Big Win for Bruins in Tennessee Comes at a Cost
It's always a tremendous accomplishment when a football team wins on the road in a hostile environment.
And it's always unfortunate whenever a player is injured and has to miss games as a result.
That is exactly what happened to the UCLA Bruins this past Saturday, as quarterback Kevin Prince, who threw for 101 yards and a touchdown while withstanding heavy pressure, suffered a broken jaw in the midst of their 19-15 upset victory over the Tennessee Volunteers in Knoxville.
The prognosis for Prince is that he will miss three to four weeks.
Meanwhile, the Bruins should feel proud for overcoming a crowd of 102,239, with at least 100,000 of them in orange out to see the Vols get revenge for their 27-24 defeat to UCLA last year.
The heroes of the contest?
Kai Forbath kicked four field goals, including three clutch ones for the Bruins in the third quarter, pushing their lead to 19-10.
Safety Rahim Moore continued his larceny, intercepting two passes to bring his total to five in the young season, leading the nation in that category.
All-American cornerback Alterraun Verner added another interception to stymie a Tennessee drive, and the Bruin defense had a definitive goal line stand late in the game to seal the victory.
Jonathan Crompton could be considered the goat, as the Tennessee quarterback threw three interceptions and lost a fumble, leading to 10 UCLA points.
As for the loss of their quarterback, the Bruins and their fans shouldn't panic, because coach Rick Neuheisel has tapped heralded true freshman Richard Brehaut to start this coming Saturday in the Rose Bowl against Kansas State.
Brehaut, a top-notch recruit coming out of high school who enrolled at UCLA early in time for their Spring practice, is considered the future of the program, at least at quarterback.
With Prince expected to be out until the Oregon game on Oct. 10, the future for the Bruins is now. At least for the next couple of games.
Putting it another way: If Matt Barkley can start and perform as well as he has for crosstown enemy USC while being a true freshman, Brehaut can do the same for UCLA.
As such, I expect Brehaut to get some valuable experience and the Bruins to do just fine in the next few weeks, as they face Kansas State and Stanford in contests that are definitely winnable.
As long as the defense continues to perform like they have, and the offense-and the offensive line-continues to progress and improve, there is no reason why UCLA can't be 4-0 going into their two most important games of the season (outside of USC), Oregon and California, for which Prince is expected to be back.
As an alumnus and a long-standing member of Bruin Nation, I am looking forward to seeing what happens.
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