Bringing things up to speed before UCLA’s game against Colorado at the Rose Bowl this Saturday…
There’s good news on the injury front as safety Tony Dye, who has been out for almost two months because of neck pain, has been practicing and going through contact drills without pain at Spaulding Field this week.
That gives him a good chance to play against the Buffaloes; although it will cost him a chance at a medical redshirt and a fifth year of eligibility as Dye is a senior, it will be worth it because “I want to be a part of (the Pac-12 championship run)” Dye said.
Having led the UCLA with 96 tackles in 2010, the Bruins will welcome him back as he is also a team leader, serving as a captain this year.
More injury news, good and not-so-good…
According to coach Rick Neuheisel, safety Dietrich Riley, who was almost paralyzed against Cal, is done for the year with a lingering neck problem, while linebacker Jordan Zumwalt, who hurt his hip at Utah, is expected to play on Saturday, as is running back Derrick Coleman (Thank Goodness!), who also hurt his hip in Salt Lake City.
Coleman playing is crucially essential if the Bruins are to beat Colorado and are to have any chance against USC on November 26, because he is clearly UCLA’s best player.
Meanwhile behind center…
Richard Brehaut returned to practice last week after being out for over a month due to a broken leg and listed as “probable” for the Colorado game by coach Rick Neuheisel, but Kevin Prince will remain the starter against the Buffaloes.
The Utah game notwithstanding, where he threw two interceptions, Prince has performed well enough to remain at quarterback, though if I were Neuheisel I would keep Brehaut in the “bullpen”, so to speak, in case Prince falters like he did against Texas.
“…Kevin, as everybody understands, has to play better. When Kevin plays better, we’re a good football team,” Neuheisel commented.
What if UCLA, Arizona State, and Utah finish in a three-way tie for first in the Pac-12 South?
Arizona State will go to the Pac-12 Championship game based on a better record within the division.
As for other scenarios – the two-way kind – UCLA has the tiebreaker over ASU but not Utah, and the Sun Devils have the tiebreaker over the Utes but not the Bruins.
A quick reminder: The game against Colorado at the Rose Bowl will start at 4:30 p.m. and will be televised by Versus. It will be Senior Day, and the outgoing seniors will be honored before the contest.