9/11 Football Notebook

Arizona continues to prepare for UTSA. Read on for Rich Rodriguez's thoughts on the Roadrunner's offense, player eligibility, and more.

Arizona's full attention is now on UTSA and with the last media availability of the week before Saturday's contest, there are a few notes surrounding the Wildcats.

  • You can make a legitimate argument that Eric Soza is the best player on UTSA. The quarterback is the heart of the offense and it seems that Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez recognizes it.

    "He is really efficient," Rodriguez said. "You can tell he is a smart guy. He's been in the system, he gets rid of the ball quick. I have been really impressed with him.

    "I don't know if a lot of people know about him, but they are going to find out about him, especially if he does a performance like he did last week against Oklahoma State."

  • The Roadrunners like to spread the defense out and Rodriguez says that defending it will come down to how disciplined Arizona is.

    "You have to be very disciplined defensively," he said. "If guys are blowing assignments, blowing a coverage, or don't fit in the right gap, he is going to take advantage of it. They have a nice system and do a good job of executing it."

  • Rodriguez gives plenty of credit to the college teams that run more of a pro-style offense, but believes that the spread is more difficult to defend.

    "I think it is harder myself, but that is just my philosophy," Rodriguez said. "I think if you get bigger, stronger guys like Stanford or somebody, that is difficult too because they will put three tight ends in and create extra gaps that you have to cover.

    "I think it is just a system. If somebody has a system and they have good players executing it well, that's tough to stop and UTSA has a system and good players executing it."

  • Arizona continues to remain relatively healthy and it is possible that two more players will be able to see action in the Pac-12 opener against Washington.

    "He's doing just about everything," Rodriguez said of Dan Pettinato. "We're hoping he can go full practice next week. Same with David (Richards). I think he gets X-rayed the end of this week and if everything looks good, he should be back to practice next week as well."

  • The wait continues with Luca Bruno and Rodriguez actually let the media know that there is one more player that has not been cleared yet.

    "I don't know where that is with him and Pierre Cormier, but Luca in particular, who is in the mix," Rodriguez said. "It's somewhere in that vast Clearinghouse Eligibility center. Who knows where? It's frustrating."


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