University of Arizona football head coach Rich Rodriguez and select players met with media members at a weekly press conference on Monday, Oct. 1. Below is a brief transcript.
Head Coach Rich Rodriguez
"I don't want to recap too much. It's been 24 hours. We've moved on. We had some good meetings yesterday. Today the players have the day off. There are some guys getting treatment. As you can imagine, playing five-straight games and playing a lot of plays, our guys are a little beat up. Tomorrow is a big practice for us. We have a big challenge ahead of us. Stanford is very big, one of the biggest teams in college football. Very big and physical at their place, so we have a lot of work to do."
On the Washington vs. Stanford game:
"They did a nice job. Stanford certainly did a few things very good. Washington played very aggressively, blocked well, tackled well and got a few big plays on offense to pull of the win. Those were two great football teams."
On injury updates:
"We got some guys who are beat up and banged up. You saw who got hurt in the game. Hopefully, we will see what happens with them over the course of the week. We'll get the report on Thursday. We aren't a very deep team. You who have covered us know that. We aren't very experienced in many positions. Any injury certainly hurts just like a lot of teams are experiencing as well. We are barreling through and hopefully it will be a good week for the guys. If it's not and we have guys who can't play, we will put the next guy in and move on."
On similarities between Oregon State and Stanford:
"There's some familiarity there as opposed to what there was for the first four weeks. Stanford is the most unique as far as the rest of the teams in the league as far as true power and imbalance power formation and they'll come down at you. Some of the formations and the size of the guys that they have are really unique. For us, being a really small team and way too small defensively is a cause for concern. You can't hound yourself all week and have nothing let on Saturday. Our defensive staff has to come together with a plan and try to do as best they can on Tuesday and Wednesday to get them ready. We have to play big on Saturday. We have to play bigger than we are if we want a chance to win."
On Stanford's offense:
"It is unique. There has been a lot of comment on that in the past couple of years. Running a true power set makes you a bit different and unique. I think coaches who do that like to be unique. I don't want to speak for them, but I like to be unique on offense and defense as well. Stanford is one of the few teams in our league that do that and it gives them a bit of an advantage. You coach and you teach what you know and what you think you can have success at."
On Stanford's offensive line:
"I was looking at their size and I didn't want to look at them a great deal because I didn't want to get too discouraged but looking at the size of their tight ends and their backs and their offensive line, this might be the biggest team in college football, certainly one of the biggest. I think I saw, I don't know if it was during the Washington game, where they compared the Stanford defense to the players of the (San Francisco) 49ers and they were bigger. The thing is they're not just big, they're athletic. They recruited well and they developed well. They've got a lot of good guys that are playing good football."
On covering the tight end in the 3-3-5 formation:
"It changes. For us, it depends on what the defense calls and the team that we are playing. Certainly we have to be conscious about what we are doing in covering their tight ends because they're such a big weapon. They're athletic enough to split them out. In the USC game, they split them out and had a couple of big plays, so we have to be conscious of that. You want your guys playing for the run game, but the pass is what has been a big key for them in the past several years."
On getting pressure:
"You have one defensive end who's a tremendous pass rusher and he can beat the one-on-one block so that's a great thing. We try to bring it from a multitude of ways. We haven't had much success with getting sacks and blitzes. We have to be careful of that too because we can't put a lot of pressure on a lot of blitzes and pressure on our secondary. It's one of those things where you have to pick your poison. You want to bring pressure and not give the quarterback all day to throw, but at the same time you want your corners playing well. It's a balance. There's a few teams in the country that have dominant pass rushers that don't have to break. We aren't there yet."
On getting tackles inside:
"We have some guys who have the skills to do it. In a run position, the nose-guard is going to get double teamed a bit in the center, so that's hard. In this system, defensively, we have had a couple of good rushes in this position. We have mixed our pressure up with different blitzes. That's one reason why we like our defense; we like bringing it from all different sides."
On Wayne Capers Jr. performance:
"He's a young, athletic guy and will probably play more and more. He's a true freshman and a very good athlete. He was a good basketball player in high school. He has a certain feel for the game. I'm excited about his future. He's still learning and it's all new to him but a lot of our special teams are true freshman so they need to get better over the course of the season and as they get bigger and stronger. Wayne is the same way. He will probably play more as the season goes on."
On Jourdon Grandon's two personal fouls:
"It depends on how egregious the fouls were. The face mask thing was aggressive but it was poor technique. Sometimes that happens. The other one was silly. He should have never done it. That just can't happen. That's not a smart play. Jourdon Grandon has played pretty smart all year. That play was out of aggression but he has to learn to limit his aggression."
