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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

December 29, 2009 at 10:53 AM

UCLA holding banner for Pac-10 today, and a few other notes

The Pac-10 is back in bowl action today, though in one of the more unlikely post-season contests in conference history — the Eagle Bank Bowl in Washington, D.C., where UCLA will play Temple.
The Bruins are hoping just to break even financially but thought it worth it to do whatever possible to get into a bowl game to help the rebuilding process for a young team.
Here’s the depth chart for UCLA for today’s game, and the offense you’ll see is pretty much one you could see when the Bruins play at Husky Stadium next Nov. 13.
UCLA has just three senior starters on offense — tight end Logan Paulson, fullback Chane Moline and receiver Terrence Austin. Austin was a Pac-10 second-team pick as a kick returner.
But the thought in Westwood is that the UCLA offense should be vastly improved next season with almost everyone else returning, including QB Kevin Prince, who is expected to play today despite battling a shoulder injury (here’s a preview of the game from’s Ted Miller).

Where UCLA will have some work to do in 2010 is on defense as the Bruins lose five senior starters, including all-conference linebacker Reggie Carter and cornerback Alterraun Verner.
The Bruins are also expected to lose junior DT Brian Price, who was voted by Pac-10 offensive linemen as the best DL in the conference, who will likely turn pro.
So the 2010 Bruins may be a team that more resembles the kind UW fans remember under Rick Neuheisel, with a more explosive offense and likely a leakier defense.
Speaking of Neuheisel, his mere presence makes this game an interesting one for UW fans — it’s his first bowl game as a head coach since being fired at UW following the 2002 season. Neuheisel had a reputation as a good bowl coach when he came to UW, going 3-0 at Colorado. He was 1-3 at UW, however, though two of the losses were tight games, and one — a 24-20 loss to Kansas State in the 1999 Holiday Bowl — was a game in which the Huskies played more competitively than many figured.
On the other hand, his final bowl game — the 2002 Sun Bowl — was pretty much the opposite as the Huskies were beaten 34-24 in a game that wasn’t really that close as the Huskies turned a couple turnovers into an early 17-0 lead, then fell apart, allowing 34 straight Purdue points.
Predictions are all over the map on this one — Miller sees a UCLA win, Jim Moore a Temple victory. Got to be honest that I don’t know a ton about Temple, and other than a win at Navy, the Owls didn’t beat anybody of note despite going 9-3. I think I’ll side with UCLA’s Pac-10 talent on this one and figure that the Bruins will find a way to get it done.
If they don’t, the pressure will be on Neuheisel to produce a winning season in year three in Westwood — he’s 10-14 entering this game, and LA Times columnist T.J. Simers pointed out today that Neuheisel needs to go a mere 12-1 from now through the end of next season to match the three-year record of his predecessor, Karl Dorrell.
—-’s Greg Biggins has a couple updates today on players UW is recruiting — LBs Josh Shirley and Hayes Pullard. In this item on Shirley, the player notes he really likes UW DC Nick Holt, but indicates there are lots of other schools in play, including Miami, USC and UCLA. As for Pullard, he says he’s getting ready to set up official visits to USC and UCLA, the two schools thought to be his favorites.
— The Pac-10 is 1-2 so far in bowl games, with a record-tying seven teams in action — Arizona, Stanford and Oregon will all play in the next three days.
— Miller has this look at the latest news in the USC investigations.
All for now.



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