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Arizona Football: Several news items came out of the Rich Rodriguez weekly press conference

DaVonte' Neal headlines a busy press conference this week

Ethan Miller

The big news of the day out of Arizona was the denial of the second appeal to the NCAA to allow DaVonte' Neal to play this year.  You can find all the RichRod quotes on that topic here.

B.J. Denker

First and foremost, for all the B.J. Denker haters out there, he's not going anywhere.  And especially for those of you calling for Jesse Scroggins, you're out of luck.  "Right now, (Scroggins) is the third guy."

While Denker has struggled throwing the ball, completing just 50 percent of his passes, Rodriguez is confident that number will improve as the season continues.

"Two or three big play opportunities we didn't connect on.  Those are the things I'm most frustrated about.  So we ran some of those plays (at Sunday's practice) and connected on them."

"A lot of it is still getting the timing down.  We're not allowed to work with them during the summer, which is silly, so we were behind....but we've gotten better.  Both B.J., Javelle and Jesse threw the ball well in practice (Sunday) night."

So why is Denker playing?  It seems pretty obvious that it's his knowledge of the offense compared to the other options at QB.

"You want guys that know why we're doing and not just what we're doing, and I think he's got the best grasp on that."

Personally, I'm on the Denker side of this.  If you go back to the Colorado game last year, the offense is averaging nearly 50 points a game in the three games he's been the guy.  With the installment of the offense complete now, think it only gets better from here as he gets more experience, more comfortable out on the field, and getting more and more reps with the receivers.

Offensive Line

RichRod's not impressed with the offensive line yet.  "Fundamentally we need to do a better job.  It was OK.  Fundamentally, we're still working like crazy to make sure those guys do all the right things."

"Next to quarterback that's the hardest position to play.  It's a physically and mentally demanding position."

Running back

Daniel Jenkins is "a little bit banged up", paving the way for Ka'Deem Carey to start on Saturday against UTSA.

On Ka'Deem: "He played pretty well, he always runs hard.  He was excited during the week, but I didn't see anything out of the ordinary."

Wide Receiver

Also a topic of conversation today was how the lack of experience at receiver is hurting the passing game.

"The most experienced guy is Terrence (Miller).  We're moving Terrence all over the place.  He's doing a nice job at tight end.  He might be one of the only guys in the country to play outside receiver, slot receiver and tight end.  Gives us a lot of flexibility, and Terrence is doing a really good job with that."

"We have the explosive guys who have the capabilities."

Really, it all comes down to timing and running routes accurately at this point.

Johnny Jackson talked about that a little bit too.  He's ready for the passing plays to be rolled out as the playbook opens up in the coming weeks, and that the receivers have played a part in the passing game struggles.

"We can help by just catching the ball when we get opportunities," said Jackson.  "(Denker)'s doing a great job. I myself have been given opportunities and haven't got the job done. It just comes back to practicing hard this week and getting our timing down together. He's doing an excellent job though."


Coach is thrilled with the depth situation, and how the defense understands the system in the second year of the Jeff Casteel system.  The one disappointing part of the UNLV game was the two big plays allowed.  But overall, he seems to be happy with the defensive showing the first two weeks.