"It was a disappointing loss," Rodriguez said. "You have to give USC credit. I thought they played with a lot of emotion and executed pretty well. We didn't execute well at times, but we were resilient and came back and made effort on it. I didn't think, for whatever reason, that we came out with the same kind of fire and intensity that we needed to in order to win that game. I think a lot of guys saw that on film.
"Now is the time to move on against a team coming off a huge win. They're very talented and have a lot of good players. It's a veteran team; somebody told me they have five players that are 25 years old, so there's a lot of grown men we have to go up against Saturday night."
Utah was impressive in every facet of the game against Stanford and Rodriguez believes that the Utes played their best game of the year.
"I thought offensively they executed about as well as maybe they had all year against a really good defense, as everybody knows how stout Stanford is defensively," he said. "The quarterback played well, they ran the ball well and they really did what they wanted to offensively.
"Defensively, they were very active against a tough, physical team. They've played well all year and they have some new guys, they brought in a couple new players, got some junior college players come in, couple older guys that were maybe banged up the last couple years that are now healthy and playing, so they are probably playing their best football right now."
In addition, Utah has undergone some changes on offense, due in large part to a familiar face at offensive coordinator.
"They are still doing some things they did last year, but certainly it is Dennis Erickson's deal with spreading you out a little bit, throwing the ball on the perimeter quite a bit, movement with the tailbacks out of the backfield and they will go in empty set and push the tempo a little more too," Rodriguez said. "They are going faster than they did last year as well."
Saturday's contest will be a challenge for Arizona in many ways, but especially physically.
"I think they have always been physical and they pride themselves on that, but in that game where Stanford is kind of what they are known for and what they pride themselves on, there's no question that Utah was as physical in that game and they showed it," Rodriguez said. "Again, they have some older guys, some veterans and grown men, so that helps, too.
"Not just from a maturity standpoint, but from a strength standpoint. If we're running our program the right way, which I think we are, when our guys are fourth or fifth year juniors or seniors, they are going to be a whole lot stronger than they were when they were a first year player."