UCLA cornerback Sheldon Price doesn't mince words about getting a second shot at USC this week.
"I have been waiting for this since I walked off the field last season," Price said.
Price, a wet-behind-the-ears freshman in 2009, was worked over by the Trojans, particular on their last two touchdown drives.
USC threw four consecutive passes his way, completing three, late in the fourth quarter. It was part of a 73-yard touchdown drive that gave the Trojans a 21-7 lead with 1 minute 30 seconds left.
That was bad … but what happened next, Price felt, was insulting. With the game out of reach and USC taking a knee to run out the clock, UCLA Coach Rick Neuheisel called a timeout. On the next play, the Trojans went at Price again, with Matt Barkley completing a 48-yard touchdown pass to Damian Williams.
"I would attack the freshman too," Price said. "I mean, at that point, I didn't consider myself a freshman. I had a mental breakdown. Unfortunately, it was on the wrong day."
As for the final touchdown pass, and USC's giddy behavior after it, Price said, "They threw that last pass and I remember them dancing on the field. It left a bad taste in my mouth."
It lingered. Whenever Price was channel surfing at home and came across a replay of that game, he would quickly move on.
"I don't need to watch it," he said. "I lived it every waking moment."
As for what will be different this season, Price said, "When they start to come at you, you got to make plays. I have to be physical and send a message."
Kia to start
Micah Kia will start at left tackle for UCLA in his last game as a Bruin.
"This is a tremendous opportunity and I don't intend to squander it," Kia said. Still, he said he has to contain himself some.
"I have to do my job and trust that the guy next to me will do his," Kia said. "I don't have an 'S' on my chest. I don't change clothes in a telephone booth. I'm not Superman. I can't try to do too much."
Kia's first USC experience was rewarding. He played on special teams in the Bruins' 13-9 upset of USC in 2006.
"It was the game that really made me buy in as a Bruin," Kia said. "I remember running onto the field, and having a full house and the place is roaring. Coach [Karl] Dorrell came up to me and said, 'This is what you came to college for, for these games.' It would be awesome to go out with another victory."
Defensive tackle Cassius Marsh sat out practice with a concussion. Neuheisel said Marsh passed a concussion exertion test Tuesday and "he'll be back out here tomorrow."