11/18 Football Notebook

Rich Rodriguez met with the media on Tuesday to discuss playing in the cold, how the freshmen on offense have performed, and more. Read on for all of the latest.

  • With Philip Wright's success, it wouldn't be a surprise if teams started scheming around him, but Rich Rodriguez says that is easier said than done.

    "Scheming for one guy is really hard for any offense to do," Rodriguez said. "I think you just have to run your system and be aware of where the great players are and make sure you are putting a hat on him. Where Scooby plays at middle linebacker it is hard to just kind of single him out."

  • Arizona is getting contributions on offense from freshmen Nick Wilson and Tyrell Johnson, both of which have impressed Rodriguez.

    "The harder positions for them are the ones closest to the ball like center, quarterback, middle linebacker," Rodriguez said. "You get further outside in the secondary or wide receiver, they are still tough but there aren’t as many demands mentally.

    "It’s remarkable how quickly they picked it up because there is a lot on their plate. Particularly when you go fast and have less time to think. When you go slower, more traditional offense, they will have people telling them what to do or experienced guys, but Nick has been surrounded by inexperience and we’re going fast, so him and T.J. have done pretty well."

  • Saturday's weather continues to be a major topic of discussion and there aren't many Wildcats that have playing experience in cold weather.

    "I’ve lived in some tough weather situations and I have never gotten used to it," Rodriguez said. "People say it’s football weather. Really? Is that really good football weather? I thought football weather was like 70 and nice and sunny outside.

    "Not a lot of our guys have experience in bad weather. A lot of the coaching staff does, but it’s going to be for both teams. It’s just how you get used to it and how you prepare for it. We will do the best were can and hope our guys’ mental and physical toughness will allow them to think about external factors."

  • One of the ways that Rodriguez likes to prepare his team is by making them prepare for the worst possible weather.

    "I think two years ago we made a big deal out of it and we went up there and it wasn’t that cold," Rodriguez said. "It didn’t faze them at all. I think you have to have them prepared so when they walk off the bus they're like 'Oh gosh it’s cold.'

    "You want to make it sound like you’re going to Antarctica and the powerade will freeze on the sidelines. I think more than the cold, rain and wind can effect offensive football more than anything."

  • Anu Solomon has been battling a bad ankle, but it won't matter much on Saturday.

    "I hope not," Rodriguez said when asked if the weather will effect Solomon. "If it is, he still has to play in it. You may have to adjust a few things more because it is raining and windy than if it’s cold, because I think as you get going you get heated up a little bit and the cold is not as much of a factor, but the rain and wind could be for both teams."

  • In addition, the coaching staff has to recognize that their game plan may not work out if the weather gets too bad.

    "If you can’t throw the ball down the field because of whatever the conditions are, certainly it is going to alter your plan a little bit," Rodriguez said. "It will probably alter their defensive plan and it will probably alter our defensive plan.

    "I think you have to have some contingencies, but I think you can over prepare for it too. I think you have to do what you do and understand in the back of your mind as a staff that hey if we’re getting bad weather and need to adjust, this is what we have to go to."


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