Arizona Wildcats vs. No. 15 Washington State Cougars college football

Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez isn't happy that several UA commits ended up at Oregon but says he isn't taking it personally.

Notes and takeaways from the Arizona Wildcats’ post-practice media availability Wednesday morning as Oregon week continues:

* Is there any animosity between Arizona and Oregon because of the handful of UA commits who ended up in Eugene? “No, not really,” Rich Rodriguez said. “You’re not happy that it happened. You’re particularly not happy because you see them and they’re playing for them. I guess we were recruiting the right guys."

* I asked Rodriguez about his relationship with Oregon coach Willie Taggart. "I don’t know him that well,” Rodriguez said. “I’ve met him a few times. We’ve met at the Pac-12 meetings. I think he’s done an outstanding job."

* Quarterback Khalil Tate was named a semifinalist for the Walter Camp Player of the Year award. Tate talked today about being in the Heisman Trophy race, his competitive nature and how much he hates to lose. I’ll have more on Tate later today.

* Rodriguez said Tate did a much better job of playing under control vs. Oregon State. "Sometimes you try to press a little bit,” Rodriguez said. “You’ve gotta let the game come to you, take what they give you."

* Arizona linebacker Colin Schooler on playing against older brother Brenden, a receiver for Oregon: "I’m going up to Oregon to play them. I’m not playing my brother. I’m playing (against) Oregon football." I’ll have more on the Schooler brothers later this week.

* Colin Schooler on Tate making so many big plays: "It’s kind of a good-bad thing for us. The defense will get a stop, and he’ll score right away. So then we’ve gotta go back out there. I can’t complain."

* Linebackers coach Scott Boone said freshman Anthony Pandy has "a really high upside." Pandy is the backup “Will” and plays stand-up defensive end in the dime. He’s still learning the intricacies of inside ’backer.

* Transfer Dereck Boles has been Arizona's best defensive tackle. Rodriguez says Boles will be even better with an offseason in the weight program. "I expect a huge year from him next year," Rodriguez said.

* Rodriguez is not worried about the Wildcats feeling satisfied with their 7-3 record: "We have still so much to prove,” he said. “That’s been part of our guys’ motivation since August camp. Every week is a chance to prove ourselves. That will never stop."

* Rodriguez on coordinator Jim Leavitt and the Oregon defense: "He’s done a great job everywhere he’s been. They’re sound fundamentally. They’re athletic. They’re long. And they’re playing really hard."

* Rodriguez said Arizona isn't running a crazy amount of plays, similar to the West Virginia days with Pat White. The Wildcats are just executing those plays at a very high level.

* The Arizona offense has been working with crowd noise piped into the practice field all week long. Rodriguez anticipates Autzen Stadium will be the loudest venue the Wildcats have played in this season. Arizona uses a lot of non-verbal communication anyway, but Rodriguez said "we’ve gotta have some answers" if players can't hear Tate’s checks.

* Three pro scouts attended practice, including one from the Baltimore Ravens.


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.