Arizona Football

Rodriguez goes with Tate, but will that continue for Arizona Wildcats?


Have we seen the last of Anu Solomon? For that matter, have we seen the last of Brandon Dawkins?

Arizona’s “just in case” quarterback – Khalil Tate – saw plenty of action on Saturday night because, well, just in case happened: Dawkins went down with an apparent rib injury and Zach Werlinger was ineffective.

Arizona had no choice but to bring Tate out of his redshirt season and play him. He gave Arizona its best chance to beat UCLA but he couldn’t play defense, too.

UCLA made easy work of the Wildcats in a 45-24 win at the Rose Bowl and now one has to wonder if the job is Tate’s to lose? It’s a fair question given the state of the program – injuries, poor play and so many questions.

But my guess is because the genie has been let out of the bottle why put him back in? Tate will be the guy until he’s not.

Maybe I’m wrong, but Tate will not just sit idly. It’s like buying a convertible and driving with the top up … why? It’s a convertible you drive with the top down. If you brought Tate out of a redshirt, well, use him.

Tate went in and led UA to three scoring drives late in the third and fourth quarters. He did his job and ran well. The latter has been his M.O with questions coming about his throwing accuracy. But you can see he’s gotten better, hitting local product Cam Denson with a nice touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.


What Tate proved was that he’s ready for the big stage.

“We will see what we gotta do going forward,” Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez said on his postgame radio show.

Go forward is the only way Arizona has to go because looking back will only create heartache. What’s not to say the future won’t either, but Tate does provide some help. The question is how healthy – or hurt – are Solomon and Dawkins, who left midway through the game. Heck, Solomon didn’t even make the trip.

Now, with Tate burning his redshirt season it would appear why not continue using him. What do you have to lose? More games? That too will happen, no matter who is the quarterback. The rest of the season is a crap shoot. And those who didn’t think that to begin the season is fooling themselves. And that was baring major injuries. But as we now know there have been injuries with so many just five weeks into the season and eight weeks left.

The good thing is Tate proved he was ready, although Rodriguez used a “limited package” with him. But Tate scrambled and hit some passes to make it respectable. He even gave UA some hope late in the third quarter.

Now, the hope for those wearing red and blue is that he’ll help the offense, although Dawkins provides the same hope.

“He missed a few things here and there but how he ran the ball … golly,” Rodriguez said. “He stepped in there and competed for us.”

Rodriguez would later say in Los Angeles that Tate “did some decent things.”

But not enough to get the win.


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