As much as Rich Rodriguez tried to remain patient with Arizona’s lack of progress, it’s hard for him to not be disappointed as well.
“If you’re not disappointed in our year, then you’re not a competitor, but you don’t just give up on them,” Rodriguez said. “Whether you’re disappointed or you’re frustrated or anywhere in between, you’re not going to give up.
“You’re not going to quit working and getting better at it. The most frustrating part is that we are working on it. You see moments where we are playing well. We’ve seen moments where they practice really well.
“There’s going to be a time where we don’t have anything screw up and it’s all going to click, and everybody is going to be happy.”
Even Rodriguez admits that his patience has worn thin at times.
“It’s probably better than where I thought it would be, but at the same time, I have my moments where I go off,” he said. “I think everybody has been there when you are frustrated and not winning.
“When you’re more accustomed to winning, and not gone through this before, it’s extremely frustrating. I don’t have a lot of patience anyway. I don’t think any coach does or at that point, too many of the players.
“It has to be important to them, and I think it is, but it’s been maybe the most frustrating year I’ve ever had. I’ve had other bad years, not too many, but this probably has been the most frustrating in a lot of ways.
“That doesn’t mean you’re disappointed in everything, it just means you’re frustrated with a lot.”
The feeling among the players and coaches is that the Wildcats simply can’t catch a break.
“It has just been one thing and then another thing,” Rodriguez said. “For example, I said we couldn’t get any turnovers before the last week.We get a turnover last game and we turn it over right back before we get a chance to take advantage of the turnover.
“With things like that, guys are playing hard, but it’s frustrating that it turns out that way. The injuries, you can’t do much about; everybody has them, but to have it hit all at one position, when it did and how it did, makes it tough.”
The difficulty with the injuries and what feels like an avalanche of bad luck has causes frustration among the program and its fans.
“You look at everything you are doing, how your players and coaches are working and the offseason program, and it’s the same or even better in some respects, yet it certainly is not showing up in the results on the field,” Rodriguez said.
“That part is frustrating. Fans can be critical, frustrated and disappointed, and they should be. I would be shocked if they weren’t disappointed. Anything and everything, we are looking at and evaluating, and I will continue to do so.
“I told our coaches yesterday (Sunday) that we have to continue to do what we can. I know that we are going to be pretty good, I think really good, in the future, but I don’t want to dismiss the last two games and do future right now. We owe it to the seniors to work for the next two games, then we will go to the future.”