Posted on: October 12, 2010 4:32 pm

Report: UCLA suspended as many as six players

Posted by Chip Patterson

UCLA needs some time to lick their wounds after receiving a 35-7 thrashing from Cal on Saturday, particularly before taking on the No. 2 Oregon Ducks in Autzen Stadium next Thursday.  Unfortunately, the greatest concerns of the off-week may not be getting healthy, but preparing as many as six backups to start against the high-powered Ducks.  

Late Monday night, the Los Angeles Times reported at least three starters would be suspended for violation of team rules.  The report cited a source close to the situation but did not name any players or hint as to the team rules violated.  Then on Tuesday, the OC Register updated the story with a confirmation that "as many as six players, multiple starters" would be suspended for the Oregon game.  The story from the OC Register also gave no suggestion as to which players were involved or what rules were violated.  Neither head coach Rick Neuheisel nor UCLA sports information director Marc Dellins have been available to comment on the situation.

Stay tuned to CBSSports.com for more on this story as it develops.

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Posted on: October 4, 2010 1:54 pm
Edited on: October 4, 2010 1:57 pm

No QB controversy at UCLA

Posted by Chip Patterson

On the momentum of a three game winning streak and revitalized Pistol offense, the UCLA Bruins are starting to turn heads away from that other program in Los Angeles.  

In the same week that USC fell from the AP Top 25 for the only the second time since 2002, the Bruins continued to bounce back from a dismal start with their 42-28 win over Washington State.  Starting quarterback Kevin Prince missed the game because of a knee injury, but sophomore Richard Brehaut thrived in his first starting opportunity under center, guiding the team to 565 yards of total offense.

As usual, the Bruins were led by running backs Derrick Coleman (185 yards, 3 TDs) and Johnathan Franklin (216 yards, 1 TD).  But Brehaut's 128 yards passing was the most of any Bruin quarterback all season, which has led to speculation regarding the starting quarterback job.

Head coach Rick Neuheisel put much of that speculation to rest in a conference call on Sunday, naming Prince the starting quarterback for Saturday's match up with the California Golden Bears.  Neuheisel confirmed that as long as Prince is healthy, he will be the starting quarterback.  Though he did have some interesting comments about Brehaut's performance.
"I thought he played pretty darn good," Neuheisel said. "He had a couple of really good plays. Some inexperience showed up at times. Ran himself into some problems, didn't realize how to take advantage of some protection issues. But for a first time out, I thought he was terrific."
Brehaut does not run the ball as well as Prince, which is a crucial part of the Bruins scheme, but he did display toughness under pressure leading the offense on three straight scoring drives to overcome a 28-20 deficit late in the third quarter.  Prince had fluid drained from his knee last week, but appears to be done with medical testing.  Neuheisel said it is "a basis of how he feels" at this point.  After seeing Brehaut's performance on Saturday, it would not surprise me to see Prince anxious to take the field against Cal.

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Posted on: October 1, 2010 3:49 pm

The Saturday Meal Plan

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The Saturday Meal Plan is a helpful guide put together for you to maximize the results of your college football diet.  Just enough to leave you feeling full, but not so much you spend your entire Saturday in the bathroom.


Main Course - Clemson vs. #16 Miami - Noon - ESPN2

Okay, so once again breakfast has a lot of weak sauce in it this week, but we promise you that lunch and dinner are going to be a lot better.  Just remember what your mom used to tell you: breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  So eat this up because you're going to need it to help prepare you for the rest of the day.

Just beware that while the Miami looks good using too much Jacory Harris in it can cause indigestion.

Side Orders: This morning we offer some sides that should fill you up, but will probably leave you hating yourself for eating it later.  There's Ohio State steamrolling Illinois, and our "Ninth Place in the SEC" special, Mississippi and Kentucky.   If you already hate yourself, try some of the Minnesota and Northwestern.


Main Course - #8 Oklahoma vs. #21 Texas - 3:30pm - ABC

Now that you've choked down your breakfast we can reward you with the real food for the day.  We're offering our Red River Rivalry this afternoon which is chock full of red meat deliciousness.   Just remember that the Longhorn can be somewhat tough and inconsistent. 

Texas has a lot on their plate this week, as they are coming off a rather embarrassing loss at home to UCLA last week, and a similar performance against Oklahoma this weekend could destroy the rest of their season. 

Side Orders: If you're not sure you can handle all the beef in our main course we do offer plenty of other options this afternoon.  There's Michigan State hosting Wisconsin in a game that will give us a better idea of what either team is really about this season.  There's also North Carolina State and Virginia Tech, or if offenses that set the game of football back 80 years are more your style, there's always LSU and Tennessee.   My advice is to just watch Patrick Peterson in that game.


Main Course - #1 Alabama vs. #7 Florida - 8pm - CBS

We didn't lead you astray with our Alabama and Arkansas last week, and we promise you that this week's Florabama won't disappoint either.  Alabama has already faced it's first real test of the season, but this week they are the test.  Florida is 4-0 but didn't wow any of the critics until last week's Trey Burton-centric dismantling of Kentucky.

If the Gators can manage to get past the Tide they'll officially be back in the national championship picture.

Side Orders: It's not a bad night when your second choice features another two top ten teams.  If fowl is more your taste, then try the Oregon and Stanford.   The Pac-10 doesn't have a championship game, yet, but this game basically is just that.  Two high-scoring offenses finally get to test two defenses that have proven sturdy thus far.  If you prefer something a bit more old-fashioned we're also offering Iowa and Penn State.

