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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Football Notes: Rich Rod says Wildcats ‘banged up’

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Tyler Baker
Tyler Baker / The Daily Wildcat

Closing out the season with six games in six weeks has led to injury concerns for Arizona football.

If the No. 14/17 Wildcats (7-2, 4-2 Pac-12 Conference) make it to the Pac-12 championship game, they will close out the regular season with seven games in a row.

UA football head coach Rich Rodriguez said they have to get young guys ready.

“We’re a little banged up,” Rodriguez said. “I think there’s 20 some guys, 25 guys on the injury report [Monday] morning.”

The Wildcats unveil their injury report on Thursdays.

“Now, I know every coach in America is going to sit up here at this time of year in November and say they’ve got injuries and it affects you, but it will affect a team more that isn’t really deep more than a team that is deep, and we’re not really deep,” Rodriguez said. “So we got to get some more guys healthy.”

Rodriguez said that the players are day-to-day, so even the trainers don’t know the players’ statuses.

“We’re different because we expect them to get stronger as the season goes along,” Rodriguez said. “That’s hard because the season is a grind and you have tendencies to lose some weight, especially with how many plays we run.”

Bowling for Tucson
Now that the Wildcats have reached seven wins, it’s time to start talking bowl games.

National media projections have Arizona going everywhere from San Francisco to San Diego to San Antonio.

“As I told the team, we’re at a point now where we’re in a bowl game, looks like that’s pretty apparent, but every win you make puts you higher on the bowl ladder with a whole lot at stake if you can win out,” Rodriguez said.

Sports Illustrated and Fox Sports have the Wildcats going to the Holiday Bowl. SI says they will play Minnesota and Fox says Wisconsin.

“In November, you want to play meaningful games, and we’re playing meaningful games in November,” Rodriguez said.

Sporting News and ESPN project that the UA will go to the Foster Farms Bowl — the San Francisco Bowl until a couple days ago. Sporting News says Arizona will play Iowa.

NFL.com predicts the Wildcats will face Louisville in the Sun Bowl. CBS has Arizona facing Kansas State in the Alamo Bowl.

USA Today has the Wildcats in the Las Vegas Bowl playing Boise State. The Las Vegas Bowl is Dec. 20 and the men’s basketball team plays at UNLV on Dec. 23.

The Pac-12 currently has six bowl-eligible teams — Oregon, ASU, UCLA, USC, Arizona and Utah — and seven bowl slots.

California, Stanford and Washington need one more win to become bowl eligible. UW already has six wins but needs seven to become eligible because it plays 13 games this year.

Oregon State needs two more wins to become bowl eligible.

The order of the Pac-12 bowls is Fiesta (league champion), Alamo, Holiday, San Francisco, Sun, Las Vegas and Cactus. However, if a Pac-12 team gets picked for the playoff, all the teams move up a slot and schools can fill at-large slots.

The order is not necessarily based on standings; they are the order the bowls pick.

Dayman, fighter of the Nightman, champion of the sun
On Saturday, the Wildcats will face Washington in their first day home game of the season.

“I like playing at night, but day games are cool because it brings me back to my Pop Warner days,” UA senior safety Jared Tevis said. “I think there are less distractions during day games, too.”

So far, Arizona’s only day game of the season was the 59-37 win at Washington State.

The Wildcats will also play ASU at 1:30 p.m. The time of their game at Utah won’t be announced until next week.

“It’s nice to have a day game, from a coaching stand point, just to wake up and play,” Rodriguez said.

Pac-12 praise
Arizona moved up to No. 14 from No. 19 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings, and they weren’t the only Pac-12 team to move up.

Oregon moved up to No. 2 and ASU rose to No. 6.

All five Pac-12 teams — the Ducks, Sun Devils, No. 11/14 UCLA, the UA and No. 23/25 Utah — in the College Football Playoff rankings are higher than they are in the AP poll.

The CFP committee not only determines who plays in the semifinal games — the Sugar Bowl and Rose Bowl this season — but also who plays in the other four major bowls: the Cotton, Peach, Orange and Fiesta bowls.

The rankings also serve as one of the tiebreakers for the Pac-12.
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Follow James Kelley on Twitter.

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