"The first year we were just hanging on and playing with guys that just weren't ready, either youth wise or experience wise," Rodriguez said.
"Now I think they are comfortable with the scheme and I think they understand the base defense. Frankly, we are trying to challenge them a bit more now because we're facing ten returning quarterbacks in the Pac-12 and some of the best in the country, so we have to be better."
"I get bored," Rodriguez said of a slower pace. "It seems like half the teams we play are uptempo and the other half aren't, so it's a chance for everybody to catch their breath. I like it when everything goes fast myself, that's just more fun."
"I don't really decide before games, it's more during the games," Rodriguez said. "If he is playing well or his mistakes are minor mistakes, things that can happen and are easily correctable, it's not a huge deal.
"When they make huge, major, egregious mistakes, then I will maybe look at making a change, but as long as a guy is playing well, he will stay in there."
"I am more nervous just because we haven't played anybody else," he said. "You think you know what you have a little bit, but you really don't until you play that first game.
"I am always a little bit more anxious for the first game even in 20 something years of doing it."
"I have been waiting for it," he said. "I have seen it more in the past couple of days. I think this is a team that really likes to play. I think they are going to love the games. I just sense a certain competitiveness.
"Before, I think all of the teams have had competitiveness to some degree, but this team always looks at the scoreboard after every practice.
"We've had a couple times where I've blown the whistle to end practice and it was tied and they tell me they can't quit now whereas before they were like 'okay practice is over, let's move on.' Now they want to make sure there is a winner and a loser, so I like their competitiveness."