Posted by Chip Patterson
The showdown between No. 23 Houston and UCLA is a pivotal one of the high-powered Cougars, with it being one of three games on the schedule against BCS AQ schools. A chance to showcase their top-ranked offense against one of it's more formidable opponents, and also a chance for Heisman hopeful quarterback Case Keenum to try and rack up numbers on a more national stage.
But first he needs to be medically cleared to play. Keenum is still listed as day-to-day after leaving the game in the Cougars' 54-24 win over UTEP on Friday. Keenum took a blow to the head while throwing an interception, and was "displaying signs of a mild concussion" but has been "improving dramatically," according to Houston head coach Kevin Sumlin.
Things are just as ambiguous on the other side of the ball for the Bruins with their signal callers. Starting quarterback Kevin Prince has struggled to get back to 100 percent since sitting out most of the preseason with a strained oblique. Prince then injured his shoulder in UCLA's 31-22 season opening loss to Kansas State. Prince shared time in practice with Richard Brehaut, and the sophomore eventually took over for Prince after an unproductive first half in UCLA's 35-0 loss to Stanford. Brehaut was unable to get much going himself, but it has left UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel with no clear-cut favorite for starting quarterback.
"We'll see. We'll watch practice. The effectiveness of the quarterback position is critical, so we want to make sure we have someone out there who knows what he's doing and does it well. At the end of the day, as long as (Prince's) health is good, it comes down to performance. To date, the performance hasn't been what it needs to be."Neuheisel went on to reiterate that there is no decision and he has found himself second-guessing his decision to start Prince the first two games of the season. Houston is almost guaranteed to put up big points against the Bruins, so if UCLA wants to have any chance in the Rose Bowl on Saturday, they need to get things fixed on the offensive side of the ball.