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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Wildcats set to move past mistakes, adjust against Stanford


Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez scowls at his team during Arizona’s 56-30 loss to UCLA on Saturday, Sept. 26. Rodriguez has never beaten UCLA in his time as a head coach at Arizona.

Arizona football may have hit a wall against UCLA in the blowout loss Saturday, but the Wildcats are putting that behind them. At least they had hoped, but injuries may be preventing that.

Do-everything-linebacker Scooby Wright III is out for several weeks after suffering a sprained right foot against UCLA.

“His knee is fine, he ran well and got back into it, but he landed on his right foot at some point in the game and sprained his right foot,” head coach Rich Rodriguez said. “We were concerned that it was more than that, but the MRI results came in and so Scooby will probably be out several weeks.”

The news is devastating to the Wildcats and the junior standout, especially since he had just returned from an opening-week injury that set him back three weeks. He tied Will Parks for leading the team in tackles against UCLA.

“Our linebacker situation has been a little sketchy anyway, but having Scooby out several weeks is something that we will have to deal with,” Rodriguez said. “We are hoping he will have a good week of recovery. This is not a good team to be short linebackers, but it is what it is. Whoever goes in is going to play.”

Quarterback Anu Solomon was the other big loss for the Wildcats, who left the game against the Bruins with a concussion. Jerrard Randall and Brandon Dawkins took over at the quarterback position but both had some troubles adjusting.

“Anu went out with a concussion, he is going to be day-to-day,” Rodriguez said. “We do not know what his status is going to be, whether he can play Saturday or not. As normal protocol, the doctors and trainers will make that decision and evaluate him everyday.”

Randall took over when Solomon went to the locker room. He’s a different type of quarterback in terms of his personality and the way he throws the ball.

“You just have to be ready,” receiver Cayleb Jones said. “You have a guy that is probably the most laid back guy you have ever met [Solomon] and then you have a guy that is on-edge [Randall]. There is a difference between them for sure, but we all catch from big equipment in practice every day, so I am used to it. My job is all on me, so I just have to be ready.”

Mistakes killed the Wildcats on the national stage. From dropping balls to missing tackles, Arizona needs to make adjustments and concentrate moving forward.

“You just have to do it,” Jones said. “It is something you just have to do. It is something we do everyday and something I have been doing all my life.”

Up next, the Wildcats will take on No. 18 Stanford. The Cardinal have already defeated two Pac-12 Conference teams in Oregon State and USC in the early goings of conference play.

“I don’t think they should be a different challenge than what we had last week,” offensive lineman Zach Hemmila said. “UCLA was big and strong too. We just have to work on our technique and then we will do whatever we need to do for whoever is playing quarterback [for us].”

Do questions remain this week for the Wildcats? Absolutely. But Rodriguez is a mastermind head coach and will make the adjustments necessary for Arizona to remain on track.

“But as I told the team after the game, you have to learn from it, you can’t hide from your mistakes,” Rodriguez said. “We had a good walkthrough last night, a good talk and a good film session. We’ll try to correct our mistakes and regroup in a hurry, get ready for a really talented Stanford team that is going to come right at us Saturday night.”

Kick off is slated for 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Stanford, Calif., and will be televised on Pac-12 Networks.

Follow Matt Wall on Twitter.

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