prince's injury at least for a while. Oh sure. They are going to freak out over who is going to start (probably the only group of people who are going to worry about) on Saturday but they won't be able to do much about it at this point.

In the meantime Prince finished his third straight day of practice without feeling any kind of serious lingering effects (according to Prince himself and CRN). Prince mentioned in the video below that his oblique strain felt a "tiny bit" tight but nothing serious at this point:

He certainly sounds calm and relaxed. What Prince has been focusing on is working his accuracy and "get the flow going." He made his share of throws yesterday including one which entailed rolling out to the left. As for who is going to be the starter for Saturday, Jill Painter provided the following thoughts from Coach Chow:

"They both know they're going to play," Chow said. "Right now, we expect both to play. Whoever takes the first snap, takes the first snap. They're good friends and competitors, so they understand."

Coach Rick Neuheisel (a shown in a pretty entertaining video posted below the fold) just chuckled at the surrounding reporters that all of this just making it "more difficult" on you not knowing." LOL At this point, I am just glad that Prince is back in practice. I believe both Prince and Richard Brehaut are going to prepare with the mindset that they will be playing. In turn that will benefit the entire team.

I actually kind of like the fact that Neuheisel and Chow will not be deciding till the last minute. I don't know. I am really enjoying watching these reporters squirm. More after the jump.

Oh but wait you thought worrying and obsessing over nagging injuries are over now that Prince is starting to work his way back? Ha. Not really. The reporters have found a whole another topic to squirm over. Now it's all about Kai Forbath's groin, which is the lead topic for Chris Foster in the LA Times:

It appears that UCLA will have quarterback Kevin Prince available for Saturday's game at Kansas State. Now the Bruins must see about their most effective offensive player from last season.

Senior kicker Kai Forbath, battling a leg injury, had a tee time set for Wednesday, but had to take a mulligan. Forbath, the 2009 Lou Groza Trophy winner, has kicked little the last two weeks.

OMG. Are you really stressed out and depressed yet? Wait there is more from ESPNLA about Kai "not kicking it":

Forbath, the Lou Groza Award winner as the nation's top kicker in 2009, wore his cleats to practice Wednesday, but felt the injury flare up during warm-ups. After a "group discussion" with coaches, he decided to sit out another day.

"No one wants me to push it and be out longer than I have to," Forbath said. "I warmed up and it felt good running around. I took some swings without the ball and I just felt it a little bit."

Kai tweaked it during the first week of training camp and then sat out till public scrimmage during which he made 2 of 3 attempts. He hasn't practiced since then and has gotten the same treatment as Prince:

He had an MRI on the injury and received differing diagnoses. He underwent Platelet-rich plasma treatments last week and said he was improving, but that the injury has lingered far longer than he had expected.

"At first I thought would just be a couple of days and I came back and it just got a little worse and worse," he said. "So now we just said let's fix it before the season starts so we can just keep on going. I don't want to have to deal with this all season."

If Kai can't go this Saturday, Bruins will have Jeff Locke taking over. Locke is of course another solid kicker. I will let CRN tell you how worried he is about our kicking game after another "excellent" day at Spaulding:

Well as you can see CRN doesn't sound all that worried about the kicking situation. If Forbath needs to sit out this weekend v Kansas State, so be it. We will be fine with Locke. If anything, I kind of like the idea that the offense will have that slightly little extra sense of urgency of getting the ball over goal line when they are in the red zone.

CRN did talk about the "uplifting feeling" around Spaulding as we are just about 58 hrs away from kickoff (in my over exuberance yesterday I mentioned yesterday we were 48 hrs away causing 13-9 to trip up just a tiny bit during last night's excellent podcast). You can sense the kind of respect CRN and the team has for Coach Bill Snyder and his football program. And, speaking of Kansas State good comments from Rahim on Daniel Thomas and KSU's offense:

"We have to play disciplined football," he said. "We have to outhit them and just be physical, man. Play fast, do what we do here at UCLA. We're known for having defense, so we've got to go out there and hit them in the mouth. It's not going to be easy because they're thinking the same thing.

"May the best man win."

Thomas was held to 54 yards in 15 carries last year at the Rose Bowl. He went on to earn the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year award behind a 1,265-yard season.

More on ESPNLA on the same topic including a video mashup with comments from Akeem Ayers and CRN.

Lastly, college football season FINALLY gets started with games on ESPN. I was thinking about checking out USC when they take on South Florida Southern Miss. around 7:30 pm EST. Let me know in the comment thread if any of you are interested in having a comment thread tracking all the games through this evening.