On finding more success in the red zone:
"We executed better; we finished off drives. We still have concerns in the kicking game, but John Bonano can kick, he showed me he can kick, so no reservations there. We're still not running the football as well as I would like. We're not as physical and getting much movement up front as we would like. But, we executed there which you have to do. We have to take advantage of all of our opportunities. We can't help them out, by our own mistakes."
On Greg Nwoko pursuing a medical redshirt:
"I don't know if that's something that's in his plans or even if he will be able to play again, with his injury. He's a great young man, you feel bad for him. Greg's done everything we've asked of him. He's going to get his degree and he's there every day. He still comes out to practice in his shorts and t-shirt. We were really excited for him to move over to linebacker and give us a big body on that side of that ball. Unfortunately, that didn't work out and it looks like his football career is probably finished, but whatever walk of life he goes into, Greg Nwoko will have success."
Junior Running Back Daniel Jenkins
On his increased role:
"I been doing what I been asked to do. Just staying focused and concentrating on my role, trying to do anything I can do to win"
On returning punts:
"I'm still getting used to it. Something I am getting more comfortable with. We should start having more success in the kickoff return game."
On returning kicks in high school:
"That's what I did in high school, and I was pretty good at it. I returned a few of them [for touchdowns] in high school."
On Stanford's defense:
"I was just watching film with Matt Scott, and they play hard, fast, and physical. They fly around to the ball and they're really smart within their schemes. We just need to execute and pay attention to the details as we practice this week."
Senior Punter Kyle Dugandzic
On being named Pac-12 special teams player of the week:
"I was surprised, but I take it with a grain of salt because it comes with a loss."
On ever kicking a 70 yard punt before:
"In my first spring game, I had a 72 yarder, so it was nice to have one again."
On rugby punting vs. normal punting:
"I prefer to kick normal punts, that way I can kick it in the air and have a fair catch. But if he tells me to rugby kick then I will do that as well."
On the noon kickoff:
"I don't think it will be much of an issue, we practice during the day so it'll be pretty much the same. I've heard that it's a little windy in northern California this time of year, so hopefully it won't have the swirly winds inside the stadium. That would be nice, especially for kicking with me and John (Bonano)."
On looking up wind conditions:
"I usually check and see what the temperature is going to be that week so I can mentally prepare myself, what it's going to feel like, what the ball will feel like. In colder weather, the ball tends to feel like a rock. Hopefully, there's a nice light breeze and a warm day."
On the toughest place to kick:
"Last year the toughest place to kick was Colorado because we had 75mph wind. Washington wasn't fun either, it was a little cold, but I think Utah might be pretty tough this year since it's in the end of November. There will probably be snow."
Sophomore Offensive Tackle Fabbians Ebbele
On Saturday's red zone performance:
"I think we just executed better this week in the red zone compared to our previous week. I think we were homesick for the end zone and just had to get back to it and score again."
On a thin margin of error:
"We want to score every time we get down (to the red zone), so the margin of error is real slim, no room for mistakes."
On the versatility of the offensive line:
"We have a lot of players that can step in and play, so we have been mixing and matching. There are no guaranteed spots. Everybody shows that they can play each week, and the best players get to play. Our strengths are that we have a lot of players who can play, want to play, and step in when the time calls for them."
On Addison Bachman filling in for Kyle Quinn:
"He played really well. It was expected of him. He stepped in and played a key role. His role is the heartbeat of the line at the center position. Kyle is a major part at what we do. I'm glad Bachman stepped in and played well. We didn't have any confusion with calls and we were okay."
Junior Defensive Lineman Tevin Hood
On Stanford's size:
"They're definitely a larger team. The offensive front isn't sloppy big; they're just big, confident guys. We just have to play low, maintain a low center of gravity, and hit them in the mouth."
On the importance of gang tackling:
"It will be a big part to our success. Some of our tackling hasn't been the best, so it will be a big key."
On pressuring the quarterback:
"At nose, it's more of a presence than anything else because it's always two on one or three on one. So if you get to the pot of gold it's a good thing but more than anything it's just to maintain."
On Washington's upset of Stanford:
"I think Washington lined up and was ready to play. I think Stanford underestimated them, due to the fact that they were coming off a big win. They were caught off guard and they just couldn't come back to win it. It was a low scoring game so that was a testament to both defenses. With UW playing the way they did, that was impressive."
Arizona football will travel to take on No. 18 Stanford on Sat., Oct. 6 at Stanford Stadium. The game is scheduled to air on Fox at noon Tucson time.