12/4 Football Notebook

Rich Rodriguez and Scooby Wright both won Pac-12 awards. Read on for Rodriguez's reaction on both, thoughts on Arizona making it this far, and more.

  • Scooby Wright won the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year earlier this week and it came as no surprise to his head coach.

    "It is well deserved," Rich Rodriguez said. "I think he has had a great year and he has a lot of numbers, which help. He’s had help around him too, but he has had as good a year as any linebacker I have ever had."

  • Whena asked about his new Pac-12 Coach of the Year award, Rodriguez turned the attention to those around him.

    "I have always thought it is a staff award and it is a players award," he said. "They don’t give guys Coach of the Year when your team does poorly. I have a great staff and those guys all deserve it."

  • In a way, Arizona's current success has validated Rodriguez's early beliefs that he would win at Arizona.

    "I think when we got here there were so many things that were either in place or that were going to be in place that why not us?" Rodriguez said. "We still have some work to do.

    "I am really excited and I hope our fans are excited about where we are at and what the future is, but we have a little work to do and when we get there it is going to be a whole lot of fun."

  • Not many expected Arizona to be at this point and Rodriguez is excited about not only where the Wildcats are now, but the potential as well.

    "Your goal every year is to win a championship and we have a championship game and we’re in it," he said. "That’s where you want to be at the end of the year.

    "Everything other than being undefeated is probably still out there for us and that’s pretty neat in the first week of December."

  • Jarvis McCall continues to improve at corner and Rodriguez is confident in his ability.

    "He has gotten a better understanding of what we are doing and he has some experience now," he said. "Jonathan McKnight has been really solid on the other side, so sometimes they will go look at Jarvis’ side.

    "He has made some pretty good plays and he is going to continue to keep getting better. I think every week he gets a little stronger and a little healthier and that is going to be key for us because he is going to face some really good guys Friday night."

  • As much attention as Marcus Mariota gets, Oregon running back Royce Freeman is probably as good as Arizona will see all season.

    "He’s as big and fast as anybody we have played," Rodriguez said. "We tried to recruit him and of course I wish we would have got him, but now we have to play against him.

    "I think he is going to be an All-American. I didn’t think we would have to see him again, but he is a big, fast, physical football player and a great young man."

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