Rich Rodriguez set to lead UofA into new era

Arizona Sports News online

Waiting is the hardest part.

That’s the way University of Arizona head football coach Rich Rodriguez feels right about now as he goes through his final preparations for his UofA coaching debut Saturday against Toledo.

Is Rich Rod nervous about what he can expect from his ‘Cats?

“Yes…I am,” Rodriguez told Brad Cesmat Wednesday on ‘Big Guy on Sports.’ “We have so many question marks, I’m probably most nervous about the unknown.”

The unknown includes a re-built defense which was torched most of last season, as well as breaking in senior quarterback Matt Scott who steps in for Nick Foles who was a third-round pick of Philadelphia in last spring’s NFL Draft.

The tall, quick Scott appears to be a perfect fit in Rich Rod’s offense which stresses getting the ball in the hands of the playmakers and creating mis-matches for the defense. He said the senior Scott has taken more of a leadership role in practice and his teammates have responded. Rodriguez also applauded the other seniors for their guidance and encouragement throughout the grind of the long summer workouts in the Old Pueblo.

Scott will have plenty of weapons to work with, including former Tucson Canyon Del Oro star running back Ka’Deem Carey and 6’4 senior wide receiver Dan Buckner who has caught the attention of NFL scouts after transferring from the University of Texas two seasons ago.

Toledo, a perennial power in the MAC Conference, present a unique challenge for the UofA. The Rockets had close road losses to Ohio State and Syracuse last season before ending the year with a Military Bowl win over Air Force.

“We’re going to do everything we can to be prepared for Saturday night,” Rodriguez explained. “I know our coaches are ready to play a game and I’m sure our players feel the same way.”

Kickoff at Arizona Stadium is set for 7:30. The game can be seen on ESPNU.

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