10/21 Football Notebook

Rich Rodriguez met with the media on Tuesday to discuss the running back situation, slow starts to games, and more. Read on for all of the latest.

  • Arizona continues to start slowly in games and Rich Rodriguez believes it could be because the Wildcats are pressing a bit.

    "We always seem to do that okay in practice," Rodriguez said. "I would be more concerned I guess if there a lot of mental mistakes and mental breakdowns, but it's not that. It's really just a little bit execution. It's not all 11 guys, it's usually just one or two guys.

    "I'm not too concerned that we're not ready mentally. I am more concerned that we just press a little bit too soon and by the time the game goes on I think we relax a little bit and let the game comes to us. I want them to be intense and excited to be out there. I think it comes with experience and it should happen."

  • With Arizona playing a dynamic offense in Washington State, it appears that Tra'Mayne Bondurant could see a few different roles on Saturday.

    "He's been playing more Will linebacker," Rodriguez said. "This is a game where I am not exactly sure how much he will be playing Will and how much he will be playing safety, but we have to have a lot of different guys ready for the packages we want to use against them."

  • Although Rodriguez would like to have more more bye week, he admits that last week will likely lead to the return of Terris Jones-Grigsby and Nick Wilson.

    "I would rather have one again here in two weeks or three weeks because a six week stretch is going to be tough," Rodriguez said. "I think the guys used the off week pretty well. We had three solid practices and they looked refreshed coming in Sunday.

    "Those two and Cayman Bundage, they wouldn't have been ready to play last Saturday and we are more healthy now."

  • Washington State's defense has not been very good this season, but there is still more individual talent than some would think.

    "Their front seven, we didn't handle them last year," Rodriguez said. "They got a lot of pressure on us and stuffed our run game. Nearly all of them are back. We got whipped a little bit up front by the same guys they have coming back."

  • If Saturday's game is high scoring, it will likely be fun for fans to watch. However, that likely will not be the case for Rodriguez.

    "I think they are all fun to some respects and they are all miserable to some respects too," he said. "It's hard to be a defensive coordinator in our league with all the variety you see, but more than anything the quality of the skill players.

    "We're going against one of the best passers in the country and some of the best wideouts, so it is a pretty big challenge for our defense."


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