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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Rich Rod frustrated with Pac-12 scheduling in latest press conference

Rebecca Noble

Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez fiddles with his headset during the Wildcats’ win against Oregon State at Arizona Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 10.

Progressing into week seven of Arizona’s schedule, the symptoms of regret after scheduling 12 games without a bye week are already showing after Saturday’s 38-31 win at Colorado.

Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez was rattled in Monday’s press conference after how late the Wildcats have stayed up on the road during the road trips.

“I think it’s ridiculous. I mean I understand TV is going to pay for times and they have the right to do it,” Rodriguez said. “Don’t go on your soap box and talk about student-athlete welfare and then have these kids get back at 5 or 6 in the morning and expect to go on the road again.”

In just the first two conference road games, the Wildcats have had a 7:30 p.m. kickoff at Stanford and a 6:00 p.m. kickoff Saturday. Even though Rodriguez was livid about the late-night kickoffs, some of the players weren’t too rattled, including tight end Josh Kern and linebacker Paul Magloire Jr.

“Usually most of the guys sleep on the plane anyways, so we don’t lose any sleep,” Kern said.

The afternoon kickoff rumors began after Arizona thumped Oregon State 44-7 on Family Weekend. Rodriguez expressed his appreciation for the afternoon kickoffs, saying he would have time after the game to study for next week while going to bed at a decent hour. Arizona has a 1:00 p.m. kickoff for Homecoming despite Kern neglecting the time issues.

“It’s not too bad at all, sometimes you get a little tired from jet lag, but it ain’t too bad,” Magloire said. “Usually we watch games all day leading up to getting ready for the game, and we get anxious so I love playing in the afternoon.”

The restless Wildcats are constantly on the move and it may be Rodriguez’s tired mind speaking for him, but the curve balls are always tossed Arizona’s way.

Saturday was a tale of two quarterbacks between Anu Solomon and Jerrard Randall.

The offense was unable to hit fifth gear with Solomon with punt after punt on each possession in the second half, but eventually found a spark once Randall was installed in the fourth quarter. Despite the controversy surrounding Randall’s throwing ability, he threw 3-3 for 42 yards as well as 81 rushing yards.

Even though the statistics aren’t solid, Randall was able to put the Wildcats back in control late in the fourth quarter.

With Randall raising eyebrows this week, now Arizona fans can hold their breath because the stakes for being the starting quarterback were raised. Rodriguez touched on the possibility of Randall starting over Solomon for homecoming week against Washington State.

“Who knows? He might start, maybe,” Rodriguez said. “If I do, why would I tell anybody? I told the team it’s not different than any other position. It’s like a starting pitcher, and maybe his location is off and he’s not hitting the spots, so you bring in a relieve guy. We brought in a relieve pitcher and he threw a couple fastballs right down the middle.”

Just when Ohio State was the only team to have quarterback issues with Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett, Randall put himself in a position to receive more playing time. Solomon’s lack of running the football isn’t what is holding Rodriguez back from sitting him.

“Anu is an athletic guy that can run, but he can’t run as fast as Jerrard — but Anu can run well. We just have to convince him with his ability,” Rodriguez said.

Arizona will take in a Washington State squad that thrives on offense more so than defense, but the Wildcats’ offensive situation remains a concern at the quarterback position moving forward to homecoming.

Follow Kyle Hansen on Twitter.

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