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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Scott could thrive under Rodriguez

Matt Scott has been dealt some bad cards at Arizona.

He came to Tucson as a four-star recruit to be The Guy but lost his starting quarterback job to Nick Foles early in his sophomore year.

While he continued to develop into his junior season and showed major flashes, Foles was thriving as Arizona’s starter, and Scott found himself behind one of the top quarterbacks in the Pac-12 with his eligibility running out.

But Scott’s bad fortune took a major turn for the best on Monday night when Rich Rodriguez was hired as Arizona’s new head coach. With Rodriguez’s high-paced, spread offense and Scott’s redshirt season one game from completion, the dual-threat quarterback now has everything in place to have the monster season he expected to have when he arrived at Arizona.

“I guess you could say everything worked out,” Scott said. “We weren’t planning for coach Stoops to leave, but I guess you could say it worked out – me redshirting and coach Rodriguez running the offense he does coming in for my senior year. I’m just happy for him to be here.”

“It’s the exact same offense I ran in high school so it’s going to be fun,” Scott said. “Really I get to go back to my natural roots, be myself and really get to play.”

At West Virginia, Rodriguez molded quarterback Pat White into one of the most lethal quarterbacks in the country and eventually a Heisman candidate.

Rodriguez also groomed Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson, who has racked up 2,738 total yards this season.

Scott should be the next speedy signal-caller to make the most of Rodriguez’s system, “I think Matt’s going to flourish,” Foles said. “No matter what the situation, Matt was going to be a great player. But coach Rodriguez’s offense, his previous offenses, Matt will fit right in.”

But while Scott will certainly find success on the ground, he’s proven something White and Robinson didn’t have – an arm. He’s grown as a passer over the years, and it showed last season as he threw for 319 yards against Washington and 233 yards on 18-of-22 passing against UCLA.

“Matt’s an athletic guy but he’s also a good quarterback,” said UA quarterback coach Frank Scelfo. “He throws the ball well, he proved that last year. Matt’s going to get an opportunity to go to the next level, not because he’s an athlete playing quarterback, he just happens to have some athletic ability as a quarterback.”

Rodriguez has shown in the past that he’s willing to adjust his offense to his personnel, which may mean more passing out of Scott than was seen with White and Robinson.

That information will come to light next October, but for now, Rodriguez, who admitted to knowing very little about Arizona’s roster, did find out about Scott. And he liked what he heard.

“I heard about Matt,” Rodriguez said. “Yes I did. I was pretty excited about that.”

After an up-and-down four years, Scott is finally poised for the season he’d been waiting for. The system is in place, and barring injury, he’ll be in the driver’s seat of Arizona’s offense from start to finish next year.

“It’s going to be a fun year,” he said. “A lot of yards.”

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