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Monday Press Conference Transcript
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 11/04/2013
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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:

“Any win in the league is good and any road win is even better but after watching the film I didn’t think we played particularly well at times. You have to give Cal a lot of credit. They’ve got some good players, and their staff did a good job. There are a lot of things we’ve got to do a lot better. We had a good film session yesterday with a little bit of a walk-through. Our guys understand we’re going to have to play a little better, and we’ve got a big challenge ahead Saturday night. It’s good to be back home, and I think we’ll have a great crowd and a great atmosphere.”

On the value of last year’s film from UCLA:

“It’s painful to watch but we have to. We didn’t play well, and they played well so it was a very poor performance on our part in all three phases. We have to watch it to learn what we need to get better at and how they may attack us.”

On UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley:

“You’re talking about a guy weighing 240 pounds. He’s got great size. He’s an intelligent runner. Whether they call a quarterback draw or he scrambles on his own, he does a good job of taking what’s there and getting first downs.”

On UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr:

“He made the transition (from offense) last year, so now he’s very comfortable. When you’re that good of an athlete, and we’re talking about a first rounder here, you can put him on either side of the ball.”

On the rising confidence of quarterback B.J. Denker:

“I don’t think he lacked confidence in himself, but it helps to have success in the games. On the sidelines, B.J. is getting more confident and more vocal.”

On Denker’s decision making:

“He’s been pretty sharp all season with his reads, and he’s been smart with the ball. He’s not throwing it into the crowd.”

On punter Drew Riggleman:

“Drew probably had his best game punting. He’s been pretty solid, but he was really good in the last game.”

On receiver Samajie Grant:

“Samajie’s a competitive guy. Like Nate Phillips, he’s got a knack for understanding the game and reading coverages. The read coverages come second nature to him.”

On the environment of Arizona Stadium:

“I like our stadium, it keeps the crowd noise in. I said this after the first game but I think we can create one of the best home environments in college football. We have to do our part by winning games but the fans are into the game and the students are into the game. We can truly create the best home environment in the Pac-12 by far.”

On off-balance throws:

“In our offense, the quarterback has to make awkward throws. It’s the old adage that a quarterback has to have their feet set and have perfect balance but I’ve always believed the best quarterbacks make accurate throws when they’re in an awkward stance.”

On former Arizona quarterback Nick Foles:

“Nick put on a clinic, throwing seven touchdowns. He could be great in any offense, just like Matt Scott. I’m really happy for a Wildcat doing well in the NFL.”

On UCLA’s blitz package:

“They blitz at moments but they really haven’t had to. They’ve been able to get enough pressure with just a four-man front and sometimes even three. That’s what concerns me. We have to do a good job with that.”

On UCLA receiver Devin Fuller:

“He’s just a phenomenal athlete. Outside of speed and agility and all of that, he seems like he has a great football sense about him.”

On the magnitude of the UCLA game:

“It’s a big game. You could say they’re all important and they all count as one, and that’s true. But when it’s a ranked team, you’re home, and there’s a lot at stake, it adds more to it. We aren’t doing anything differently in our approach.”

On Scooby Wright taking additional roles:

“With Jake (Fischer) out, Scooby was playing more of what Jake would have been playing. Jake’s always been the guy that keeps everyone organized.”

 

Senior Kicker Jake Smith

On making his longest career field goal against Cal:

“Hopefully they will let me try more, that was the biggest thing about it. I love the opportunity to be out there and give the coaches confidence in me.”

On improvements from beginning of the season:

“It’s all about consistency with me. Coming back from my knee injury has been kind of difficult for me. I’m just trying to get back to where I was before I got hurt and I still don’t think I’m there, I’m not at that level I used to be at but that’s where I am trying to go.”

On playing an 8 p.m. game against UCLA:

I would rather play an earlier game. I hate sitting around all day waiting. The worst part for me is warming up, I warm-up before everybody else and that half hour before the game is the longest half hour of my life. I hate waiting around for games but playing in front of a crowd at night, there is something different about coming out with the lights on and really having our crown behind us so I’m excited fir this week.”

 

Junior Offensive Lineman Mickey Baucus

On what can improve on of the offensive line:

“Everybody has their own thing. It is just being consistent though everything. I could get better at working my first step or rolling my hips through contact. It is different for everybody else we just have to work on being consistent and strive to be perfect on every play.”

On offensive line communicating with Ka’Deem Carey:

“It is really important. There are times in a game where he will come over and talk to us about what he is seeing and we tell him what we are seeing, how the defense is playing and how we are going to adjust to it. Even if it’s not that, he is keeping morale up, Ka’Deem (Carey) is a big ra-ra guy. If we are down, if we missed a block or something like that, Ka’Deem is never down. He has got a personality like no one else so he keeps us up and thinking what we are going to do on the next play instead of living in the past.”

 

Senior Wide Receiver Terrence Miller

On the quarterbacks having to trust the receivers:

“Our offense is based on timing, and you do have to be at certain spots at certain times and that can be pretty demanding. I think gaining B.J.’s (Denker) trust early on was something that we all had to do. Some of the young guys had to step up really fast, and they have done that.”

On the timing of receivers now as opposed to earlier in the season:

“I think the timing has definitely improved. I feel like B.J. extends plays to help us out even if we aren’t in the right position.”

On the stadium being full earlier in his career:

“I’m expecting that this week actually. Our stadium has been electric in the past, especially in big games. I’m expecting it to be electric this weekend.”

On the big play against Cal:

“We run that play in practice quite often. I was just trying to treat it the same way. Normally I just try to get behind one of my big blockers and let them throw a block at one of the DBs. Once you get into the open field, then its just pedal to the metal.”

 

Freshman Linebacker Scooby Wright

On going home and having a good performance versus Cal:

“It was pretty cool going back home and seeing all of my friends, family, coaches, and teachers. Getting that win on Cal’s home field was pretty special.”

On his impact as a freshman:

“I worked pretty hard and I set my goals pretty high. I keep working pretty hard and everything has worked out.”

On linebackers he has studied:

“I have been trying to get the mental side of the game from Jake (Fischer). Growing up, Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher were my favorites to watch.”

Arizona football will host UCLA for Homecoming on Nov. 9, with an 8 p.m. MT kickoff on ESPN, at Arizona Stadium. 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 2013 football season are available and can be purchased by visiting the McKale Center Ticket Office, calling 520-621-CATS or by visiting ArizonaWildcats.com/footballtickets.

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