Rodriguez realizes mismatch with Stanford

Rich Rodriguez met with the media on Monday to discuss Stanford among other topics. Read on for his thoughts on the problems Stanford poses, what Arizona needs to do to counter them, and much more.

Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez met with the media on Monday to mostly talk about Stanford as the Wildcats will look to end its two-game slide on Saturday.

"As you can imagine, playing five-straight games and playing a lot of plays, our guys are a little beat up," Rodriguez said. "Tomorrow (Tuesday) is a big practice for us. We have a big challenge ahead of us. Stanford is very big, one of the biggest teams in college football. Very big and physical at their place, so we have a lot of work to do."

Rodriguez would not sway from his policy of only talking about injuries through a Thursday injury report, but does admit that the team is struggling right now in that regard.

"We got some guys who are beat up and banged up," he said. "You saw who got hurt in the game. Hopefully, we will see what happens with them over the course of the week. We'll get the report on Thursday. We aren't a very deep team. You who have covered us know that. We aren't very experienced in many positions.

"Any injury certainly hurts just like a lot of teams are experiencing as well. We are barreling through and hopefully it will be a good week for the guys. If it's not and we have guys who can't play, we will put the next guy in and move on."

Arizona will now move on against a Stanford team that poses major matchup problems due to its size. In fact, a comparison could be made to Oregon State, although Rodriguez says there are plenty of differences as well.

"There's some familiarity there as opposed to what there was for the first four weeks," Rodriguez said. "Stanford is the most unique as far as the rest of the teams in the league as far as true power and imbalance power formation and they'll come down at you. Some of the formations and the size of the guys that they have are really unique.

"For us, being a really small team and way too small defensively is a cause for concern. You can't hound yourself all week and have nothing let on Saturday. Our defensive staff has to come together with a plan and try to do as best they can on Tuesday and Wednesday to get them ready. We have to play big on Saturday. We have to play bigger than we are if we want a chance to win."

Stanford's strength on offense starts on the line, where it will have a considerable advantage of size against the Wildcats.

"I was looking at their size and I didn't want to look at them a great deal because I didn't want to get too discouraged, but looking at the size of their tight ends and their backs and their offensive line, this might be the biggest team in college football, certainly one of the biggest. I think I saw," Rodriguez said.

"I don't know if it was during the Washington game, where they compared the Stanford defense to the players of the (San Francisco) 49ers and they were bigger. The thing is they're not just big, they're athletic. They recruited well and they developed well. They've got a lot of good guys that are playing good football."

In addition, Zach Ertz is Stanford's leading receiver and could pose problems considering that he is a tight end.

"Certainly we have to be conscious about what we are doing in covering their tight ends because they're such a big weapon," Rodriguez said.

"They're athletic enough to split them out. In the USC game, they split them out and had a couple of big plays, so we have to be conscious of that. You want your guys playing for the run game, but the pass is what has been a big key for them in the past several years."

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