UCLA football: Kevin Prince gets another chance, rallies the Bruins
Kevin Prince had three passes intercepted in a 49-20 loss to Texas three weeks ago. He went home and went to bed.
“I woke up a 6 a.m., opened my laptop and started watching the game tape,” Prince said. “I didn’t sleep too well.”
After throwing two fourth-quarter touchdown passes in rallying UCLA to a 28-25 victory over Washington State on Saturday, Prince was planning the same routine . . . mostly.
“I’m going home and going to sleep,” Prince said. “But I might sleep in a little bit late.”
Prince earned the rest after pulling UCLA back from the precipice of defeat. He replaced starter Richard Brehaut, who fractured an ankle in the second quarter, and put the Bruins tied for second place in the Pacific 12 Conference South Division with the comeback win.
With UCLA trailing, 22-14, Prince drove the Bruins 58 yards, throwing a nine-yard touchdown strike to Josh Smith with 10 minutes 52 seconds left.
With UCLA trailing 25-20, Prince drove the Bruins 71 yards, with 58 coming on a completion to Nelson Rosario. Prince tossed a seven-yard touchdown pass to Shaquelle Evans with 3:26 left and then hit Rosario for the two-point conversion and final margin of victory.
“I have never been in that position before, being shoved into a game coming off the bench,” Prince said. “I hate that Richard got hurt. I love Richard.”
But, Prince said, “It was fun to be able to take advantage of the opportunity.”
Prince completed eight of 13 passes for 173 yards. It was his first game since facing Texas. He left that game with an injured left shoulder and was booed as he walked off the field following the third interception.
He was booed when entering the game Saturday. Moments later there were cheers, after he completed a 41-yard pass to Rosario to set up Derrick Coleman’s second one-yard touchdown run of the game.
Did Prince hear the boos?
“How could you not hear them?” he said.
And the cheers?
“I heard that too,” Prince said. “Football fans are football fans, they want to see their team win.
“Personally, being a sports fan, I have gotten mad at players who haven’t made plays. That goes with the game. It doesn’t necessarily affect me.”
Photo: Bruins quarterback Kevin Prince throws a touchdown pass to receiver Shaquelle Evans for the go-ahead score against the Cougars in the fourth quarter Saturday at the Rose Bowl. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times