Smith breaks down Denker's performance

B.J. Denker had a disappointing performance on Saturday, but the coaching staff has not given up on him. Read on to see what Rod Smith has to say about Denker's performance, future, and more.

Arizona quarterback B.J. Denker did not have a good performance on Saturday and offensive coordinator/QB coach Rod Smith pulled no punches when describing the effort.

"Obviously no secrets, he didn't play his best game," Smith said. "It was his worst game I have ever seen him play. I think whether he got a little excited, he missed a lot of basic plays he doesn't miss and that was the most discouraging part."

Smith says that he was disappointed in the fact that Denker could not make the routine plays he has shown he can make.

"We don't ask him to win the game, we just ask him to be the moderator of the ball," Smith said. "There was a lot of plays we left out there that normally he makes and he's made the first three, four games and couple times he played last year.

"That was the most disappointing part. He saw it in the film session and we will get better at it. He will be better and if he had to do it over again I really believe he would make better decisions next time."

Denker had 35 pass attempts against the Huskies and Smith says that he has no problem with that number if it is what the defense calls for.

"It all goes back to saying, what do we need to do,?" Smith said. "The way they were playing us, it called for us to throw the ball at times. We have to be efficient in what we were doing and we weren't Saturday, so we have to get better at it.

"Is it ideal? If that is what it takes to win. If we don't need it, we won't do it, but we had to do it Saturday obviously."

Denker has been up front about his performance, but Smith does not believe he is the only one to blame.

"He understands it," Smith said of Denker. "He is embarrassed, I am embarrassed, we're all embarrassed. It's not just B.J. Denker.

"I didn't do my job. Offensively we didn't do our job. It's a collective unit. Not one person ever wins a game and not one person ever loses a game."

Often times most of the blame for a loss goes on a quarterback and the praise with a win finds its way to the signal caller as well.

"That's the problem and with us we understand it is eleven and too much emphasis is put on the quarterback and too much praise is put on the quarterback," Smith said.

"We understand it and it is what it is. We're not making excuses. We're going to get it fixed in this off week and get ready to play the Trojans."

At one point on Saturday, the coaching staff considered putting Javelle Allen in to see what he could do.

"Javelle was getting ready to get called in," Smith said. "He was getting loose. We were going to put him in earlier, but they unfortunately drove down and scored and kind of put the game away. We were going to see what Javelle could do just to see if we could get a spark."

Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez has been consistent saying that the gap between Denker and Allen is closing and Smith agrees with him.

"We want our guys always to compete," Smith said. "We haven't had to pass much early on and B.J. wasn't required to. Saturday what they did to us required us to pass and we didn't come through.

"He didn't come through like he should and he didn't come through with some of the run game stuff that he normally does. If we do that, it makes it a lot easier.

"There is still a gap, but at the same time I think Javelle and those guys are coming. B.J. can't settle. There's room for improvement in everybody. There is a gap, but it is closing."


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