10/28 Football Notebook

Rich Rodriguez met with the media on Tuesday to discuss UCLA's defense, playing on a big stage, and more.

  • One of the aspects of the offense that has helped Anu Solomon has been the line, particularly Mickey Baucus and Fabians Ebbele.

    "Those two and even Gurrola, even though he is a second year player, he is a senior," Rodriguez said. "Those three, there's not a whole lot of looks they haven't seen and every once in a while they will get something different, but they adjust so quickly. That is a pretty neat luxury."

  • The Bruins have one of the best linebacker units in the country and Rodriguez believes it is because of their athleticism and the athleticism of the defense as a whole.

    "They are as athletic as probably anybody in the country," Rodriguez said. "They're physical, but they aren't the only ones. This might be the most athletic team, period, particularly defensively that we played all year.

    "They have speed on the edges and big guys that can move, so it's a concern. They do some different things. They will do some exotic blitzes and change their front up a lot.

    "We can't wait until Friday to get ready. All weeks are important, but with all of the looks they're going to give us, we have to be ready this week."

  • Arizona has numerous players that can play a variety of positions and that is something that Rodriguez looks at during the recruiting process.

    "A lot of things we talk about in recruiting is if this guy is a multi-position player because if he can't play at one spot, maybe he could play at another spot," Rodriguez said. "Nowadays you have to have guys that can play multiple positions.

    "Probably the only guy you don't think would do that would be the quarterback. Wideouts have to play four different positions, O-line you hope they can play a couple positions, so just everybody has to be able to do that."

  • Normally Rodriguez will say every game is the same, but he is not hiding the big game mentality this week.

    "I told the team I think it is the big stage," he said. "It is a Saturday night in a big stadium. They're breaking out new uniforms, it's national T.V., I think they can sense it. I sensed good energy in practice today."

  • Nick Wilson did not look completely healthy against Washington State and it seems he continues to make progress.

    "He's better," Rodriguez said. "I think he is better this week than last week and we have three or four more days. Every day he practices will give him more confidence."

  • Tra'Mayne Bondurant is another player battling through injury and his importance to the defense can't be understated.

    "He's a little bit banged up, but he is a good football player and he is versatile," Rodriguez said. "You talk about a multi-position guy, he has played three or four different positions for us.

    "He's pretty big, he's gained a little bit of weight. He looks a little heavier, so he is able to handle himself physically, but he just has instincts. It hurt us a little bit when he was out for the last game, but hopefully he will be healthy for Saturday."


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