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UCLA FOOTBALL FYI

Tennessee has inside information about UCLA quarterback

Volunteers' intern was Kevin Prince's coordinator at Encino Crespi High.

September 10, 2009|Chris Foster

Kevin Prince was texting with the enemy.

It was Sunday, just as Prince was walking into view game tape, when the message arrived from Knoxville. Chris Thompson, Tennessee's offensive administrative intern, was checking in.

"He said he was looking forward to seeing me at the game," Prince said.

That usually carries a different meaning when sent by an upcoming opponent. But this went way beyond Saturday's matchup between the Bruins and Volunteers. Thompson was Prince's offensive coordinator at Encino Crespi High and the two have remained close. So close that Volunteers defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin and defensive line coach Ed Orgeron have tried to tap Thompson for a scouting report on Prince this week.

"He did text me that they were interrogating him about what he knew," Prince said. "He said that he had a smile on his face when coach Kiffin and coach Orgeron were working on him."

Prince has no worries that any information Thompson could divulge would give the Volunteers an advantage, saying "I don't think I have any specific things that would give away my entire style of play."

Prince worked closely with Thompson while at Crespi. While Thompson never played quarterback -- he was a long snapper and tight end at Fresno State -- his philosophy on game management still resonates with Prince.

Thompson helped Prince deal with mistakes.

"He was the one who really taught me about moving on to the next play," Prince said. "When I get to the sideline and I'm getting chewed out by coaches, I learned from coach Thompson to kind of shrug it off. You can't do anything about it, so there is no reason to dwell on it."

Payback?

There has been plenty of talking, all out of Tennessee, about the Volunteers owing the Bruins after last season's overtime loss.

UCLA Coach Rick Neuheisel isn't sold on revenge being a factor in any game.

"You're going to get ready to play the game and you have to have emotion," Neuheisel said. "If that helps with emotion, then, yeah, that's a factor."

But, he said, "I think it's real in terms of talking about it. I don't know if it makes much difference after a couple snaps."

Quick hits

Center Kai Maiava sat out the end of practice, still bothered by a sore back. He said he would play Saturday. . . . Safety Glenn Love, who sat out the last two days because of an ankle injury, said he would practice Thursday. . . . What is it like to be a true freshman starting on the offensive line? Said tackle Xavier Su'a-Filo of the San Diego State game: "If you take all the pain I had from every game I played in high school, I still wouldn't be as sore as I was after that game." . . . UCLA will travel to Tennessee this afternoon. "We thought we'd get back there and acclimatize ourselves," Neuheisel said.

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chris.foster@latimes.com

twitter.com/cfosterlatimes

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