Want to start today's roundup a little thought on our ongoing QB saga. Oh, it's still going. As you will see in the video linked below Kevin Prince took limited practices on Wednesday as he continued to rest up his "sore" shoulder. Per my understanding this is a complete separate issue from the oblique muscle strain that kept him out most of the pre-season camp. This is related to the shoulder injury he suffered against Southern Cal last season. It now appears that he feels a little sore and the coaches are being cautious with him.
The recent updates have caused a number of people to lose sleep hysterically calling for Richard Brehaut to start or get PT this Saturday. Meanwhile, given all the nagging over Brehaut naturally there has been comments about people being in "Kevin Prince" camp. Well let me offer up a personal example if I may. It was last year when Prince seemed ineffective at first upon his return from injury, and Kevin Craft despite all his heart and effort could only do so much with this limited athleticism, a number of us including yours truly was calling for Richard Brehaut.
Yet guys like Ryan and 03rdn9 suggested to trust Coach Norm Chow and Rick Neuheisel and stick with their confidence in Kevin Prince. Well when Brehaut entered the game he didn't look so prepared and Prince eventually got it together down the stretch. Ryan et al were vindicated in having faith in Chow (who was sticking with Prince), while I was more than happy to admit I was wrong about clamoring for Brehaut.
The situation is a little different this year. Brehaut has had few more reps and reportedly has looked slightly better during practices this August. While we can appreciate that everyone is feeling anxious over the daily updates on Kevin Prince, a guy like Norm Chow has earned enough stripes over his career that he (along with Rick Neuheisel) should have more than enough room to make decisions on who they will stick with at QB.
Let them hash this out over next 2-3 games as they accumulate more data points from LIVE action. If Prince rounds into shape through game action, we are going to be OK. If he doesn't get it done, then coaches can decide to go to next option and we will see how it turns out. Meanwhile, we need to put a stop to "Camp Prince" v. "Camp Brehaut" nonsense from developing here on BN. Let's leave that for message boards. Complaining over QB decisions especially when we have seasoned veterans making decisions will not get us anywhere in the end. Now some news after the jump.
As mentioned Kevin Prince saw limited action during practices yesterday. Here were CRN's words following practices:
Gold had this notes on his Inside UCLA blog:
* From my vantage point, Wednesday's practice lacked the intensity needed to prepare for a conference opponent, particularly one ranked in the top-25.
* Kevin Prince threw early and threw well, but again was on a "pitch count." Neuheisel was adamant that it was precautionary, and that Prince is the starter for Saturday, barring anything drastic. Prince banged his shoulder in the game, and again in practice on Tuesday, and has the usual post-game soreness. From Prince and Neuheisel, the oblique is not an issue any more.
* A couple of Prince observations: Looked better on screen passes - for some reason, a plague for him - and had a couple of nice deep balls. Also underthrew a couple of routes.
I do find the note about practice "lacking intensity" a little disconcerting. I have gotten to appreciate Gold's reporting a lot in recent weeks, however, I didn't see any other corroboration from reliable sources on that point. Guess we will find the results ultimately on Saturday. Ultimately it will be on CRN and his staff to get our guys focused and fired up for this Saturday's huge game.
Elsewhere, Blair Angulo from ESPNLA talked to UCLA CBs - Aaron Hester and Sheldon Prince - about taking on Andrew Luck:
Passing yardage wise those guys had a good game last weekend. However, those numbers are deceptive because ... well ... KSU didn't need to pass much against Chuck Bullough's defense.
Speaking of the defense Chris Foster suggests that Keenan Graham might see more action this weekend:
Defensive end Keenan Graham saw some playing time with the first-team defense during practice Wednesday, in place of Damien Holmes.
Graham, a redshirt freshman, was in on one tackle in limited action against Kansas State, but he is expected to get more of a chance this week.
"It had been a long time since I had been in a game," Graham said. "To get back out there some and remember what it was like will make it easier for me to play more this week."
Hope he does get that chance. I was disappointed a little with what I saw from Damien Holmes. If guys are not stepping up, I sure hope the coaches don't hesitate to go to next players in line. If this means more reps for Graham, Owa or other youngsters, perhaps that will light a fire in terms pressure on all of the defense. Everyone needs to go out here and compete with their playing times on the line. Just didn't see enough of that fire from our defensive guys during second half of this past weekend's game. Hopefully it will not become a trend this Saturday.
I am sure we are going to be discussing all of these issues and some more in today's special podcast on BN. Don't forget Brandon Huffman from BruinReportOnline.com will be joining Ryan and 03rdn9 to discuss the state of UCLA football and the Pac-10 landscape in general. I will be on a plane out West but I am going to be very curious to hear Brandon's thoughts on recent blockbuster recruiting developments and the state of our program. Tune in at 12 pm PST.