9/10 Football Notebook

Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez met with the media after Wednesday's practice. Read on for his thoughts on a defensive lineman getting healthy, defending Nevada, and more.

  • Arizona will have a late kickoff on Saturday and Rich Rodriguez believes he may be a little different than other coaches when it comes to the pre-game approach.

    “I’m different,” Rodriguez said. “A lot of people would take them for a walkthrough and all that. We have a brunch and then meetings and a lot of times position coaches will take them on a walk and have another meeting and then pre-game meal and that’s it.

    “We’re doing a lot of laying around watching games, at least that’s what I do. I don’t know what the kids do, they might be watching Spongebob Squarepants.”

  • The Wildcats need all the help they can get on the defensive line and it appears they could be closer to adding another player back into the mix.

    “Sani Fuimaono is in a green shirt, so he’s doing some things, but nothing team wise,” Rodriguez said. “I don’t know if he will be ready next week. If he’s not ready next game, he should be ready in three weeks.”

  • Parker Zellers is the smallest player on the defensive line and Rodriguez took an opportunity to discuss how he succeeds with his small frame.

    “He gets bounced around a little bit because he is not very big, but he’s a tough guy and he’s been giving us some quality reps,” he said. “If you are like super quick (being smaller can be an advantage), he has good quickness, but I would rather him be 6-10, 350. That’s not who he is, so he has to do great technique and be a tough guy and that’s what he is.”

  • There are numerous challenges in defending Nevada’s offense, but the biggest one is easily quarterback Cody Fajardo.

    “I think assignment wise defending the pistol is like defending the read zone or an option team,” Rodriguez said. “You have to be disciplined and you know they are going to run it. The biggest key is their quarterback. It’s all about making the right decisions and he makes a lot of the right decisions.

    “He has been doing it a long time. You have to tackle well. Sometimes you don’t have to concern yourself with tackling the quarterback, but this time you do when you have a guy that can run like him.”

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