Mike Leach has a worthy word rival in RichRod

FOR THE FIRST and likely only time this season, Washington State's Mike Leach is not a prohibitive favorite this week when it comes to generating quotes that aren't straight out of Coaching Boilerplate 101.

Arizona head man Rich Rodriguez may not be as offbeat as Leach can be, but he's never been short of personality when it comes to talking with media.

Here's a small sampling of RichRod since he took over at Arizona in 2012, the same year Leach arrived at WSU:

On why coaches call the plays, not the quarterbacks:
"... I've got a pretty big mortgage payment, I don't want to let a kid that watches SpongeBob SquarePants on Saturday mornings calling the plays. Are you kidding me? Nothing against SpongeBob SquarePants, but he doesn't have the time to watch the film that I do."

On ending 2014 with two losses:
"Did you see the movie Lion King? There is a point in the movie where the monkey hits the lion over the head. He said, 'what did do you that for?' And the monkey says 'it doesn't matter -- it's in the past'."

On if he likes parity in the conference:
"Hell no, I don't like it. I wish everyone else was terrible."

On the idea floated by some SEC coaches to institute a 10-second snap delay so defenses can substitute against hurry-up offenses, he tweeted:
"When you snap the ball has always been a fundamental edge for the offense - what's next -- 3 downs like Canada?"

THE WILDCATS ARE COMING OFF A 38-31 come-from-behind win at Colorado on Saturday. It marked the second-straight week the Cats generated more than 600 yards of offense. A week earlier they piled it up in a 44-7 rout of Oregon State. Arizona has hit the 600-yard mark 13 times in school history and nine of them have been since Rodriguez arrived.

They lead the Pac-12 in total offense and scoring offense this season, but unlike the pass-first Cougars, the Wildcats have done most of their damage on the ground.

The Cougars and Cats differ in another way. While the Cougars have gone down to the nail-biting wire in three games this season -- winning two and losing one -- the Arizona game Saturday in Boulder was the Cats' first this season decided by a single possession. Prior to that, you have go back to a 42-35 win over ASU last November to find a close game -- one way or the other -- on the Arizona itinerary.

IN SIZING UP THE COUGARS FOR REPORTERS on Monday, Rodriguez said don't be fooled by the Air Raid label on the offense.

"Everyone thinks they are throwing all of the time but they’ll run it. They have really good running backs, they have good skills players," he said, adding that "Mike (Leach) will do anything from anywhere. You always have to be aware because they will attack.

"They play with a lot of confidence now. Since the beginning of the year, they have gotten better each week. They beat Oregon. For us defensively, we have to play a whole lot better. You have to play a lot better in space because they will play you from sideline to sideline.”

The Cougars (4-2 and 2-1) and Wildcats (5-2 and 2-2) will kick off at 1 p.m. Pacific Time on Saturday in Tucson, with TV coverage on the Pac-12 Networks. The weather forecast calls for bright skies and temperatures in the low 80s. The early line from oddsmakers pegged the Wildcats as an 8 1/2-point favorite, but that has since come down to 7.

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