USA Today

Rich Rodriguez Press Conference Notes

Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez held a press conference on Monday.

* Rich Rodriguez got straight to the point when discussing the status of star linebacker Scooby Wright.

"He’s doing well," Rodriguez said. "He has not practiced in two weeks. Tomorrow’s practice and Wednesday’s practice. Certainly he won’t be going full tomorrow, but if he can do a little bit this week then he has a chance on Saturday, but I probably won’t know for sure on him until later in the week."

* Some coaches may downplay the signficiance of big games, but Rich Rodriguez knows the Wildcats recognize the magnitude of UCLA coming to town.

"All the games are big, but as I told the team, you can sense or feel the big game feel on campus this week," Rodriguez said. "Whether I want to preach it or not, it’s going to be there.

"GameDay is coming to town and there will be a lot of buzz about it all week. It is conference play in the same division against a highly rated, undefeated team. I think you come play Division I football with this kind of atmosphere and game in mind."

* Josh Rosen struggled last game against BYU, but Rodriguez believes he has an explanation.

"BYU is an older, physical team," he said. "They have some guys that are a little bit older, so they have a lot of grown men out there that play very physical. Rosen is a really good player. Everybody in the country really wanted him and they have 10 starters around him, including one of the best backs in the country.

"His confidence and composure is impressive. He’s not a true freshman that just got there in August. He was there for spring ball and learned the system a bit. When you practice in a college environment, you get to learn the speed of the game.

"When you are scrimmaging against your own team you learn how quickly everybody moves and how fast the game is. That adjustment period was taken care of before the summer even got here."

* There's always questions about how much of its offense Arizona has shown in the first few games, but much of that has to do with what the opposing defenses have shown as well.

"We haven't really held back in the last three games, but there's always a group of plays that are specific to certain defenses that maybe you didn’t show in the first three weeks," Rodriguez said.

"If UCLA plays us with a certain defense that we haven't seen in the last three games then there will probably be some plays that we'll feature or highlight more in this game. We've practiced a lot more plays that we haven't run and we'll continue to do that this week.”

* Should Arizona show something new on offense, there is a good chance it will include Jerrard Randall.

"We started him at receiver in practice a few weeks ago," Rodriguez said. "He is an explosive player and he is one of the fastest guys on the team. He's a quarterback, so he knows what wideouts do, at least I hope so.

"It was a pretty seamless transition. As the season goes along and until Trey Griffey and Tyrell Johnson come back, he's going to have a role there. We have to try to find a way to get Jerrard in the game."

The adjustment for Randall is more physical than anything. 

"I think the biggest adjustment is the amount of running that they have to do," Rodriguez said. "Quarterbacks think they have to run a lot but in reality receivers run a lot more, especially with an offense like ours.

"From a conditioning standpoint if you asked Jerrard what the hardest part about being receiver is, it probably won't be the mental part, or even the routes part, it's the amount of running.”

Wildcat Authority Top Stories