10/21 Football Notebook

Rich Rodriguez

Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez met with the media on Monday. Read on for an injury update, his thoughts on Ka'Deem Carey, and more.

  • Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez started Monday's presser praising Arizona's effort in the win over Utah.

    "I thought it was a pretty good effort out of our guys," Rodriguez said. "It was a big, physical team we were playing and the guys played hard. Like a lot of games, there are some execution things we can clean up and get better at.

    "We made a few mistakes but played well enough to win. It was a good win against a pretty solid team. I think our guys had a little pep in their step last night, as you could expect, but after 24 hours we move on to the next one."

  • Colorado's defense has improved from last season and Rodriguez believes much of that has to do it confidence.

    "They're a little more experienced, a little bigger, and a little more physical," he said. "They're playing better. I think they are getting a little bit more confidence.

    "They won a few games and the new staff has done a nice job of creating a good atmosphere it seems like and they are playing hard. It'll be a good crowd, and they'll be fired up to face Ka'Deem Carey and the Wildcats."

  • Carey seemed to get stronger as the Utah game went on, but he was actually fatigued a bit earlier than normal.

    "We were concerned early in the game," Rodriguez said. "I don't know if he was just so excited, but Ka'Deem is usually a guy that can make two or three long runs together and be okay, but early in the first quarter he was almost hyperventilating.

    "I think it was because he was just so excited to be out there and then after he calmed down a little bit at the end he was not tired at all."

  • B.J. Denker is gaining confidence with each successful performance and Rodriguez believes he can attribute a lot of that to his teammates.

    "Just trusting the footwork, the timing, and the plays itself," Rodriguez said. "There were still a few times on Saturday there was a little bit of hesitation that came back out, but I hope he is gaining more confidence not just in himself, but also in the guys around him, in the receivers and everybody like that."

  • Speaking of Denker, Rodriguez knows how he must perform with the way teams are defending the Wildcats.

    "I was frustrated early in camp," he said. "The first few games we didn't need it as much. I thought he played pretty well in the first couple of games. The way teams are going to play us, whether they are stacking the box to stop the run or what have you, we have to be able to throw the ball effectively.

    "If you can't throw the ball, you are going to have a long day. B.J. can throw the ball, we have wide receivers that are getting open, having David Richards come back gave us another big body outside. We are going to need that going forward for sure."

  • In addition, Denker has gotten better at reads, which is a vital part of the offense.

    "Our quarterback has to make decisions just about every snap run or pass," Rodriguez said. "He may have 80 plays where a decision is being made and he may have made the right decision 75 of them and most people don't even know.

    "He is not under pressure to call the right plays, but he is under pressure to execute the right way."

  • Arizona was without Jared Tevis against Utah and Tra'Mayne Bondurant left with an injury.

    "Jared, we will see what he can do," Rodriguez said. "Tra'Mayne is day to day with the concussion thing. Tevis is questionable now, we will see what he can do tomorrow. He didn't do anything last night."

  • There are plenty of games left, but the coaching staff is making an effort to make sure Arizona is not getting ahead of itself.

    "We talked about it," Rodriguez said. "We're just halfway through now and there is a whole lot at stake. I said it last year too is that the more you win, the more that's at stake. You have to stay humble and you have to stay hungry.

    "I think they know that. I don't even talk about the next game or next day or win the day, we try to go to the next play. I really try to singular focus these guys on the next play."

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