USA Today

9/14 Football Notebook

Rich Rodriguez discusses quarterbacks, Cam Denson, and more.

* Rich Rodriguez is expecting Hawaii to bring an aggressive defense on Saturday.

"Multiple fronts, both odd and even," Rodriguez said. "They bring a lot of pressure and aren’t afraid to challenge you. They will play man coverage and blitz quite a bit, particularly when you’re getting into the red zone."

* Nate Phillips is expected to return against Hawaii and his impact will be felt both on and off the field. 

"Anybody that is a starter, there is a reason he was a starter," Rodriguez said. "Nate has great leadership and can play any position. He has the ability to make plays and he understands our scheme. He helps coach the guys. He helped Saturday, but it is good to have him back."

* Rodriguez has made it clear that he was unhappy with the tackling against Grambling State and the defense has been focusing on it this week.  

"I think it has been a point of emphasis for a few weeks now, but Coach Yates and the defense has done even more on Tuesday and Wednesday," he said. "There’s fundamental things about your feet and taking the right angles. It’s just work."

* The Pac-12 office has upheld Cody Ippolito's suspension for the first half of Saturday's game.

"I tried to get clarification," Rodriguez said. "The targeting calls were close, but they will stand. The thing about the defensive delay of game is up to interpretation weekly.

"I didn’t get a lot of clarification on that, they said I have to talk to the officials every week. It’s like week to week it’s a different deal."

* Arizona almost has a full recruiting class and ideally the Wildcats will hist the majority of their visitors after the season. 

"We try to get them outside the season because we can spend more time with them," Rodriguez said. "Some of them are January admits, so you almost have to bring some of them in during the season.

"It’s just kind of tough because playing night games you don’t get to spend as much time with them and more importantly they don’t get to spend as much time with the players. Obviously I like and am thrilled with the way recruiting is going."

* If Rich Rodriguez has his way, he will see the starting quarterback reach his full potential on Saturday.

"The simple word, coach speak, is execution," Rodriguez said. "The guys will play hard, but the execution has to be there. Matching the play calls and them seeing the field and being right with their eyes and footwork and technique. They’re capable of playing at a high level and we’re going to keep working to do that."

Wildcat Authority Top Stories