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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Rich Rod emphasizes brand name in next opponent USC

Tyler Baker
Tyler Baker / The Daily Wildcat During the first half of Arizona’s 28-26 loss to USC at Arizona Stadium on October 11th.

After Saturday’s devastating loss to the Washington Huskies, Arizona will now turn its attention to traveling to Los Angeles for a chance to face off against USC. The Wildcats were blown out by Washington 49-3 in Seattle on Saturday.

At his weekly press conference, head coach Rich Rodriguez said he hopes to see a higher level of play from his players given the stage the Wildcats will be playing on.

“It’s a team that obviously has a brand name,” Rodriguez said. “We’re playing in the Coliseum and it’s a nationally televised game. More than anything, just to go out and compete on that stage, I would be disappointed severely if we didn’t give our best effort.”

After starting off this season 3-0, Arizona has been 2-4 in Pac-12 Conference play, including three blowout losses to UCLA, Stanford and, of course, Washington. USC is another formidable Pac-12 opponent that also lost to Washington and Stanford but has in turn given Utah its only loss as well as defeating ASU.

For Arizona, the defense will once again be called upon to step up against this tough USC offense. Arizona has failed to create turnovers consistently this season, itslast one coming against Colorado.

“Were not good enough to win a game without getting some turnovers,” Rodriguez said. “Sometimes turnovers are created by luck, and sometimes they are great plays. Either way we got to get them and have a chance to win this game.”

Rodriguez also said that linebackers Scooby Wright III and Derrick Turituri will probably miss Saturday’s game again.

USC has seemed to find its stride again since the firing of head coach Steve Sarkisian a little less than a month ago. Sarkisian was let go from the program after he was said to be showing up to meetings and other events under the influence of alcohol. Clay Helton has since stepped in as interim head coach and has led the Trojans to victories over Utah and California.

College football has seen 10 Division I coaches retire or get fired this season. USC is one of the more appealing jobs that has a vacancy.

“It’s a brand name and it always will be because of what they’ve done in the past,” Rodriguez said. “They’re location certainly helps and being in a talent-rich area.”

Rodriguez also addressed the idea of his name circling around in rumors of him leaving for a different program.

“It’s all just rumor and speculation,” he said. “The speculation on internet message boards rumor sites are just speculation for anybody. Not just me or anybody else.”

Follow Kyle Hansen on Twitter.

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