Rodriguez focused on task at hand

Rich Rodriguez met with the media on Monday to discuss Saturday's game against Oregon, the approach Arizona will take, and much more. Read on for the latest.

Arizona believes that its hardest test of the season will be this Saturday when the Wildcats travel to Eugene to take on the Oregon Ducks.

"Our guys understand this is a whole other level of what we are going to go in on Saturday night in Eugene," Rich Rodriguez said. "It's going to be a big challenge. They're a very good football team, one of the best in the country, and have been one of the best in the country for the last several years."

Rodriguez will be on his first trip to Oregon and with an idea of what to expect, will try to prepare Arizona for the hostile environment.

"It'll be the first time I'll be up there," Rodriguez said. "It's one of the most hostile environments in college football and the crowd is into it, I'm sure, with it being a Saturday night and on national TV. It's going to be loud. We know crowd and music noise in practice. But we are cranking that up another level this week because we want to make sure there is no communication issue for offense and our defense as well."

As the Wildcats prepare for the Ducks, Rodriguez says that the actual practice preparation will not change despite the better opponent.

"I'm not really worried about whether we're ranked or not," he said. "I'm worried about how are we preparing and how we are working. I'll go back to this `coach speak' about process. Are we doing the things we are supposed to? Are we preparing the right way? Whether we won the last three games or lost the last three games, those kinds of things are never compromised.

"We are keeping the main thing the main thing. We aren't practicing any differently this week. We aren't preparing any differently as far as our structure and practice goes. We just have to get better at what we're doing."

Arizona has already beaten a ranked opponent when it defeated Oklahoma State, but Rodriguez feels that Oregon presents a different kind of challenge.

"It gives us some confidence," Rodriguez said. "I think Oregon is a better team; they're a little faster, and it's a tougher environment being on the road. I would like to think that we're going to play the same no matter who we're playing or where we're playing.

"If you're really prepared and you've worked really hard, I think that's the best way to build confidence rather than who you've been playing."

However, Rodriguez does recognize the fact that Oregon may show some different looks on Saturday.

"I've only had two days to watch film," he said. "By Thursday I'll have a better feel for it. Not just this year, but last year, they get up on people so early that they don't have to do anything a lot of the second half. They're going to do what they do.

"They'll be the first ones to tell you that they have a system they run. Will they have a few things that they haven't done this year to show us? I'm sure they will. We may have a few things, too. I think Chip (Kelly) will be the first to tell you, they do what they do. That's been their structure and it has worked."

Wildcat Authority Top Stories