Kevin Prince ready to take a run at Cal
UCLA quarterback Kevin Prince said that once the game against California rolls around Saturday, his injured right knee will be “100%.”
It may need to be.
California will be looking to improve its gun-control efforts. The Golden Bears had very little success against Nevada’s “pistol” offense, giving up 316 yards rushing in a 52-31 loss.
“It’s a very efficient offense and it’s difficult to have all phases covered,” Bears Coach Jeff Tedford said.
The Bears chose to let Wolf Pack quarterback Colin Kaepernick run. He obliged them, gaining 148 yards in 17 carries, which included three touchdown runs.
The same strategy might seem appealing this week. The knee injury forced Prince to sit out Saturday’s game against Washington State. He will wear a brace Saturday.
The Bruins are 10th nationally in rushing, averaging 216 yards per game, with most of it by running backs Johnathan Franklin and Derrick Coleman. Tedford does have those two on his mind, saying that the key to containing the “pistol” is “wrapping up backs when you have a one-on-one situation.”
So making Prince run may be on the Bears’ agenda.
“That’s fine,” Prince said. “I doubt they will play the same way because they got run up pretty good by that quarterback. Whether they think I have the same capabilities or not, or whether they are thinking about my knee, the fact is I’m ready to play. If I end up having to run, I will run.”
Kaepernick, who has spent three-plus years in Nevada’s system, has 548 yards rushing this season. Prince, who is running the pistol for the first time, has rushed for 142 yards this season.
But Prince has shown that he can be a dangerous runner. He scored on a 38-yard run against Texas.
Nevada’s offense has more designed runs for Kaepernick, but UCLA Coach Rick Neuheisel said that if the Bears “decide they’re going to make Kevin keep the ball, then the plan is for him to keep the ball. We should be getting good chunks of yardage.”
As for concerns about his knee, Prince said, “It will be first down, then slide.”
Sloan to play
UCLA linebacker Steve Sloan has a chipped bone in his right knee, but he is expected to play against California on Saturday.
Sloan, a junior, underwent an MRI on Tuesday. He is a key reserve and special teams player, but is expected to continue playing unless the damage requires surgery.
Dalton Hilliard, who separated a shoulder against Washington State, is doubtful for this week’s game.
A contract squabble will keep UCLA’s game against California off the air for those who have the Dish Network. The game will be on Prime Ticket, but satellite provider has dropped Fox Sports.