Kevin Prince makes progress toward starting in EagleBank Bowl
UCLA quarterback Kevin Prince continues to progress toward starting against Temple in the EagleBank Bowl on Tuesday in Washington, D.C.
Prince, who injured his right shoulder in the game against USC, was cleared by team trainers Tuesday morning after treatments and tests. He then took the majority of the reps with the first team in practice.
One concern Coach Rick Neuheisel has is how Prince’s shoulder will be affected by the cold weather in Washington. Highs are expected to be about 40 degrees during the game, according to forecasts.
“When we get there spinning around in the cold weather, you never know what it will do,” said Neuheisel, who added that Prince wasn’t “100% sharp” in practice Tuesday.
Still, barring unforeseen complications, Prince is set to start for the Bruins, though backup Kevin Craft could get playing time as well.
While saying the decision wasn’t his to make, Prince said he was ready to play.
“I think the only thing holding me back is from a physical standpoint,” Prince said. “There are still a couple throws that really bother me. I played hurt before and I have never had an issue getting over injuries.”
Linebacker Reggie Carter sat out practice after a disagreement with defensive coordinator Chuck Bullough over a drill.
“It was over a tackling drill,” Neuheisel said. “Reggie is trying to get over a sore knee. Chuck thought he could do the drill. They had a disagreement, so Chuck excused him.”
Bullough and Carter talked after practice.
UCLA has been reduced to more or less its offensive line from last season after injuries and academic woes. The Bruins will face a Temple team that ranks 20th nationally against the run, giving up only 108 yards a game.
“The strength of Temple is its defensive front,” offensive line coach Bob Palcic said. “We just want to make sure we go into that game 100% confident in our assignments. We eliminate the mistakes and penalties and we’ll be fine.”
The job got tougher Monday when UCLA center Kai Maiava was ruled academically ineligible. The Bruins’ offensive line already had has injury problems, having lost guards Eddie Williams (ankle) and Ryan Taylor (foot).
Jake Dean will start at center and Nick Ekbatani at right guard.
Dean, a fourth-year junior with a year of eligibility left, has said that this will be his last game. After Maiava’s academic problems and guard Stanley Hasiak’s being dismissed from the team, Neuheisel is expected to meet him to see whether Dean would change his mind.
Dean reiterated Tuesday that this would be his last game.
Marlon Pollard has a broken orbital bone, the result of the team day trip to the high dive at UCLA’s pool. Pollard did a double flip off and landed in the water on his face. . . . UCLA fans can provide gifts of tickets for armed service personnel for the game. A $25 donation can be made at (310) 825-2946. Each donation provides one ticket.