"The way we got banged up and hurt, we would have been searching if he wasn’t able to do," Rodriguez said. "I hope it gave him some confidence because he’s a good football player. He played last year as a true freshman and his role obviously is increasing.
"Jarvis will be better and he wasn’t able to play last game. Jonathan on the other side. We’re thin and we’re still hopeful about Cam. He didn’t do much this week, but at least mentally he knows what he’s doing."
"They have a big, strong quarterback and a lot of speed," Rodriguez said. "It might be the biggest offensive line in college football. They’re huge. They have one guy that blocks out the sun. He’s like 6’7, 380. I think he can eat peanuts off of Parker’s head.
"It’s going to be a challenge for us because they are so dang big and there’s nothing we can do do about that. We can’t grow five inches and 100 pounds in three or four days, so it will be a challenge."
"The message really doesn’t change from the first day of camp all the way until now," he said. "I told the team, here we are with three weeks left in the season and just about everything we want is at stake. There’s not a lot of teams that can say that and we can, so I think it is pretty exciting.
"I’ve always said that we have always had a playoff, it just started in the first week. It’s getting a lot of attention now because it is going to go down to the Final Four, but tell me the regular season wasn’t important before. I think college football is probably getting talked about more now than ever and that’s not a bad thing."
"He really earned it," Rodriguez said. "I held off until later in the season until he had truly proven that he was fine. To his credit, he battled, he worked hard, he came back and was a second teamer, on special teams, a situation guy, and he kept working hard and getting back in it. He’s a good football player, he’s been through a lot and I am proud the way he responded.
"It’s not so much second and third chances, it is believing in a guy and him understanding what opportunity he has. Sometimes it takes guys a little bit later and sometimes guys have to overcome a lot of adversity and when you see them do that and have success that is the true joy of coaching."