Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Monday Press Conference Transcript
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: October 14, 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

Opening Statement:

“It was a disappointing loss. You have to give USC credit. They played with a lot of emotion and executed pretty well. We didn’t execute well at times but we were resilient and came back. I didn’t think we came out with the same kind of fire and intensity that we needed to in order to win. Now is the time to move on against a team coming off a huge win. They’re very talented and have a lot of good players. It’s a veteran team; somebody told me they have five players who are 25 years old. That’s a lot of grown men we have to go up against Saturday night.”

On Utah vs. Stanford game:

“I thought offensively they executed about as well as they had all year, and everyone knows how stout Stanford is defensively. The quarterback played well, they ran very well and were really able to do whatever they wanted to offensively. Defensively, they were very active. They’re a tough, physical team. They’ve played well all year and probably playing their best football right now.”

On Ka’Deem Carey:

“He’s 10 pounds heavier than he was last year and he’s a little faster. He did a great job in the weight room with the strength staff. He understands the system better. I don’t think Ka’Deem had his best game against USC but he hasn’t had a bad game. He comes to play and has great passion for it.”

On Utah’s physicality:

“I think they’ve always been physical and they pride themselves on that. They’ve got some grown men so that helps, too. Not just from a strength standpoint but from a maturity standpoint, too.”

On importance of strength:

“A lot of people talk about young players being inexperienced but I think the biggest factor is strength. You’re not as strong when you’re 18 or 19 as you are when you’re 22, 23, or 25.”

On rotating defensively vs. USC:

“Upfront, we rotated more than we have in any other games. We rotated more but not enough amongst the whole defense.”

On defensive performance vs. USC:

“Sometimes we didn’t get off a block, sometimes our eyes weren’t where they needed to be, and sometimes they executed better than us. We gave up a few big plays and in a game like that it’s disappointing. We’re not to where we’re going to be.”

On special teams:

“I thought we’ve been solid on special teams most the year but against USC, I didn’t think we did well at all. We worked really hard on it, too, but I’m disappointed in our special teams. We meet about special teams every day. We have a good plan, it’s not like we aren’t putting importance on it.”

On intensity vs. USC:

“The effort was pretty good but there was a certain intensity that wasn’t quite what I thought it could have been, playing USC Thursday night on national television at the Coliseum. Hopefully being back at home will help us play with great intensity because we’re going to need it.”

On Tedy Bruschi:

“He was one of the first guys I talked to when I got here. He came and talked to the team this past spring. In 28 years of coaching, he gave one of the best motivational talks I’ve ever heard. He had everybody on the edge of their seat and I think if he could have suited up he would have. He’s everything you’d want to build a football program around. If you want to win championships, you need to have a Tedy Bruschi mentality.”

On Scooby Wright:

“We pick a hard edge player of the week and Scooby could probably win it every week. He played hard. Scooby has a lot of passion.”

Senior Quarterback B.J. Denker

On the passing game in the USC game:

“We obviously made a lot of progress. I was happy with the performance from the offensive unit, definitely in the second half. Going through film was a little frustrating watching the lack of execution in the first half, if it would have been like the second half I would have been a lot happier after the game.”

On the lack of fire in the USC game:

“I don’t know if we came out flat but you can definitely see on the film if we would have done a couple things, if I would have a different read here or there, especially on the drive where we missed the field goal, there were probably two plays where we could have gotten in the end zone. Then, the one to Nate (Phillips) where I threw it a little too high, if I would have put it on him, that’s seven points instead of three. Going through film, it was very frustrating to see the points we left on the field.”

On what goes through his mind when he walks up to the line of scrimmage:

“A million things. What defensive front are they in, what’s the coverage, what’s the down and distance, am I going to hand it off or throw it, do I need to check out a better play, are we going fast enough? I could name a million more.”

