10/15 Football Notebook

Rich Rodriguez met with the media on Wednesday to discuss the current freshmen, defensive line, and more. Read on for all the latest.

  • The defensive line has faced its fair share of criticism this season and it will be important for it to have success against Washington State next weekend.

    "With a three man rush against a five or six man protection, it is tough to get there, especially when you play a team like Washington State who’s in the shotgun and gets rid of it so quick," Rich Rodriguez said.

    "Even if you have guys coming free, he is going to get rid of the ball. You have to be able to do some things to get some pressure without always having to bring the blitz."

  • With Arizona having a bye this week, Rodriguez and the closing staff have taken a closer look at the current crop of freshmen.

    "We scrimmaged yesterday for ten minutes and we hit a little bit today, but normally when we go into individual periods for 15 or 20 minutes, it’s just with the guys that are getting ready to play," Rodriguez said.

    "This week all of the individuals were working with everybody, so we got a chance to teach them a little bit and evaluate and we did a lot of good on good, one-on-one stuff, pass rush, and wide receiver/db stuff, so we have a lot of valuable film to look at.

    "All the freshmen are still freshmen, but there are a handful that are playing now and probably as the season goes along a few more will play."

  • The Pac-12 is known for its offense and it is difficult for Rodriguez to predict how many points Arizona will need each game to win.

    "You would like to think any time you score 30 you are going to have a chance to win and 40 for sure, but nowadays the quarterbacks and receivers in our league, you just have to keep scoring," he said.

    "You can play really good defense and still have a tough day on that side of the ball. It’s different. It puts more pressure on the defense, but it also puts a lot of pressure on the offense because the possessions are so valuable."

  • One of most surprising players on defense has been Cody Ippolito and Rodriguez spoke his praises on Wednesday.

    "He was banged up a little bit as a freshman with the knee and he has fought hard to overcome his injuries," Rodriguez said. "He may not look the prettiest in his uniform, but he is a tough guy and a smart football player.

    "He and a couple other guys (have surprised). You’re talking about he and Parker Zellers are two guys particularly on defense who are playing a whole lot more than we probably projected at the beginning of fall camp."

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