On a night when very little went right Arizona might have found a quarterback for the short-term.
Rhett Rodriguez moved the ball often enough and well enough in Friday night’s massacre – 42-10 – that he should be able to get some more time next week and maybe beyond. For intent and purpose, Arizona’s season is awash.
The Khalil Tate experiment is a failure. There’s not enough talent to compete in the Pac-12 this season and there’s still nearly half the season remaining.
As for Tate, he of the ankle sprain and inability to do what he does best, if he hasn’t got over the ankle sprain over the last five weeks who is to think he will in the next five?
Friday night he was benched in favor of Jamarye Joiner (a non-factor) and then Rodriguez, who passed for?? And threw for one touchdown.
“The situation was that last series Kahlil was in there, I was concerned about him not being able to move at all. Running was out of the question, and even dropping back and handing it off. So, we’re always going to start with player safety first,” UA coach Kevin Sumlin told reporters in Salt Lake City. “We had an opportunity with Rhett (Rodriguez). We gave him a shot to run the team in the two-minute offense to end the half, and he did move the team, and that earned him the right to start the second half.
“I thought that in tough situation he operated with poise, he looked comfortable. In a tough situation and in a really tough environment, I thought he handled it very, very well and was mature. We gave him an opportunity because of his maturity, because of where he is. He didn’t do anything to take himself out of the game. He operated pretty well with the situation that he was in.”
Will it continue? We likely won’t see until Saturday until UA faces UCLA in Los Angeles.
Until then, Sumlin & Co., will have to find a way to pick up the pieces in what has been a non-productive year after a very unproductive game. Let me remind you that Arizona has beaten only Southern Utah, Oregon State and California and lost to better teams in Brigham Young, Houston, USC and Utah. Heck, only UCLA looks beatable in the coming weeks with Oregon, Colorado, Washington State and, um, Arizona State ahead.
“Everybody has got to take ownership and responsibility,” Sumlin said Friday night when asked what he told his players after the game. “That starts with me. In situations like this, the little things can turn into big things; details, little things like that. The message was basically that everyone needs to look at themselves first and how they can be better, including me and the coaches, then move on. Like earlier in the year, when these situations come up, there’s not a lot you can do about this, but you don’t want this performance bleeding into the rest of the season. That was the message. We need to fix the things we can, and then continue playing with effort, and put our best people on the field who can give us a chance to win.”