UCLA quarterback Kevin Prince on target

A great morning evolved into a decent day for UCLA quarterback Kevin Prince.

Prince had “maybe as good a practice as he has had,” according to Coach Rick Neuheisel, on Wednesday morning. The follow-up was a solid afternoon effort.

He had a long touchdown pass to tight end Joseph Fauria and several crisp completions.

“The ball was flying where I wanted it to go,” Prince said. “Ball placement is key, especially in tight spaces down in the red zone where we were working today.”

Prince struggled at the end, but Neuheisel said that was partly because of new pass routes.

“His biggest problem now is taking too much protection time,” Neuheisel said. “Not knowing the route thoroughly against the coverage he is seeing.”

In the morning, Prince was 11 of 17 in team drills, a sharp contrast to his performance Tuesday. Prince said he simplified his thinking.


“I wasn’t going to panic,” Prince said. “You kind of get overwhelmed trying to think about everything. You’ve got to relax, look at the keys on each play and not worry about things happening in the future.”

Quarterback Richard Brehaut sat out practice because of a strained left foot. He was to undergo tests Wednesday night and is expected to be cleared to practice Thursday.

Smith tees off

Kip Smith, who has struggled this week, set up for a 47-yard field-goal attempt Wednesday morning with Neuheisel whispering in his ear.

“I just told him this team cares deeply about him and this is supposed to be fun,” Neuheisel said. “It’s not life or death. I recruited him here to be our kicker, now go be the kicker.”

Smith made the field goal and was three for four in the afternoon.

“I have been too tense back there,” Smith said. “You can see it on the tape. I was trying to kill the ball. I just need to focus on my form.”

Diddy on the scene

Rapper and music producer Sean “Diddy” Combs attended UCLA’s morning practice.

Justin Combs, his son, is a cornerback at New Rochelle (N.Y.) Iona Prep. He has been offered scholarships by Illinois and Virginia, among others.

Bruins players rushed to pose in photos with Combs after practice.

“He’s a mogul, you have to be in that photo,” wide receiver Josh Smith said.

Mascarenas injured

Safety Alex Mascarenas left practice with a concussion, the result of a collision with tight end Cory Harkey. Mascarenas is 5 feet 10, 191 pounds. Harkey is 6-4, 270.

He is the third safety to be injured, joining Tony Dye (groin) and Tevin McDonald (ankle).

Quick hits

Freshman quarterback Brett Hundley has been cleared to be on the field Thursday. It will be the first time he can go through drills since surgery on his right knee. … Tight end John Young sat out practice because of a hamstring injury. … Linebacker Jordan Zumwalt (concussion) has been cleared to resume practice.