10/30 Football Notebook

Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez met with the media on Wednesday. Read on for his thoughts on the defensive improvement, Cal's offense, and more.

  • There is a good chance that at least one of Tra'Mayne Bondurant or Jared Tevis will be back on Saturday, but Rich Rodriguez is happy with how Anthony Lopez and Will Parks filled in.

    "It's good for them to get experience, particularly Parks," Rodriguez said. "He will still play in a lot of our nickel package and so will Anthony, but when Jared and Tra'Mayne are healthy they are pretty solid."

  • One player that has seen his playing time increase is Tellas Jones, who is also still going through the learning process.

    "Tellas is one of those guys where if you don't know where you are going, run in place," Rodriguez said. "Well, he will run in place fast. Tellas is all over the map and he's still learning, but he has a certain feel for the game, he makes plays, and he is a rangy guy. Once he figures it all out, he is going to be a really good player for us."

  • Rodriguez was asked if it was more difficult to prepared for a team that he did not see last season, as Arizona has not played the Golden Bears in a few years.

    "Little bit more," he said. "We have talked about it quite a bit as a staff. I think we learn a lot about ourselves. First time through the league, you learn a lot about your opponents too.

    "I hadn't been through the league last year. Cal is a different staff, so it wouldn't have mattered anyway, but if the staff stays the same, I think you get more familiar with them and they certainly get more familiar with us."

  • Due to the fact that Cal has a new coaching staff, Arizona has actually watched some tape of Louisiana Tech since that is where Sonny Dykes coached last season.

    "We watched some in our summer scouting report and some during the week too," Rodriguez said. "They have different personnel, so they are going to do different things with them."

  • Arizona's pass defense is likely one of the biggest surprises surrounding the team and Rodriguez attributes it to numerous factors.

    "More experience in the defense," he said. "They understand what we are doing defensively a little better and we have been able to get a little bit more pressure on the quarterback. I think just more confidence and them being in the right spot."

  • Cal has not had much success running the ball, but Rodriguez says that is a product of how well the passing game as worked.

    "They've run it okay at times, but it is almost like they have not had to," he said. "I think I saw a stat somewhere where he is tied for the most 50-yard passes in college football, tied with Baylor.

    "When you are throwing the ball that far down the field and executing like they do in the passing game, it is almost as if you don't worry about running it at times, but they are capable for sure."

  • Cal may be the underdog, but the coaching staff has been careful to make sure that Arizona will be ready for a challenge.

    "It sounds like coach speak, but we are not to the point where we can play poorly and win any game," Rodriguez said. "If we played poorly last week, we lose. If we play poorly this week, we lose. It's pretty simple. You can play well and still lose if they play really good, but we have no chance if we play poorly for four quarters.

    "I'm not cutting my team down when I say we're not overwhelming anybody, but you can just look at us size wise and depth wise, we have to go play our tails off to win."

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