Arizona working with limited depth

Rich Rodriguez met with the media for the last time before Saturday's game. Read on for his thoughts on Arizona's depth, the freshmen, and much more.

Arizona took the field on Wednesday knowing that the start of the season is only days away and at this point, there is only so much the Wildcats can do to prepare for Toledo.

"We just tried to hone up our game plan for Toledo and execute a little better," Rich Rodriguez said. "I wasn't really pleased with yesterday's practice – I didn't think we had a hard enough edge. Today was a little bit better, but we didn't go full pads – we were just in shoulder pads.

"I think our guys got the message and it's warm, but we should be used to that around here. Hopefully our guys will be sharp mentally the next 48 hours and be ready to go on Saturday night."

Rodriguez has always been consistent in his belief that he wants a team that is deep in order to combat the fact that Arizona will be operating at a high tempo. However, Rodriguez admits that could be difficult at first.

"We try to win every game and do whatever we can to win every game," he said. "I want to play a lot of guys and that is always our goal. I think we can get to the point where we play 22 or 23 guys on defense and maybe more on offense, but I don't think we are there right now simply because some guys aren't ready either physically or mentally.

"Eventually we will get to that point if we do our jobs recruiting and developing, but we aren't going to be there right now."

Part of that depth will be current freshmen and Rodriguez does not shy away from the fact that numerous members of the freshmen class will be relied on right away.

"If they are on the two deep, they have been getting reps and they are likely to play and a lot of them on special teams," Rodriguez said. "I am sure they will be a little nervous. We will have a change of pants ready for them after warmups and another one at halftime if we have to."

When it comes down to game time, the main game plan is simple. Arizona will have to execute at a high level in order to come out with a win.

"What do we have to do to win the game?" Rodriguez said. "Sometimes you know boy it is going to be hard to score or boy it is going to be hard to stop them, but I don't put a number of points on there.

"Our biggest thing is just executing, taking it one play at a time and executing it as well as we can and see what happens."

Wildcat Authority Top Stories