Tra'Mayne Bondurant knows that there is plenty of season left, but is happy with the progress of the defense as a whole.
"In my eyes and in a lot of players’ eyes and coaches', we are playing much better," Bondurant said. "We have had some tough games and took a tough loss, but we put it in the past already.
"We are happy with where we are at, but we are trying to get better. We still have half a season left to continue to get better."
Although Arizona was not able to defeat USC, the defense held the Trojans scoreless in the fourth quarter and continues to perform well at the end of games.
"We know what it takes and having that mindset on defense as a unit, team, and family, we really take it into consideration making big stops and being that team at the end of the game that gives our offense a chance in every game," Bondurant said.
"We know we have something to prove, even to ourselves, so that is what we try to go out and do."
Arizona's defense has been inconsistent at times and Bondurant believes that the mindset at the end of games should be able to extend throughout four quarters.
"If you are a football player, you are a competitor," Bondurant said. "You are always going to have that mindset going into a game and practicing during the week.
"We try to install that mindset during the week and make sure everybody is on the same page so by the time we get to the game we get out there and play and have fun, which has helped us be successful."
Rich Rodriguez has been vocal about wanting the defense to force more turnovers and Bondurant feels that comes down to two factors.
"Just doing our job and making sure each person on the field that is on the defense is doing their job and trusting each other," he said.
"If we trust each other to make the right plays and have that trust, you can go out and play because you know the guy next to you is going to do what he is supposed to do, which will help create turnovers."
Arizona is set to play Washington State next weekend and the Wildcats have a good idea of what they will be seeing.
"You just have to be ready to stop the pass," Bondurant said. "That’s the biggest challenge you have. You have to stop the pass and have to be smart, have your eyes right dropping into coverage, and doing what you are supposed to do as a defense.
"We understand what we have to do and while we know they are going to pass a lot, we also know they are going to try and sneak some runs in there. We just have to stay focused and make sure everybody on the field is doing their job."
Bondurant is not planning to bring up last year's loss as motivation due in large part to the fact that both teams are significantly different.
"We always move on from the past," he said. "Last year was last year. They are a better team this year and I feel we are a way better team this year, so it is going to be a good game. We understand what they can do, but we also know what we can do.
"They have more experience and you can tell they are more comfortable as a unit from quarterback to wide receiver. You can tell by watching film that the receivers worked hard and got better. They are more fluent with their offense and signals and everything."
In addition, Bondurant is looking forward to his first trip to Pullman.
"I haven’t been there, so I am excited to go there and play my first game in Pullman," he said. "I love playing in loud games. Having a big crowd and people yelling at you and cursing you out, I live for games like that and it brings out the best in me."