9/1 Football Notebook

Rich Rodriguez held his weekly presser on Monday. Read on to see what he said about UTSA, Samajie Grant, and much more.

  • Arizona is facing a UTSA squad that has some national attention after defeating favored Houston last week and Rich Rodriguez was full of praise for the Roadrunners.

    “I saw a little bit of it before our game,” Rodriguez said. ‘I wasn’t really half paying attention to it, but right after our game I saw the score and told our team. I said we are going to have a tougher opponent on the road. Our guys played against them last year and have a lot of respect for them and how hard they play.

    “They are a good football team and I knew coming into the season after doing our summer scouting report. I think a lot of people had Houston as a favorite or one of the favorites in that league and they handled them pretty well at Houston.”

  • One of the more impressive aspects of UTSA is the play of its defensive line. It may not bring as much pressure as UNLV did, but it is still considered to be the better unit.

    “I think they have more guys they play and more veteran guys,” Rodriguez said. “They roll their front pretty consistently. They have not been a big pressure team, but they will bring some blitzes. UNLV brought a lot of blitzes, which we thought and they played a lot of Cover 0, which we expected a bit.

    “UTSA doesn’t do as much as that because they can get pressure with their four down and we struggled a bit with their front last year. We got whipped a little bit, so we need to do a better job this year.”

  • Jarvis McCall was one of the numerous players that saw the first action of their careers on Friday and he showed some room for improvement.

    “He made a lot of plays in camp and gotten a lot better,” Rodriguez said. “I didn’t think he played the ball well in the last game. There were a couple of times they threw the ball up and we were in position and didn’t play the ball well. I thought Davis is a NFL guy and had a couple nice catches.

    “They have some guys too on San Antonio, so we have to be prepared for them to throw the ball up a bit, whether it is back shoulder throws, the outfield throws, and we have to play the ball better.”

  • Another player that played his first snap as a Wildcat was defensive end Jordan Allen.

    “He made some plays,” Rodriguez said. “There were a couple times I know Coach Kirelawich got on him as well as the rest of the guys for being in there when he was not supposed to be in there and some technique issues, but he played hard.

    “He probably played more than we wanted him to play with Reggie Gilbert being out and that is one reason why we are moving Trevor Wood over there a little more. We recruited him mostly as a tight end because that is where our needs were.

    "We still have a need for tight ends, but we need defensive ends too. For the last couple of weeks really most of his individual work has been at tight end and this week it will be more at defensive end.”

  • Samjie Grant continues to get better and Rodriguez spoke highly of the sophomore receiver.

    “I was really proud last year that he and Nate learned all four positions as freshmen, but now he is even more comfortable,” he said. “He doesn't have to think as much running routes and Samajie is one of the best route runners we have.

    “The best guys that run the best routes are the ones that make their cuts full speed, they don’t have to slow down or chop their feet when making cuts and Samajie might be the best one we have at doing that. Like on the long touchdown, it was an inside vertical route and he made a move and cut while he was still going full speed and that is hard to defend.”

  • Davonte’Neal had a minor ankle injury against UNLV, but is expected to be just fine for Thursday.

    “Played pretty well, he tweaked his ankle a little bit toward the end,” Rodriguez said. “We took him out off returns and I wish we would have blocked a little better, our punt return did not block well. If they blocked a little better, I think he might have been able to hit a few creases because he is a talented guy.”

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