Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Monday Press Conference Transcript
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: November 25, 2013

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:

“After watching the film, we executed pretty well and guys were playing hard but it wasn’t a refined product. There are still a lot of things we can correct. It was a clean game offensively. I’ve always believed that if you have zero turnovers and zero plays for negative yards you’ll win 100% of the time. I don’t know if anyone has ever done that in a college football game but the closer you are to that, the better chance you’ll have to win the game. We had zero turnovers and the only negative yard plays we had were two penalties and two negative run plays. It was clean from that standpoint. Three turnovers defensively was big. It was a good win and hopefully it gives our guys some confidence. We have a big challenge against a very veteran and mature ASU team. They have nine seniors starting on defense and five senior backups. That might be the oldest defense in college football.”

On the rivalry:

“They’re all the same. We’ll watch the same amount of film. There’s only 24 hours in a day. You watch your conference opponents and rivals more in the offseason but in the season, it’s the same routine.”

On motivation for Arizona State:

“You’d have to be living under a rock if you play for Arizona and don’t realize how important the ASU rivalry is.”

On the magnitude of the Arizona State game:

“We’re trying to improve our bowl status and it’s our last regular season game but, in and of itself, it’s the ASU game. It’s one of the biggest rivalries in college sports.”

On the Arizona State defense:

“You can tell they’re smart football players and there are several that’ll be playing on Sundays, starting with number 90 (Will Sutton). Very few people can block him one-on-one for a consistent period of time. He’s strong, active, and has a lot of instincts. He’s a first rounder in my opinion.”

On the vibe of rivalry week:

“You sense it in the week as far as intensity and preparation. Guys come in on their own to watch film. You hear the buzz around campus. When we go in there for the first time Saturday night we’re going to have intensity.”

On quarterback B.J. Denker:

“Based on our grade of evaluation, it’s probably the cleanest game he’s played. He was decisive, aggressive, and took the best play there. He was really dialed in. It’s a shame he’s a senior because I could see him getting better and better. He’s truly enjoyed his two years at Arizona.”

On adversity:

“You’re going to face adversity in a lot of areas, not only in football, but in life. You have to learn how to handle it. People say ‘woe is me,’ or ‘feel sorry for me’, but bear down, right? Bear down.”

On the offensive line:

“Fundamentally we’ve gotten better as far as some of the techniques. They were solid but we blocked well on the perimeter, B.J. (Denker) ran the system, and number 25 (Ka’Deem Carey) is the best in the country in my opinion.”

On Ka’Deem Carey’s prospects for the Doak Walker Award:

“If he’s not (included), it’s a travesty. I’m biased, but I think he’s the best in the country. If he’s not a finalist, I don’t know who’s voting.”

On Ka’Deem Carey’s prospects for the Heisman:

“He’s pretty dominant with us. It almost always goes to a quarterback. A quarterback touches the ball on every snap and has more of an impact. But a guy like Ka’Deem has played well enough and consistent enough to get that invite.”

On the motivation for the seniors:

“This is their last chance to play ASU, so I think they’ll be really fired up.”

On playing harder for Arizona State:

“You either play as hard as you can or you don’t. There isn’t any in between. It’s 100% or it’s not, there’s nothing more than 100%, and if you’re not playing at 100% then we’ve got the wrong dudes on the field.”

On Arizona State quarterback Taylor Kelly:

“He’ll scramble, which makes us nervous. He can run. He’s a big guy who’s very athletic. They’ll have some zone reads that he will take advantage of. He’s one of the most intelligent quarterbacks in the nation.”

On rivalry weeks:

“Part of what makes college football so special are the rivalry games. With the fans, alumni, and the schools it has intense passion.”

On the Pac-12:

“I think the Pac-12 is more talented today than it has been in a really long time and I think that will be even more so five years from now. There are a lot of good football players in the west.”

Senior Quarterback B.J. Denker

On ASU rivalry:

“Once you get here (at Arizona), you learn quickly what this game means and how important it is. On my official visit here, I was taught what Bear Down was and why we don’t like that school up north.”

On maintaining psychological momentum coming off a big win against Oregon:

“I think we are fine, I don’t think we are going to let up just because we had such a great game last week. I think it makes us hungrier, and it’s ASU. We shouldn’t have to pump anybody up on our team; we know this game is important. It’s the most important game on our schedule and this has to give us momentum going into our bowl game so we are focused and excited.”

On the offensive line’s performance against Oregon:

“After watching the film, we dominated them and they are big upfront. We only had had two plays with negative rushing yards, we had four or five yards a pop. They don’t get enough credit. It’s all Ka’Deem (Carey) which is expected but those big guys they do such a great job. I wouldn’t be successful without their help, and I know Ka’Deem (Carey) would say the same thing.”

Freshman Receiver Nate Phillips

On ASU rivalry:

“I have seen and heard stories about the games and how legendary they are. I came to the one last year. Unfortunately, we lost but this year we are going to go out there and try and change that.”

On playing hard for the seniors in their last two games:

“We definitely want to send them off on a good note. In three years when we are seniors, I would want the freshmen who are playing to do the same for us. It’s only right for us to do it for the seniors this year.”

Junior Safety Jared Tevis

On a lasting visual from last year vs. ASU:

“It hurt a lot. ASU is always a game we want to win. It definitely still stings a little bit, so we are trying to change that this year and get that Cup back.”

On the in game atmosphere playing ASU:

“There’s definitely a little more jawing and more intensity. You can tell how much it means to each player and how strong this rivalry is. It’s definitely a fun environment though.”

Freshman Linebacker Scooby Wright

On the tip-interception:

“I saw the ball thrown, so I was running to the ball. Then I saw Shaq (Richardson) and the ball coming back to me so I started to slow down and then I thought ‘I’m going to catch this ball’. Then I just tried to make the most of it.”

On being so close to being out of bounds:

“I didn’t know I was that close. I knew I was close, but after seeing the replay I didn’t know I was that close.”

On playing harder for the seniors for the last two games:

“I feel like the seniors have done so much, all the blood, sweat, and tears they have put in. Just to go out and send them off right and leave it all out on the field, I feel like it’s important.”

Arizona returns to action for its final regular-season game of the season, a matchup with ArizonaState, in Tempe on Nov. 30 at 7:30 p.m. MST. The game will air on Pac-12 Networks with Glenn Parker, Ted Robinson and Drea Avent calling the action. Saturday’s contest will also air on Arizona IMG Sports Network, KCUB 1290 AM in Tucson and Fox Sports 910 AM in Phoenix.

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

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