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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona football notes: Richards playing his way into receiver rotation


The crushing 49-0 defeat No. 2 Oregon handed Arizona last weekend won’t be one to remember for most players, but redshirt freshman receiver David Richards will at least have some positives to take away.

Richards, who had just two catches for 14 yards coming into the game, made his first career start and ended up being one of the few bright spots on an otherwise awful night offensively for the Wildcats.

“I think I did all right,” Richards said. “I could have executed a little better on my plays and did better on my blocking.”

With senior Terrence Miller out, a spot was open at outside receiver and Richards stepped in.

He had team-highs in both catches and yards, with seven receptions for 50 yards, despite the overall lack of production in the passing game.

“He comes out and he works very hard every day,” receivers coach Tony Dews said. “So him having a chance to play was good for him and he obviously took advantage of some opportunities to help the team.”

Head coach Rich Rodriguez said Richards’ role will depend on the health of some of the other receivers, but he’s still considered part of the regular rotation.

“He’s been playing pretty well,” Rodriguez said. “Smart guy, knows both outside receiver positions … He’s had a pretty good three or four games so far.”

The biggest thing that’s helped Richards this season is his movement from inside receiver, where the previous coaching staff had him, to the outside which is a more possession-oriented position.

“I think I like this coaching staff a little better,” Richards said. “They care about us and treat us better, so I like playing for them.”

Playing an Old Friend

A lot was made last week about the philosophical connection between the offenses Rodriguez and Oregon’s head coach Chip Kelly run.

Now that a matchup with the state’s other team, No. 18 Oregon State, is coming up, a relationship again exists between the two head coaches.

“I’ve known Mike [Riley] for a long time,” Rodriguez said of Oregon State’s head coach, “but we haven’t spent a lot of time talking X’s and O’s and anything like that.”

Riley runs a much more conventional offense at Oregon State, at least compared to the Wildcats’ first three opponents, but he and Rodriguez have known each other for more than a decade.

The two met through a mutual friend, Pittsburg’s coach Paul Chryst, who worked first with Rodriguez at West Virginia in 1989 and then worked with Riley at several stops including the Canadian Football League and the San Diego Chargers.

Chryst introduced the two, and while the styles never rubbed off, there is a great deal of respect between the two coaches.

“(Riley’s) a really good guy,” Rodriguez said, “Good coach. He makes adjustments to his players and he’s been very successful at what he’s doing for a long time in a lot of different leagues.”

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