"The focus has been good," Rodriguez said. "It really has been good all year, but you can tell it is a rivalry game and there will be a lot of intensity.
"It is also Thanksgiving, so a lot of guys will see some family this week. We're going to have a nice meal for them. We will have a light Thursday practice earlier and then have a nice meal around 3 o'clock."
"I think it is strange," Rodriguez said. "It seems like the road team has had some success, but I think that is an anomaly. I don't think there is a reason for that except two equal teams coming down to the last play or two."
"I actually probably looked at it a little bit before I even took the job here," he said. "The national perception is probably you don't realize it is this intense until you are in the middle of it, but that is probably true for every rivalry. The intensity of it, having gone through it and with our fans and their fans, you can sense that year round."
"He can play at wideout, he can play at running back and he is a really talented young man," Rodriguez said. "He has great ball skills and he's tough too. We tried to recruit him. He's a great player."
"When it leads to silly penalties or mental mistakes," Rodriguez said. "You want to use emotion in a positive way and some guys can, some guys go overboard. I think you can have too much in a way and almost be counterproductive, but there is a difference between emotion and intensity. I just want the intensity."
"He's probably been a finalist before, but I have an excellent staff," he said. "Of course I am biased, but I think I have some of the best teachers in the country. It will not change Jeff Casteel one way or another. He will still go about doing his business, but we're lucky to have him."