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Field goals point to something less

UCLA FYI

Kai Forbath is tied for first nationally in three-pointers with 12. UCLA and Stanford were perfect in the red zone Saturday, but Stanford scored three TDS. The Bruins settled for three field goals.

October 05, 2009|Chris Foster

UCLA's Kai Forbath is tied for first nationally in field goals with 12. That's not necessarily a good thing for the Bruins.

Both UCLA and Stanford were perfect in the red zone Saturday, going four for four. Stanford, though, scored three touchdowns in the 24-16 victory Saturday. The Bruins settled for three field goals.

Continuing that seven-three split will make it hard to pick up strikes in the Pacific 10 Conference. The Bruins are averaging 22 points per game. Only Washington State, at 15 points per game, ranks below them in conference.

"We got to get better on offense and become more explosive, that is clear to us," Coach Rick Neuheisel said.

How?

"We got to make bigger plays," Neuheisel said.

How?

"We have to know we have the proficiency to do it. We have got to have the consistency to do that."

How?

That might be answered Wednesday, when Kevin Prince undergoes an X-ray on his jaw.

Prince, out three weeks since being injured against Tennessee, had nearly all the rubber bands removed from his mouth Sunday. He will continue to do non-contact drills until seeing the doctor Wednesday. He has been able to throw, run and lift weights the last two weeks, and he lost only five pounds with his jaw wired shut.

If cleared, there is a good chance Prince will start against Oregon on Saturday.

"We have to wait and see," Neuheisel said. "We'll have to see consistency. It is such a timing position. You have to have the ability to let things go on time. He has been able to work out lately, so hopefully he doesn't have too much to dust off."

Kevin Craft started the last two games, during which the Bruins' offense has been good enough to win while playing ahead, as evidenced by the 23-9 victory over Kansas State on Sept. 19. Coming from behind is a little trickier, judging by the Stanford loss.

Asked if the Bruins have an offense capable of rallying from more than one score down, Neuheisel said, "You'd have to say we didn't get it done this week. I believe we're good enough to do it.

"We had opportunities on offense [against Stanford]. We either didn't see the read or have the time to see the read. It keeps you from being as high-octane as you like. I'm not pointing a finger at any individual. The players and coaches have to be better at the details."

The stray cat

The Bruins went to the "wildcat" offense against Stanford . . . for one play.

Junior tailback Christian Ramirez lined up at quarterback in the first quarter, but UCLA was called for a false start. Neither the player nor the formation was heard from again, victims of Neuheisel's apprehensiveness.

"We jumped offside," Neuheisel said. "I didn't want to risk doing that again."

Ramirez was making his first appearance this season after sitting out with hamstring and ankle injuries.

Injury report

Safety Rahim Moore, who left the Stanford game with a concussion, had an MRI exam on Sunday, which was negative. Under concussion protocol, Moore must go 24 hours without a headache before being cleared to rejoin practice. Neuheisel was optimistic Moore would play against Oregon.

Cornerback Aaron Hester, out with a fractured fibula, will begin conditioning work this week, but "there is not a chance he will be ready" for Oregon, Neuheisel said.

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chris.foster@latimes.com

twitter.com/cfosterlatimes

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