11/8 Notebook: Rodriguez keeps clear message

Rich Rodriguez discusses Anu Solomon, keeping a consistent message, and more.

* Rich Rodriguez is unsure who he will start at quarterback on Saturday, but believes Anu Solomon is likely mentally the most ready.

“I think he has the best understanding of our system and also probably the best understanding of defenses, which you would expect because he has a little bit more experience,” Rodriguez said. “He’s got a pretty good grasp of what we want to do and more than anything else how to see the field.”

* Many look at this year as being Colorado’s turning point, but Rodriguez says has been more of a process.

“I think it was probably turning when a lot of people didn’t know,” he said. “Not just last year, but two years ago. They were just growing up. 

“Their kids were growing up in the system. Unless you are a traditional brand name that is always there, sometimes you take a few lumps before you get it to where you want to.”

* Arizona’s recruiting pitch has not changed much as the coaching staff emphasizes early playing time to potential recruits.

“You probably talk more about opportunity,” Rodriguez said. “You probably talked about that a little bit anyway, but certainly you probably say it more as a coach. You say we could use your help and they could probably see that.”

* Any time a team is losing, there are worries about the overall focus. On the outside, Arizona’s seemed generally strong.

“They’ve all seemed pretty focused to me, but I could also be getting tricked,” Rodriguez said. “When I’m around them, they seem pretty focused in practice and in the weight room. 

“They have been very attentive and act like they care, but I want everybody to care at a high level and I am not naïve to think everybody cares at the highest level like Parker Zellers or Nate Phillips does.”

* Arizona is struggling with field position each game and continues to work to improve it dramatically.

“I have never had a year even in some of the tough years before that we had this few three and outs and this few turnovers,” Rodriguez said.

“That has obviously affected field position. I don’t know if there is one particular reason, it’s just that it hasn’t made a big impact and hopefully we can change that in the last three games.”

* There’s been some question as to why Arizona doesn’t start Khalil Tate at quarterback and it blends with the message that Rodriguez has given the team.

“I think the message to the team is you’re trying every week to win,” he said. “To be fair to the seniors and the program, you try all you can to win. 

“That doesn’t mean if they’re not playing well enough to win you don’t play the younger guys. I don’t know if you burn a redshirt at this point for three games either.”

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