Arizona’s poor execution on both sides of the ball continued to show in the blowout loss Saturday night to Stanford, but Rich Rodriguez and the players are not letting the disappointing results get the best of them.
“I’ve got a lot of guys in that locker room that really give a crap about what we’re doing,” said Rodriguez following Arizona’s 34-10 loss to Stanford. “That’s really important especially with where we’re at. Guys like Parker Zellers and Samajie Grant are giving it all out there as it would be their final play of a game.
“There’s lots of players on the team like that, but I just need everybody to have that same attitude. Whether you’re playing or watching on the sideline, I need 100 percent of the guys. That’s just one of many takeaways from this game but I think it’s an important one.
“The guys will work hard and they care about each other and they care about this program. Things are tough right now but we’ll bounce back.”
Poor performance at the quarterback position plagued Arizona all game long. Brandon Dawkins made the start and completed just five of 15 passes through the air and Anu Solomon, who saw the field for the first time in nearly six weeks, did worse completing zero passes on three attempts in.
Despite the brief change at quarterback, Rodriguez had planned to play both Dawkins and Solomon and views them both as starters.
“We were gonna play both,” he said. “That was my plan. Anu hadn’t played in a while so there was certainly some rust shown but that’s not the only thing. We had some protection issues, turnovers and other stuff that could have been avoided.
“Anu is a good player and he’s probably not 100 percent right now, but we’ll keep working with him. He’s a starting quarterback just as Brandon is.”
Arizona has the opportunity to win the rest of their games in order to be bowl eligible. Offensive lineman Jacob Alsadek and others made it a point of emphasis that the team is remaining focused despite the outcomes on the field.
“Losing obviously sucks and I don't think any of us are happy about it,” Alsadek said. “I can speak for everyone on that. We still have a chance to win these games and make a bowl but in order for that to happen, we just have to take it one game at a time.
“We just have to care. I don’t know how else to explain it. You come into the locker room after each game and you’ve got people crying. Nobody wants to lose. This is what we live for. We live to play football, there’s nothing else.”