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UCLA FYI

Kevin Prince is diplomatic about hit to helmet

Quarterback suffers a concussion after getting slammed into by Washington's Donald Butler but plays down any notion that it was a dirty play.

November 08, 2009|Chris Foster

UCLA quarterback Kevin Prince was still foggy on what happened. Washington linebacker Donald Butler said it was a regrettable hit.

But the emotion that came from Butler delivering a helmet-to-helmet hit on Prince was obvious. It sent Prince from the game with a concussion. Butler was called for a personal foul.

UCLA Coach Rick Neuheisel was diplomatic afterward.

"The NCAA is trying to crack down on helmet-to-helmet contact, but when you're going full speed it's a tough deal," Neuheisel said. "Those are bang-bang calls and you can't get mad at anybody."

Prince was having his way against the Huskies with 212 yards passing when he scrambled and tried to dive as he was met by Butler.

"Honestly, I didn't know he had slid, so I just went to make a play," Butler said. "Helmet-to-helmet, that's all it was. I wasn't trying to cheap shot him in any way."

Prince, who sat out four weeks this season because of a fractured jaw, said, "I remember diving and then I was on the ground and not feeling too good. I'm feeling all right now. As far as I know, it was a perfectly legal hit."

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QB roulette

Freshman Richard Brehaut replaced Prince, but was pulled after his only series, which ended when he fumbled while being sacked.

"I got to hold onto the ball," said Brehaut, who also fumbled in his last play against Oregon State in the previous game. "I got to have a better thought in my mind. I have to take off running, I just can't hold onto the ball like that. Coach Neuheisel told me to keep my chin up, that he is still behind me."

Neuheisel, while not blaming Brehaut entirely, said, "Competition at this level requires a great deal of concentration and a great deal of preparation. . . . I told him I still had high hopes for him, and was still going to get him more playing time, but this is harder than he thinks it is right now in terms of preparing."

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Backfield shuffle

When the Bruins needed a big yard, they turned to fullback Chane Moline.

It was Moline, running from the tailback spot, who scored on a one-yard run in the first quarter. Moline also bulled his way for two yards on a third-and-one play to get the Bruins a first down with 36 seconds to play.

"Coaches had faith in me and I try to show them they can trust me," Moline said. "I'm always chirping in my coach's ear that I can do this and I can do that. When I get the opportunities, I got to make them happen."

The rest of the UCLA running game was spotty.

Johnathan Franklin, playing on a sore ankle, fumbled twice, losing one. He didn't play much after his second fumble.

Said Neuheisel: "He's got to hang on to it like it's gold, because on Saturdays it is."

Derrick Coleman gained 49 yards in the second half and Milton Knox rushed for 35 yards, all out of the "Wildcat" formation.

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Quick hits

Safety Rahim Moore intercepted his eighth pass, most in the nation. He ranks third on UCLA's single-season list. . . . UCLA officials said Prince was the only significant injury, but defensive end Korey Bosworth sat out a large chunk of the game because of an ankle injury. . . . UCLA has seven consecutive victories over Washington in the Rose Bowl. The Huskies last win was in 1995.

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chris.foster@latimes.com

twitter.com/cfosterlatimes

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