On Ka’Deem Carey:

“Watching film, it is sometimes that gray area, do I throw the football or do I hand it off. Coach says ‘sometimes Ka’Deem will just make you right, when in doubt just give it to 25.’ He helps me as a quarterback tremendously. Sometimes when it’s third and five I ask ‘Do I throw the ball, what are they doing, let’s give it to 25 and he will get us a first down.’ I don’t think people realize how amazing he is, just at breaking tackles. He is going to get two or three yards a carry at least.”

On how he gages his intensity leading up to a game:

“I think it starts with me and on the offensive side of the ball on Tuesday. Tuesday is what we call our work day. We are full pads, full speed, and I feel that is how the coaches judge how well our week of practice will go. Sometimes we come out flat on a Tuesday, then Wednesday Coach Rod gets in our ear and gets on us and says ‘Hey that’s not how we play here or practice here at Arizona.’ Everyone has a different way of preparing for a game. Some guys are hoot and hollering and some guys are more reserved. I think it is how your first drive on defense and your first drive on defense set the tone and this weekend our offense, we didn’t have a very good drive, I think that might have set the tone for our first half.”

On how important it is to get Garic Wharton involved on offense:

“It’s very important. Statistically, he is our fastest wide receiver on the field as far as 40 time and quickness. One of the reasond why I have had so much success with him is he gets a lot separation, especially in man-to-man coverage. It’s hard to press up Garic Wharton. He is very, very fast. That first long pass to him, he made a great stutter move and the corner bit on it and he was wide open. When you get a lot of separation from the wide receiver that makes my job easier and that’s what Nate (Phillips) and all these guys are getting a lot better at. Garic is going to be key. He is a weapon. Get the ball in his hands, and he will do some special things.”

Freshman Wide Receiver Nate Phillips

On the wide receivers getting open better against USC:

“I think we just settled in this game. We just got our timing down with B.J. (Denker) and took our time, settled in, and got open.”

On how comfortable the wider receivers are as a group:

“I think (we are) a lot more comfortable. We got that monkey off our back by having a better game in the passing area. I think now that we have proven that we can throw the ball, the defense will back off a little bit and stop loading the boxes as much as they were and then we will be a balanced team.”

On why the special teams haven’t been able to make a bigger impact on games:

“I think it’s just a block here or there. I don’t believe it’s the whole units’ fault. I think if we just get one more block or hold a block for one more second we will be able to return one for a touchdown.”

On David Richards helping by being on the field:

“It helps a lot, his height, and he has great hands. That last game B.J. (Denker) threw one up and he went and made a great catch. It helps to be able to stick a taller guy on the outside as opposed to some of the shorter guys.”

On why he was so wide open on his touchdown against USC:

“It was a corner route and B.J. (Denker) threw a perfect ball. The corner was playing man coverage and he was underneath me and B.J. just threw it right over his head. It was a great pass.”

On how tough it is to get off the line against a cornerback in the Pac 12:

“It’s very tough, especially since last year most teams played press man coverage on us and had success. That was the first thing they did this year, so we spent summer practices and time during practices during the week just getting off the press man coverages. It’s tough but we have to do it.”

Junior Defensive Lineman Reggie Gilbert

On the last series against USC:

“I don’t think it was a conditioning problem at all. Looking at the film, we had missed some assignments. We also didn’t contain on the blitz but I don’t think there was a lack of conditioning or that we were outworked. We just shot ourselves in the foot at the end.”

On why USC was able to run on the edge:

“We weren’t getting off the blocks as well as we should have. We are going to focus this week on getting separation at the point of attack.”

On Utah’s physicality:

“There are definitely a physical team and they are big. They’re definitely a big team up front but we are just going to work hard at using our hands so we can dominate the line of scrimmage.”

The Wildcats will return to Arizona Stadium on Oct. 19 to take on Utah for a 7 p.m. MST kickoff. The game will be televised by Pac-12 Networks with Kevin Calabro, Yogi Roth and Jill Savage calling the action. The contest will also air on KCUB 1290 AM in Tucson and Fox Sports 910 AM in Phoenix with Brian Jeffries, Lamont Lovett and Dana Cooper with 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 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 and on Twitter @ArizonaFBall.

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