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Notes from Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez's press conference

Rich Rodriguez held his weekly presser on Monday. Read on for the latest.

* Rich Rodriguez watched the Nevada film soon after Arizona's win and saw plenty of room for improvement. 

“After watching the game I thought we made improvements in a lot of areas from week one to week two," Rodriguez said. "There are still a lot of things we need to work on like any coach would tell you.

"We had some self-inflicted errors, particularly on offense we were certainly scrambling around a little bit on defense with some injuries, but our guys are a pretty consciousness group.

"I think they come to work, football is important to them they know we have to keep getting better. It was a good win and now we come back home to a great crowd on Saturday night.”

* After missing the first game due to injury. Freddie Tagaloa saw his first action in nearly two years.

“Freddie played okay," Rodriguez said. "I think he will be the first one to tell you he can play better. I don't think he is 100 percent and that probably hurt him a little bit, but I think it was his first action in a couple years, so it was good for him to get out there and move around a little bit.

"One thing about Freddie, talk about football being important, he is one of the hardest workers we’ve got, so he'll keep trying to improve because he knows he can play better than what he did.”

* In fact, Rodriguez felt the offensive line as a whole had an effective game.

“Jacob Alsadek played hard," Rodriguez said. "He played pretty physical and that was the key for us because Nevada is a physical football team and aggressive upfront. He played pretty solid.

"Cayman Bundage was our Hard Edge Player of the Week and Cayman at center at the new position is extremely physical. That's always been a big part of his game. Cayman was getting after it pretty good, so it was good to see that.”

* Due to injuries, the ideal situation would see Arizona move another player to middle linebacker. However, with no bye weeks, the Wildcats simply don't have the time to do so.

"We would like to, but there is so much to learn that I don’t know who we would move," Rodriguez said. "We thought about moving Cobb, but there is so much he would have to learn that it would be hard to do.

"What we’re forced to do is guys that have played outside linebacker now have to play Mike. It’s not a bad thing thing because it is forcing them to learn an entire package, but it seems most of the injuries have hit that spot."

* Unfortunately for Arizona, Rodriguez feels the injuries on defense have also had a negative impact on special teams.

"Usually we will have about 13 or 14 linebackers and we had more this year," Rodriguez said. "There are some guys with our schedule, there’s not a week to get healthy.

A lot of guys that may be on the scout team right now or a few weeks ago that will have an opportunity to play, whether it is on defense or special teams. Our special teams has taken a hit because we generally like to rest the starters on special teams as long as we can get enough talent on special teams to be effective, but now that has all taken a hit."

* Attention now turns to Saturday's game against NAU.

"They are a really good team," Rodriguez said. "They play extremely hard and I know they will give us their best effort. We struggled a couple of years ago against them.

"We know we're expected to win because we are an FBS team and they’re not, but I tell them we just have to keep getting better because anyone can beat us.”

* One NAU player that will get plenty of attention is linebacker Jake Casteel, who is the son of Arizona defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel.

"I don't recall ever playing a team that has one of our coach's sons on their team," Rodriguez said. "I know which team Coach Casteel will be cheering for but his wife Rose, I hope she's rooting for Jeff because that’s paying the mortgage.

"Jake is a great young man and I have known him for a very long time. He's playing very well up there. Jake Casteel, number 41, a linebacker, I noticed him right away."


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