Tight end Jamie Nunley is set to return for the Houston game after sitting out the opener because of a back injury.

Notes and takeaways from the Arizona Wildcats’ media availability after practice Tuesday morning:

* Coach Rich Rodriguez said tight end Jamie Nunley will return this week vs. Houston, and that’s good news for a UA team whose depth at the position is suddenly suspect. Starter Trevor Wood exited the opener in the third quarter and had a boot on his left foot today. Nunley missed Week 1 because of a back injury.

* Rodriguez on Houston’s talent level: “I see Power Five talent. Sometimes they get labeled. I don’t know why. They’ve got some of the best players in the country.” Houston plays in the AAC, one of the so-called "Group of Five" conferences.

* Arizona has had to look at pre-2016 Texas A&M film to study likely Houston QB starter Kyle Allen and old Miami games for defensive schemes under new DC Mark D’Onofrio. “It’s a busier menu to look at than normal,” Rodriguez said. Backup QB Rhett Rodriguez said the offense has focused on UH personnel to start the week.

* Rhett Rodriguez played in the opener and will need to be ready for Houston after No. 2 QB Khalil Tate hurt his shoulder vs. NAU. Tate had a green jersey on as he left the practice field, indicating partial participation in practice.

* Rodriguez said he's the smallest, slowest guy in Arizona’s quarterback room. "But I always tell everyone, I'm a lot faster when someone's chasing me," he said.

* Starting QB Brandon Dawkins said the missed pass that stood out the most vs. the Lumberjacks was his overthrow of Shawn Poindexter. Dawkins joked that he might be lifting too much. He added: “I gotta make sure I capitalize.”

* Slot receiver/kickoff returner Tyrell Johnson said he had 2-3 hamstring pulls last season. He is healthy now and, along with roommate Nick Wilson, is embracing the concept of “prehab.” Johnson had two 50-plus-yard plays vs. NAU.

* Rich Rodriguez and offensive line coach Jim Michalczik said technique was lacking at times up front vs. NAU. The line can't afford that vs. the Ed Oliver-led Houston defensive front. We’ll have more on the challenges Oliver presents later today.

* Redshirt sophomore Cody Creason is serving as Arizona's swing tackle with Bryson Cain (back) out for the season. Creason alternated with Gerhard de Beer at right tackle early Saturday before filling in for Layth Friekh at left tackle late. It’s possible in an emergency that Michael Eletise could kick outside, Michalczik said.

* Rich Rodriguez again admitted that not recruiting Texas earlier in his tenure was a "mistake." We’ll have will have more on the Arizona-Texas recruiting dynamic later today as well.

* Rodriguez wants the defense to be more aggressive. He thought the Wildcats at times "were so afraid to get beat they were lining up in a spot and staying there."

* Arizona players were wearing red chrome helmets at practice, but it’s still possible they'll go with the new matte blue ones vs. red-and-white Houston.

* The topic of music at practice came up today. Rodriguez's top Pandora stations are the Eagles and Prince. "That gets me everything I want," he said.


Michael is an award-winning journalist who has been covering sports professionally since the early '90s. He started at the Star in 2015 after spending 15 years at The Orange County Register. Michael is a graduate of Northwestern University.