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UCLA FOOTBALL FYI

Kevin Prince suffered injury before second interception

'He was John Wayne-ing it,' Rick Neuheisel says of his quarterback.

November 29, 2009|By Ben Bolch

UCLA quarterback Kevin Prince suffered the right shoulder sprain that knocked him from the Bruins' 28-7 loss to USC on Saturday night at the Coliseum on the series before he had a second pass intercepted.

"I was scrambling and I landed on my shoulder and felt it pop out a little bit," said Prince, who completed 10 of 22 passes for 90 yards. "I told [Coach Rick Neuheisel] I could go and I felt like I could still go."

Neuheisel relented and Prince came back out for the Bruins' next series. Though he said he didn't think his second interception was a result of the injury, Prince acknowledged "I didn't want to stay out there and put my team in harm's way."

Neuheisel said he probably should have pulled Prince immediately after the injury.

Said Neuheisel: "He said he wanted to play, wanted to be valiant. He was John Wayne-ing out there."

Kevin Craft replaced Prince and completed eight of 17 passes for 98 yards with an interception. Prince said he was scheduled to undergo an X-ray on the shoulder Monday.

Turning it over

UCLA won its previous two games in large part by forcing 10 turnovers and committing only one, but the Bruins lost the turnover battle against USC by turning the ball over four times, including three interceptions.

The biggest turnover came when Prince tried to hook up with tight end Ryan Moya in the first half but instead threw the ball to USC linebacker Malcolm Smith, who returned the interception 62 yards for a touchdown.

On further review...

UCLA was on the brink of field-goal range late in the second quarter when a questionable review call gave the ball back to the Trojans.

The setup: Prince completed an 11-yard pass to receiver Nelson Rosario, who appeared to be down when USC's Josh Pinkard stripped the ball. The ruling on the field was that Rosario was down before the ball came out. But the Trojans called timeout and after a review, the ball was awarded to USC at the Trojans' 31-yard line.

Bowling Bruins

UCLA is bowl-eligible. But are the Bruins (6-6) bowl-worthy?

"Absolutely," Neuheisel said. "Given the schedule we played and the last month we had, we'll give anyone who plays us a heck of a show."

UCLA won three of its final four regular-season games.

ben.bolch@latimes.com

Times staff writer Chris Foster contributed to this report.

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