Plenty at stake for Arizona against ASU

Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez and the rest of the Wildcats know there is plenty at stake on Saturday. Read on to see what that is, his thoughts on Arizona's focus, and more.

It would be easy to understand if the 24-hour rule was extended a bit longer due to Arizona's victory over Oregon on Saturday. However, Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez says that motivation and focus will not be an issue.

"The way we do it with Sunday being a meeting and walkthrough on the previous game and Monday off, by the time we get together again on Tuesday, they have probably heard enough talk about ASU and the rivalry that they are ready to get focused on that," Rodriguez said. "Rivalry games are usually easier because our guys hear about them so much."

Although Arizona would like to approach each game with the same intensity, it is hard not to add a bit extra this week.

"I think you sense it a little bit during the week as far as the intensity and preparation," Rodriguez said. "Guys may go on their own and watch film more. I hope you see that during rivalry games. You hear the buzz around the week more and certainly the intensity around the stadium."

In addition, Rodriguez says that the preparation this week will not change when compared to another game week.

"Does a rivalry get you more jacked up to watch more film?" Rodriguez asked. "Never has, never will. They are all the same to me. We'll watch the same amount of film because you only have so many hours in the day.

"Do you watch more in the off-season? Yes, you watch your conference opponents and your rivalry game, you kind of study them a little more in the offseason, but during the season it is the same routine."

Much will be made of the fact that Arizona State is playing to have the Pac-12 championship game at home, but Rodriguez feels the Wildcats have plenty at stake as well.

"I couldn't care less about what they are playing for, their magnitude, their mindset," he said. "That is up to them. I only worry about our guys. We are trying to build our bowl status for one thing and it is our last regular season game. In and of itself, this is the ASU game. It is one of the biggest rivalries in college sports."

Arizona knows it will have to play a strong game in order to defeat Arizona State and the focus on Saturday's game says as much.

"This is the kind of team where if you make mistakes and don't play well, you'll get beat badly," Rodriguez said. "If you do play well and play clean and they make a few mistakes, you can win it. I think from a focus, effort, and intensity standpoint I don't think either coach will have a problem getting their guys ready for this one. If there is, then our guys are not as mature as I think they are."

When discussing how important this weekend's game is, Rodriguez was short to the point.

"You have to be living under a rock if you play for Arizona and you don't realize how important the ASU game is," he said.


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