Football Notebook: Wildcats show new energy

Rich Rodriguez is happy with Tuesday's practice and discusses numerous personnel.

* Despite Arizona's losing streak, the Wildcats came out and practiced well on Tuesday.

"The first half of today’s practice was the best energy we’ve had in six weeks," Rich Rodriguez said. "I don’t know why. It could have been the nice cool morning or whatever it was.

"There was great energy and enthusiasm. The second half wasn’t as good as the first half, but the first half was the best it has been."

*If Brandon Dawkins and Anu Solomon are unable to play, Arizona knows who it will use as an emergency quarterback.

"If we had to, Matt Morin was a quarterback," Rodriguez said. "He has taken a few reps, just handoffs in practice. Hasn’t thrown it very much, but he would like to I’m sure."

* Rodriguez had high praise for receiver Shun Brown on Tuesday.

"What you see in a game is not a surprise to us because we see it in practice," he said. "He just plays so hard and is passionate about it. Pound for pound he is as tough as anybody we have."

* Cam Denson scored a touchdown against UCLA and could be seeing an expanded role.

"He’s getting better," Rodriguez said. "I think every week his role is increasing and it needs to. He’s got to be a big play guy for us because he has that capability.

"He’s getting better. It’s been a work in progress, but Cam is getting better. We moved him back and forth and weren’t sure what we wanted to do and now he has learned every position, which isn’t easy to do. Football is important to him and he has learned every position now, so he will play more moving forward."

* One reason why Khalil Tate was able to play well against UCLA is because of how he handled the environment.

"We were running the same plays," Rodriguez said. "Khalil ran well. He’s a physical guy and tried to run through a couple people, which isn’t always recommended from your quarterback.

"He made some nice plays and he probably didn’t have enough time to get nervous, but I don’t think he is the nervous type anyway."

* Arizona's offense is not where it ideally would be by now due to the number of injuries Arizona has had.

"The biggest thing is you want to continue to progress on offense," Rodriguez said. "Add some plays and adjust some plays. Things that aren’t really difficult for veterans, but when you have young guys in there, you can’t go to phase two or adjust because you’re still in phase one."

* The Wildcats have had major success against Utah under Rich Rodriguez, but he can't point to one specific reason why.

"I just think for whatever reason we have executed as well against them as any team we have played," he said. "Our guys have been dialed in. Against them we have gotten turnovers, which is a big deal.

"To beat them you have to get turnovers and some of that is a little bit of luck. If we don’t get turnovers in this game, we will have a tough time."


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