Late Night Snacks

Nevada and Colin Kaepernick are two things you'll probably be hearing about quite a bit in the coming weeks, as they're essentially the last thing standing between Boise State and an undefeated season.  So why not check them out when they travel to Vegas to take on UNLV?
Posted on: September 25, 2010 7:08 pm
Edited on: September 25, 2010 10:13 pm

UCLA stuns Texas at home 34-12

Posted by Chip Patterson

So far this season, Texas has counted on their defense to carry the load as Garrett Gilbert gets adjusted to leading the Longhorns office.  On Saturday against UCLA, they showed a vulnerability that has not been seen all season.

Kevin Prince and the Bruins offense turned four Texas first half turnovers into a 13-3 halftime lead and never looked back, rolling on to a 34-12 win over the Longhorns in Austin.  The Longhorns defense had no answer for UCLA's running game, with the Bruins using four different rushers to total 264 yards on the ground.  

Texas tried very hard to give the game to UCLA early, and they succeeded.  The mental mistakes on top of the turnovers put the Longhorns in a hole too deep to escape.  It's Texas' first loss in Memorial Stadium since September 29, 2007 against Kansas State.    

Perhaps Texas got caught looking ahead to next week's date with Oklahoma, or thought that UCLA did not pose a threat in Memorial Stadium.  Regardless of the excuses, the damage has been done.  The non-conference loss will not have any effect on the Longhorns' chances at a Big 12 championship, but any hopes of a national title are all but completely erased.

For UCLA, it's a huge win that can turn around their season heading into conference play.  Now at 2-2, the Bruins have the opportunity to mark this win as a turning point as they strive to make the postseason for the eighth time in the last nine years.

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Posted on: September 25, 2010 5:24 pm

Upset Alert: UCLA leading Texas 13-3 in Austin

Posted by Chip Patterson

Last week, we saw Texas' defense carry the Longhorns through a difficult must-win road game against Texas Tech in Lubbock.  So far in the first half against UCLA, four Texas turnovers have put the Longhorns' defense in impossible situations that UCLA has capitalized on to the tune of a 13-3 lead at halftime.  

The Bruins' three scoring drives have been 2, 4, and 37 yards, and all come after a Texas turnover.  Bruins linebacker Akeem Ayers has led the way for UCLA's defense, getting credited for forcing a Garrett Gilbert fumble as well as picking him off for two of the four Texas turnovers.  Ayers also has a sack on Gilbert to his name.

In a game that defense has dominated, it has to kill UCLA to leave points on the board.  Bruins kicker Kai Forbath, the nation's top kicker a season ago, missed a field goal following a Gilbert fumble.

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Posted on: September 18, 2010 11:30 am

Game day weather updates, Week 3

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Here's the weather outlook for all of today's important matchups. Will the heat affect teams' gameplans in the southeast? All times are Eastern.

Noon kickoffs

No. 12 Arkansas at Georgia, 12:00, Athens, GA: Lower 80s, clear, hot

Maryland at No. 21 West Virginia, 12:00, Morgantown, WV: Upper 60s, clear

Afternoon kickoffs

No. 8 Nebraska at Washington, 3:30, Seattle, WA: Mid 60s, cloudy, scattered showers

No. 18 USC at Minnesota, 3:30, Minneapolis, MN: Mid 50s, partly cloudy

No. 10 Florida at Tennessee, 3:30, Knoxville, TN: Mid 80s, clear, hot

Evening kickoffs

Clemson at No. 16 Auburn, 7:00, Auburn, AL: Mid 80s, cloudy, slight chance of showers

No. 6 Texas at Texas Tech, 8:00, Lubbock, TX: Mid 80s, partly cloudy, windy

Late kickoffs

No. 9 Iowa at No. 24 Arizona, 10:30, Tucson, AZ: Lower 90s, breezy, hot

No. 23 Houston at UCLA, 10:30, Pasadena, CA: Upper 60s, clear

Wake Forest at No. 19 Stanford, 11:15, Palo Alto, CA: Lower 60s, clear

Posted on: September 15, 2010 6:50 pm
Edited on: September 15, 2010 6:54 pm

There's no reason for Case Keenum to face UCLA

Posted by Tom Fornelli

It's Wednesday and it seems that Kevin Sumlin and the Houston Cougars are yet to come to a decision on what to do with quarterback Case Keenum.   Keenum suffered what is being termed as a "mild concussion" last Saturday in the Cougars' 54-24 victory over UTEP last Saturday, and though Sumlin has said his quarterback's condition has improved throughout the week, he's still not sure whether or not to let him play against UCLA in the Rose Bowl on Saturday.

Well, since Sumlin and offensive coordinator Jason Phillips have had such a tough time figuring out what to do, I figured I'd help them out a little bit. 

Sit him.

There, problem solved.  As Jacobi went over earlier in the week, the more we learn about the effect of concussions on those who suffer them, the scarier things get.  So whether it was a mild concussion or not, there is absolutely no reason to play Keenum.  Especially when Phillips sounds so confident about Keenum's backup, Cotton Turner.   Who, on an unrelated note, has an awesome name.

"We're going to do what we do," Phillips said. "Our system is in place. Our offense is in place. Our players are confident in what we're doing. Cotton is very confident in what we do, and our players believe in him."

Okay, so if you're so confident in Turner, then why the hesitation over playing him?  Is a victory over UCLA worth endangering Keenum's quality of life?  He is just a kid after all, not a professional athlete.  I'd imagine just going to class with a concussion could be an adventure, let alone playing in a football game.

Turner proved himself more than capable of filling in for Keenum against UTEP, and let's be real, you're facing UCLA here.  Have you seen the Bruins this season?  I don't think playing Turner hurts your chances of leaving the Rose Bowl with a victory.

So for the sake of Keenum, I hope all this indecision is nothing more than posturing just so UCLA doesn't know who to expect under center.

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Posted on: September 13, 2010 1:25 pm

QB's uncertain on both sides for Houston-UCLA

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. 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com