Post-practice update: game week edition

Daily News intern Sam Strong here, filling in for Gold today and tomorrow. I’ll try to do my best Jon Gold impression (videos, posts etc.) over the next couple days. Bear with me because I know this blog isn’t big enough for two rib-loving sports writers. Enjoy.

*No news on the starting quarterback front. Neuheisel said he would reach a decision within 48 hours. Kevin Prince said he was “clueless” as to where he stands in the race. Both took reps with the ones.

Prince was asked if he thought it was his job to lose from the start of camp.

“I’ve been taking the first-string reps so maybe you could look at it like that but I never went into camp thinking that it was my job. That implies that it was my job already and clearly it’s not. I went into it as an open competition and I’m just going at it and trying to get better every day.”

*The quarterbacks were working on a sliding drill after practice with Marques Tuiasosopo using a slip n’ slide for assistance. Prince joked that Darius Bell could use some work sliding then had this to say.

“I’ve learned, thankfully. It’s a way to teach us that we have to get down and protect our bodies as quarterbacks. There’s only a few of us so we’ve got to make sure that we stay on the field. I’ve learned that the hard way.”

*Today felt very much like the start of a game week. Both scout teams were working during the first few periods. They piped in crowd noise during the two-minute drill that proved to be very loud and disruptive. It was also hot today on Spaulding Field but the Bruins welcomed it as prep for the opener.

*Brandon Willis was watching practice today and helping out with some drills in street clothes. No official word from Neuheisel or the school.

*Not a great day for the kickers. Kip Smith pushed a 30 or so yarder wide right to start practice but made another one of similar length to cap a two minute drill. Neuheisel said he hasn’t made a decision yet. Said Smith is still inconsistent but he doesn’t want too much on Jeff Locke’s plate.

*Injury notes: Chris Ward and Taylor Embree practiced in full today. Ward didn’t looked hampered by his ankle at all. Embree tipped a ball that was thrown behind him and watched Andrew Abbott take it the other way. Perhaps a little rusty. Jeff Baca threw on some shoulder pads and took laps around the field but didn’t see any action. Neuheisel said he’s close to being cleared to practice.

*Videos of Neuheisel, Prince and Sheldon Price coming later today. A reminder to follow me on Twitter @samstrong21 for tomorrow’s updates. Feel free to unfollow when Jon returns.

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Weekly Q&A

Fire away with questions for this week’s Q&A. Please don’t post new questions on the answers section, because I don’t always check the comments. Save them for next week.


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On the hot seat?

Good morning! Here’s my piece in our college football preview section on Rick Neuheisel and Lane Kiffin.Who’s on the hot seat? Yup, I’m well aware this is a UCLA blog, but it’s one of those combo articles. One guy thinks he’s on the hot seat and the other doesn’t, but you might be surprised by who doesn’t think he’s on the hot seat. You’ll hear from Lane and Rick and ADs Dan Guerrero and Pat Haden.

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Quarterback shuffle

Playing two quarterbacks is an interesting tango for a coach, and although UCLA has played many quarterbacks in Rick Neuheisel’s tenure, the undoing of the QBs has been because of injuries or poor play, not an active decision to play two. Neuheisel wasn’t able to go with two quarterbacks when Norm Chow was his offensive coordinator because Chow was a one-QB coach.
Prince remembered one exception.
“It’ll be different. We’ve never done it before. But we did a little my redshirt freshman year at Oregon State,” Prince said. “They threw in Richard for a series or two and I went back in for the rest of the game. Other than that, we haven’t really done it. My redshirt freshman year we put Kevin Craft in for some run plays. It’s just different.”

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What up, Bruins fans.

This is Vinny Bonsignore, I’m filling in today for Jon Gold.

Just got off the conference call with Rick Neuheisel after the scrimmage today, and I thought you might be interested in a few things.

No, he didn’t decide on who is starting quarterback is, although he did say he’ll work through some options (presumably this weekend) and inform Kevin Prince and Richard Brehaut of the outcome early next week.

He said Kevin looked sharp, but that neither really aired it out much and he’s happy with where each guy is.

The scrimmage had a definite smash-mouth feel to it, according to Neuheisel, and among the bright spots was the play of freshman quarterback Brett Hundley, who was getting his first taste of scrimmage action this fall.

Hundley wasn’t a live target, but he apparently showed a nice command of the playbook and is on target to play a role this year.

Neuheisel says to expect Hundley to play the Tim Tebow/Terrelle Pryor type role both of those guys played as freshman at Florida and Ohio State.

There were no injuries to report, and as far as guys on the mend, there was some good news to report:

Guard Jeff Baca is progressing faster than expected from the broken ankle he suffered last spring, and Neuhesiel now says there is a chance Baca wil be back by week two against San Jose State.

“He could start practicing as early as next week,” Neuhesiel said. “But we’ll be prudent as far as when he gets back on the field.”

Wide receiver Taylor Embree, who is dealing with a calf injury, went through all pre-scrimmage warm ups and should return to practice Monday.

If anything else comes up I’ll hook you guys as fast as I can.

Be sure to check out the full notebook, which should be up around 11:30 p.m. at tonight.


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