Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Monday Press Conference Transcript
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: November 11, 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:

“We’ve been doing walk-throughs and a lot of meetings. We had good meetings and a few things to straighten out from the game Saturday night. We’re still disappointed 24 hours later but after that we move on and try to play better. There were some positive things we can take from the game and some things as a coaching staff we know we need to get better at. We have another big week and our guys understand that.”

On the mood following the loss:

“My mood was terrible but after 24 hours we have to move on. The players are more resilient and bounce back quicker than coaches. We played pretty hard but there were a few times where we didn’t execute or gave up opportunities. As a staff, we have to try and help them.”

On the crowd:

“The crowd was terrific and it was a great atmosphere. The folks that stayed until the end were into it, and I’m hoping with a noon kickoff we get another great crowd because it makes a big difference for our guys.”

On the Pac-12 South race:

“Now we don’t control our own destiny in the Pac-12 South race but a lot of things can happen. We focus on what’s immediate and what next. We’re concentrating on what we have to do against WashingtonState.”

On the missed tackles:

“There were some missed tackles. It was a combination of our play and (UCLA) having good players that made you miss.”

On his fourth-down philosophy:

“If it’s fourth-and-one, I’ll probably go for it across the 50. I’ve always believed in that. Not that kicking field goals is bad but in a normal situation, I just don’t like kicking it. Our field goal unit has been pretty solid. Usually, we just need seven points.”

On playing guys both ways:

“I thought we’d do some of it this year but we didn’t want to overload our freshman. I wouldn’t be surprised if several guys played a little bit of both ways within the next few years. We recruit with that in mind a little bit.”

On punter Drew Riggleman:

“He’s making steady improvement. It was one of those nights where he was just on. That was good because we had a hard time getting off their blocks”

On Washington State Coach Mike Leach:

“I met him several years ago when he was at Texas Tech. Mike is a great guy, and he has some guys on his staff we know. Mike is a pioneer in what he’s doing with that offense. It would be fun to watch if you didn’t have to play him.”

On Washington State:

“WashingtonState will have had over two weeks to prepare for us. We’re preparing for everything they could do against us with 16 days of rest.”

On coaches sharing offenses:

“There aren’t patents with schemes. We were open, probably too open, with what we were doing nine or 10 years ago. Now with being on TV and how easy it is to get game film, you can watch and get ideas. It’s a unique profession. You wouldn’t find Fortune 500 companies who are pitted against each other in the business world spending time with each other to talk about their business model. In coaching, it’s a little different. We don’t talk to our opponents about it but with anybody else coaches will sit and talk about it.”

On locker room bullying/teasing:

“I think they tease but we make it clear in our first team meeting that we don’t allow any hazing. Some people have a freshman initiation but I don’t allow any of that. I don’t believe in hazing period. The only thing I require freshmen to do is enter our annual talent show, which half the upperclassmen participate in, too. It’s just a bunch of skits poking fun at coaches and some of the players. Some of them sing, dance, and show off their talents but that’s the only thing we require them to do. Anything else, even a rumor of a freshman getting hazed, will have a price to pay. Our guys are really good anyways. They look after the young guys as soon as they get here.”

On Austin Hill:

“He’ll put on the cleats, put on the pads, and go through individual workouts. His doctor from back home cleared him to practice. I don’t know what that means as far as playing. This week he’ll be doing some stuff with Coach (Tony) Dews so that’s good to see. He’s bigger and stronger than he’s ever been. I think he’s also faster. He’s one of the best in the league as far as catching the ball and understanding coverages. Austin has worked really hard and he looks great.”

Senior Receiver Terrence Miller

On Austin Hill being cleared to practice and his contribution this season thus far:

“Austin (Hill) is always a vocal guy in the room especially with the young guys and especially with how much they are playing. He is very good at giving that post experience. He has been there before, and he has done some of the things the coaches ask of these guys to do. He has always been a help. Austin and I have played about the same amount of time, so we talk about a lot of things and see how we can give younger guys tips. So far, he has been a voice of someone who has done it. We hear our coaches say it, but they played years ago and the game has changed a little bit. It’s nice hearing from someone who has played in your time and has dealt with some of the things you deal with on the field. It definitely opens their eyes a little bit. ”

Junior Safety Tra’Mayne Bondurant

On this week’s game against Washington State:

“This week we know what we have to do, just get to the ball. As far as making adjustments on my behalf, I have to just play hard every play and go out there and give my best effort.”

On UCLA’s fake punt attempt:

“You always feel disrespected when it’s your house. We are happy they didn’t get the play because we got a chance to comeback and move forward from that play.”

Senior Linebacker Jake Fischer

On his health:

“I’m as good as I’m going to be for the rest of the year. I’m just ready to move forward.”

On the loss:

“It does hurt and the fact that on defense, if we held the two big plays that they had for touchdowns that it would be a pretty decent game by us. We felt like we let the team down.”

On practicing the red-zone situations:

“We go over what we have seen from them. Our coaches even come up with different scenarios to put us in. We just weren’t ready for the three back (trios) that they ran. We will take the blame for that and moving forward we will do a better job.”

On seeing defensive players on offense:

“We tried to line up accordingly and stop it. We tried a couple of different things but we just didn’t fit it right. We approached it as if they were coming out in their normal set but like I said, we have to perform better.”

Senior Running Back Daniel Jenkins

On the zone read:

“I think Coach Rodriquez has been running this offense for a long time, and we have had a lot of success in short yardage situations all year. It was just one of those things that they got the best of us on some of those plays.”

On being at Washington State in the spring:

“I was only there for a short time but I did meet a few people and make a few friends.”

On meeting head coach Mike Leach:

“I thought he was an interesting guy. I think it’s well-known that he’s a very good coach and a very smart football-minded guy.”

The Wildcats return to action Sat., Nov. 16, against WashingtonState at 12 p.m. at Arizona Stadium. The game will air on Pac-12 Networks. The game will also air on Arizona IMG Sports Network, KCUB 1290 AM in Tucson and Fox Sports 910 AM in Phoenix.

Tickets for the Washington State on Nov. 16 and Oregon on Nov. 23 are available and can be purchased by visiting the McKale Center Ticket Office, calling 520-621-CATS or by visiting

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