11/13 Football Notebook

Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez met with the media on Wednesday to discuss the play of the defensive line, Washington State's offense, Arizona's motivation, and more.

  • Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez was asked about whether or not he believes in trap games and was quick to put that idea to rest.

    "I think there's games where you worry if the guys are as mentally excited to play as the other games, but I don't know about a trap game," he said. "I have never believed in it. Like last week was an easy week to motivate, but this week should be an easy week too.

    "We have a lot at stake and they have had a long time to get ready for it, so I have felt their focus is pretty good this week."

  • The fact that Washington State is coming off a bye could be a concern, especially in terms of game planning.

    "We will be preparing for someone and what they have done all year and then come the game time they do something completely different, especially defensively," Rodriguez said. "We have seen that in just about every game this year, so with 16 days we have to be a little bit prepared for that. The biggest thing for us is our players not to panic and their coaches just to make our adjustments and go from there."

  • Arizona is still looking for a consistent pass rush and it will be especially important this week.

    "They have been pretty solid," Rodriguez said. "We have made improvements. We haven't got as much pressure on the quarterback sometimes and sometimes in the three man rush it is harder, but still, it is going to be key in this game.

    "We don't want to have to blitz and send five or six guys every time to get pressure. You have to be able to do it with a base front at times."

  • Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday has struggled at times this season, but has the tools to be successful.

    "Strong arm, tough guy, can make every throw you want and obviously they will throw it every snap if you let him," Rodriguez said. "He can make all the throws and they will make all the throws. They are not limited to anything offensively from the quick game to the down field stuff, he'll make them all."

  • The Cougars' defense has left something to be desired, but starting safety Deone Bucannon is among the best in the country.

    "I think he is a sure-fire NFL guy, maybe a first day pick and without question one of the best safeties not just in the league, in the country," Rodriguez said. "I'm that high on him, I think he is just fantastic."

  • Austin Hill's second day of practice was a little more relaxed than his first.

    "Today he did not do as much individual today as he did yesterday," Rodriguez said. "He and I talked a lot about everything and cleared to practice is different than cleared to play and hopefully we got all that cleared up and we will see in the next week or two."

  • With the basketball signing period starting on Wednesday, Rodriguez says he would like to see something similar for football.

    "There's no reason why we shouldn't have one the third week in December around the junior college signing period," he said. "In fact, coaches were in favor of it a few years ago and I don't know where that legislation fell through, but we should have one. Hopefully that will get changed in the next year or two."

  • Saturday's game will start at 12 and the pregame routine will only change slightly.

    "Obviously you are getting up early and eating early," Rodriguez said. "We always eat four hours before a game and then we normally have a walk through after that, but with an early game we won't.

    "It's literally just get up, eat a couple pancakes and eggs, get on a bus, come over to here and hopefully we will have a good crowd. I don't know if the players like it early, but I am looking forward to it."


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