Arizona left something to be desired last week against UTSA, but Rich Rodriguez saw some improvement in Saturday's win over Nevada.
"With the environment we’re playing in and injuries we had, I thought we were better as a team today," Rodriguez said. "We’re not nearly as good as we need to be, but we were better than we were a week ago."
The Wildcats did not execute as well as Rodriguez would have liked, but there was plenty to be happy about.
"I thought out guys were gritty," he said. "Played hard. We didn't execute well at times and offensively we shot ourselves in the foot a bit. It’s a tough football team on the road and we made some plays when we had to."
Arizona once again struggled with injury, specifically the loss of middle linebacker Haden Gregory, who was already replacing Scooby Wright.
"Defensively I couldn't tell you who was in there half the time," Rodriguez said. "I know their names, but I couldn't tell you what position they were at. At linebacker there were all kinds of dudes in there and they were just hanging on.
"Defensively we had some key three and outs and offensively we had a couple nice drives. We missed a couple things still, but I thought our defense, particularly with some of the patchwork we are doing with guys in certain positions and guys getting banged up.
"I know it wasn't easy on Coach Casteel and those guys to call the defense, but they did a good job."
One linebacker that played well after seeing limited action throughout his career is Tre Tyler, who was Gregory's replacement.
"Did you guys even know who Tre was?" Rodriguz said. "I’m proud of Tre. He got hurt and then when he got hurt I thought maybe we were going to have to put Casey Skowron and Drew Riggleman in."
Offensively, Nevada had no answer for Nick Wilson, who finished with close to 200 yards and three touchdowns.
"He ran hard," Rodriguez said. "Nick is a good football player. There were a couple times he ran with really big holes and a couple times where he ran when there was very little blocking. He made it happen and that is very good."
Overall, Rodriguez knows that the Wildcats went into a difficult environment and were able to get a win, which is all he could ask for.
"There were times we executed really well," he said. "There were times on a couple fourth downs we didn't execute, but they are things not difficult to fix. I thought there were other times we executed pretty well.
"It was going to be a difficult environment. Our guys have been really mature on the road every year and they were mature on the road this time. They have a lot of respect for Nevada’s players and the last two times we have played them it has been down to the wire, so it was a good win."