Wildcats turn attention to Colorado

Wildcats turn attention to Colorado

Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez met with the media on Monday. Read on for his thoughts on the UCLA loss, Colorado game, personnel, and more.

Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez met with the media on Monday, just days after the Wildcats got blown out at UCLA and with the UA now starting to look towards Colorado.

"We certainly didn't play well in any of the three phases," Rodriguez said if the UCLA game. "I thought we had a good week's preparation, but maybe we didn't. Our guys seemed focused and right before the game I even mentioned to one of the coaches, the guys seemed extremely focused. We didn't play that well. You certainly have to give UCLA credit.

"They dominated us in every facet. It's a learning experience for our guys. The good thing is that a lot of the stuff we saw, we can correct it this week. Some of the stuff, some of the inefficiencies cannot as easily be corrected, but it can be corrected and that will be our focus this week."

Rodriguez said that the Wildcats took the loss hard, but also realize that they need to move on to this Saturday's game.

"I didn't want it to be good, I wanted it to be somber," he said. "We had a pretty exhaustive film study on what we need to fix. On our walkthrough we did some corrections and mostly what Colorado did, so we already moved on to them. I take it pretty hard for 24 hours. Players bounce back quicker than coaches, it's probably our nature.

"Our guys have been pretty good. Their focus has been really good. Whether it's a win or a loss, they're good at redirecting towards the next team. I'd be surprised if we didn't have really good focus tomorrow. They're ready to turn the page and get ready for Colorado."

The biggest question with the Wildcats right now is on the defensive side of the ball, but Rodriguez believes the coaching staff needs to be careful with how it handles the defensive troubles.

"You run the risk of trying to do too much and it just makes the problem worse by adding fronts, blitzes, and coverages," he said. "You try to have something to go back to as your base. Coach (Jeff) Casteel and the staff are coming up with everything they can possibly do as far as players and putting guys in positions to try to make plays. There were a couple chances to make plays Saturday and there were a couple missed assignments that hurt us, as well."

One thing the coaching staff does not want to do is play too many players that may not be completely ready to contribute right away.

"We tell the guys that if you can help us win this year, you'll play," Rodriguez said. "If not, we'll try to develop you to help us win in the future. Unfortunately with some guys, we've had to play them because you need 11. We've had some guys who are going to be really good players, but we've had to put them in because of injuries.

"I've never had this thin of a group on both sides of the ball. When Kyle (Quinn) and Trace (Biskin) missed a few weeks, we literally had six guys and that was it. Some guys were playing multiple positions. Luckily, we got through it. It's a tougher situation."

Now attention turns to Colorado, which returns a relatively similar team as the one that beat the Wildcats by 20 points last season.

"I think they watched film and saw how poorly we played Saturday night," Rodriguez said. "We played better a week before against USC, but we didn't play our best. Other games earlier in the year we've played a lot better. Some of it has been injuries, but we've got to get back to executing. Whoever is playing, there is a certain standard of play and effort that goes without saying.

"I hope our players understand that this weekend. They have eight returners on a defense that beat us by 20. Our guys understand that they have players, and the same guys that beat us last year are coming to our place this year."

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