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Monday Press Conference Transcript
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 10/07/2013
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TUCSON, Ariz. University of Arizona football head coach Rich Rodriguez and select players met with media members at a weekly press conference on Monday. Below is a brief transcript.

Head Coach Rich Rodriguez

On game plan if USC’s Marqise Lee does or doesn’t play due to injury:

“Marqise Lee is such a special talent. You always have to be aware of where he is lined up, not only in the receiving game but also in the return game. We didn’t have any answer for him last year; he got open, got involved, and we just couldn’t catch up with him. There is no question what type of talent he is because he is one of those rare kinds that you have to run your scheme with the awareness of where he is.”

On preparing for USC’s willingness to win under interim head coach Ed Orgeron:

“I would hope we would play normally like ourselves no matter what but I did tell the players that this game is going to be more difficult because USC is going to play extremely fired up, loose and come out with a chip on their shoulder. We will get USC’s best shot.” 

On his relationship with USC’s interim head coach Ed Orgeron:

“(I know him) More through recruiting, the first time I met him was a long time ago when I was a coach at Tulane. He was recruiting in that area, and I thought he was one of the best recruiters out there. He’s had a lot of success wherever he’s been as a recruiter and as a defensive line coach. Certainly, I knew about him when he became the head coach at Mississippi, so I think he’ll do a great job rest of this year.” 

On senior linebacker Marquis Flowers impact this year:

“I’m really proud of Marquis, really since last year when he made that last minute move from safety to linebacker. He had a solid year and did a really good job in the weight room. He got bigger and stronger, and he probably is in the best shape of his life coming into the season. He’s been playing really solid football for us, and he’s a guy that makes a lot of plays for us. He really bought in to being a linebacker, and he’s developed really good leadership skills. He was obviously a key in last year’s game against USC because one of the biggest keys for us was getting those turnovers, and Marquis had two interceptions last year. We’re going to need something like that again this week.”

On USC’s quarterback Cody Kessler:

“I’ve been really impressed with him. He is a competitive guy, makes all his throws, and I don’t think he’s the tallest guy. They put him in shotgun at times; he’s good in play action. He hasn’t had the luxury of having all his guys on the perimeter because they’ve been hurt, but they have two NFL tight ends and the receivers that they have are good. Their running backs can play for anybody. Kessler has done a nice job, and he’s a really good player.”

On the possibility of USC’s offense running completely new plays due to coaching switch:

“It won’t be unusual if USC did. I don’t know if you can prepare for it but we’re expecting it because we are saying, ‘this is what they’ve done but with a new offensive play-caller, this is what they can do as well.’ It’s really hard for our defensive guys to prepare exactly what USC is going to do. We have to be prepared in seeing a little of everything.”  

Senior Linebacker Marquis Flowers

On his game against USC last year:

“I don’t really like to talk about last year but I was just in the right spot at the right time. It’s going to be different this year. We have to make the same plays but hopefully more. We can’t go off last year. It’s a different team. We just have to go out there and execute.”

On possibility of not having Jake Fischer:

“I haven’t heard anything on him but obviously Jake is a big factor on defense. We believe in whoever is going to step in if they have to step in and play. Hopefully, Jake plays.”

Senior Lineman Chris Putton

On USC’s defensive lineman:

“I think they have a pretty good defense all together. Defensive linemen are definitely one of their strengths, and they are probably the best line we have faced so far. It will be a test to see where we are at in our season. ”

On the tempo this year as opposed to last year:

“I think sometimes we play hesitant and it shows with our execution. Our coaches have been doing a really good job during the bye week pushing the tempo and trying to get the offense back on that track.”

Senior Receiver Terrence Miller

On sophomore receiver David Richards being back:

“Getting David Richards back was pretty big. We don’t have that many big wide outs in the lineup right now. Getting him back now allows me more flexibility and a little more versatility to our offense. We can do more things with bigger guys.”

On helping out the freshman:

“Mainly it’s leading by example, try our best to do the right things and run the right routes and be on time with the quarterback. Showing them how to recognize coverages as well, especially for teams like USC, who can disguise their coverages a little bit. Just help them recognize things like that on practice and in film.”

On helping out quarterback B.J. Denker:

“I think we need to continue pressing forward. I think the receivers have done a pretty good job with what we have gotten as far as the defenses we have lined up against. We just have to keep pressing a little more and instead of being barely open we need to be really open. Running routes and making B.J. more confident in throwing the ball because he has all the tools. He just needs a little bit of a confidence boost, and I think it is going to come from the receivers.”

Senior Defensive Lineman Tevin Hood

On Coach (Jeff) Casteel’s defense:

“It’s a transition when we have four down linemen and three linebackers. That’s completely different then a 3-3 stack. So linebackers have to meet offensive linemen more often in a 3-3, and getting used to that obviously requires some experience but once you do it makes for a versatile defense.”

The Wildcats will play at USC on Oct. 10 in a 7:30 pm MST kickoff. The game will be televised by Fox Sports 1 with Justin Kutcher, Joel Klatt, Petros Papadakis and Kristina Pink calling the action. The game will also air on Arizona IMG Sports Network KCUB 1290 AM in Tucson and Fox Sports 910 AM in Phoenix with Brian Jeffries, Lamont Lovett and Dana Cooper on the call.

Tickets for the 2013 football season including in the north end zone and club level of the Lowell-Stevens Football Facility, are available and can be purchased by visiting the McKale Center Ticket Office, calling 520-621-CATS or by visiting ArizonaWildcats.com/footballtickets. Fans can also make appointments via the McKale Center Ticket Office to tour the seating areas during normal business hours.

For continued coverage of Arizona football, follow the team on Facebook at facebook.com/ArizonaFootball and on Twitter @ArizonaFBall.
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