Kevin Prince is in a slump.
The UCLA quarterback entered fall practice as the favorite to win the starting job over Richard Brehaut, but has lost some ground in that battle over the last couple of days because of inaccurate passing.
So Prince, who won the starting job last fall and the fall before that, said he would try to break out of his funk by straightening out his fundamentals.
"I’ve been through slumps like this before and when it happens, I just go back to the basics," Prince said. "Just get back to the basics of what my dad taught me in my backyard however long ago. Just really try to focus on the mechanics of throwing a football and make sure this doesn’t happen again."
During a live mini-scrimmage on Monday, Prince did not complete a pass in three attempts with one overthrown, one underthrown and one batted down by defensive end Datone Jones. In a live mini scrimmage Saturday, he completed two of four passes for -1 yards.
"I don’t know what it is really," Prince said. "I’m just not putting the ball where it needs to be right now. It’s not necessarily a mental thing. My confidence is there. I think it’s just more of a mechanical thing. I’m just not getting my feet in the right place. I feel good about the fact that I’m picking the right receivers to throw to, I’m just not giving it to them. I’m not giving the receivers a chance to make a play. It’s frustrating because I know I can do it, it’s just not all coming together."
Coach Rick Neuheisel said he expected more form Prince and that he'll need to show it if he is to win the starting job again.
"He was better today, but still not as sharp as he needs to be," Neuheisel said. "There’s more in him. ... There’s balls that he’s missing that he needs to hit."
With Brehaut sitting out practice Tuesday because of a sprained left foot, Prince had a shot to regain some momentum in the competition, but again was off with some of his throws.
"We have a competition going and I felt like it was an opportunity to take a step up in that competition and I didn’t do that, which is frustrating in itself," he said. "Frankly, I wouldn’t want to be just handed the job like that. I want to earn it. If I continue to perform like this, then I will not be able to earn it."