9/17 Football Notebook

Rich Rodriguez met with the media on Wednesday. Read on to see what he says about putting an emphasis on conference play, preparing for Luke Rubenzer, and more.

  • With the first Pac-12 game of the season coming on Saturday, Rich Rodriguez does not hesitate to admit that there is more emphasis placed on conference games.

    "More emphasis on conference games, period," Rodriguez said. "I think there always is because your first goal each and every year is to win your league no matter where you are at.

    "Is there added importance to the conference games? Yes, there is and the players should also feel that way"

  • Although Cal only won one game last season, Arizona won't be overlooking the Golden Bears due to how close they played Arizona.

    "We had a close game with them," Rodriguez said. "We were fortunate to win that game and they moved the ball up and down the field. We didn't block them very well.

    "I don't think this is a situation where our guys look at their record. I think they remember our game with them last year being really close."

  • Rodriguez has been vocal about his displeasure with the kickoff return and was asked about it again on Wednesday.

    "If we can get it past the 20 you might see me do a cartwheel on the sidelines because we haven't been able to do that," he said. "My goal is to not be the worst kick return unit in the country, maybe even be in the bottom fourth instead of the last one."

  • There was some thought that Arizona would use a special package for quarterback Jerrard Randall, but it has not happened yet. It's possible that Arizona will show something new this Saturday, but Rodriguez isn't saying much.

    "Well if I was I wouldn't say," he said of the possibility of playing Randall. "We have to prepare for different packages for them because they put in Luke. They don't just run with him now, they throw some passes so we have to be ready for that.

    "There are certain things at this point that we know certain quarterbacks run certain plays better than other ones, so we have that in the back of our minds."

  • Cal showed some more throwing plays with Luke Rubenzer last week, thus making it more difficult for Arizona to prepare for what it will see on Saturday.

    "You have different packages for both of those guys and it kind of doubles the work," Rodriguez said. "You can recognize it, but now that they are throwing with Luke a little bit, you have to prepare for everything.

    "They can run Jared Goff, but they are not going to run him like they will Luke, so you have to be prepared for both."


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