* Kevin Prince missed practice again today, with Richard Brehaut and Darius Bell getting the reps. Prince said the knee was feeling better but was still bothering him, and added that he could have it drained for a second time.
* As a result, the offense struggled mightily, and I saw at least three or four drops, and a few balls that just went sailing. For all the criticisms of Prince, he is still the most effective quarterback UCLA has, though I think Brehaut could catch up quickly again if given the reps. He had a couple really, really nice throws, but just not the consistency.
* The defensive mish-mash continues, as Chuck Bullough finds it crucial to get some of his talented young players some extra run. Dietrich Riley saw a lot of time at starting safety and Cassius Marsh got extra reps. Owamagbe Odighizuwa is also being worked into the mix more. Bullough was very quick to say, though, that the best players will play on Saturday, and that the young guys have to prove themselves.
* “Definitely we’re not taking them lightly, like we’re just going to put our young guys in,” Bullough said. “They have to prove through practice that they can play. If they can play, we’re going to play them. They’re fired up, they’re coming to the Rose Bowl, and it’s a big game for any team coming to the Rose Bowl. This isn’t a JV game for us. This is a live game, and they’re coming to get after us.”
* Not to beat a dead horse, but the UCLA return game is just heaps better than last year. Josh Smith had a return that was perfectly blocked, and I have little doubt he’ll take one to the house soon. Could happen Saturday. Watch the special teams closely.