10/8 Football Notebook

Rich Rodriguez met with the media on Wednesday to discuss USC, playing with something to prove, and more. Read on for all the latest.

  • As much as he would like to, Rich Rodriguez has not found time to take a step back and reflect on Arizona's recent success and the attention it has brought.

    "Not really, but I do appreciate it," Rodriguez said when asked if he has taken time. "As soon as I found out it was sold out, I thought that was terrific.

    "I think it sold out early I think, so I told the players it shouldn't matter if we are home or on the road or who we are playing, we're going to play really, really hard on every snap. Without question, a sold out crowd, USC, Saturday night on national T.V. there is probably a little extra juice involved."

  • Currently Arizona's win over Oregon is viewed as an upset, but Rodriguez does not necessarily agree that a win over USC would add legitimacy to the Wildcats' ranking.

    "I never really look at it that way," he said. "I think every game is an opportunity to prove your program and who you are. I like to think we only have 12, 13, or 14 opportunities and it's easy to get up for every game, but I have coached long enough to know you still have to try to get your guys motivated. I think we have a lot of self-motivating guys, so it has been an easy week to get their attention."

  • Leonard Williams gets the bulk of the attention when discussing USC's defensive line and Rodriguez believes it is well deserved.

    "They are so athletic up front," he said. "That's the thing, You can have a guy assigned to him, sometimes two guys assigned to him, but they will swim or rip or use athletic moves. He's strong enough where he doesn't have to use athleticism, he can bull rush too. He's got all the things that you want from a dominant defensive lineman."

  • Arizona's defense is continuing to make progress, but it is still not where the coaching staff would ultimately like for it to be.

    "We're not still to the point where we are playing 18 to 22 guys defensively and have a steady rotation," Rodriguez said. "We are increasing the talent and a lot of it is young, but our staff has been doing a good job of just getting us to hang in there. I think the future in the next few years, we will get to the point where it will be easier for the guys on defense to coach."

  • Saturday's game is being hyped up as much as any game in recent Arizona memory, but Rodriguez and his fellow coaches are not treating it any differently.

    "Our routine stays the same," Rodriguez said. "It's different when you have a couple extra days, but we were recruiting. Our routine is the same and that is one thing our staff appreciates. We know each other so well that some things are always a constant in our program."


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