UA coach Rodriguez: Like vs. Oregon, Wildcats need ASU to 'help out a little bit' to win
"Listen, if we execute and play with great effort and they help us out a little bit, we can win a lot of games and beat anybody," he told his players following the Wildcats' ugly loss to Washington State in Tucson.
"And that's what happened," he explained to the Doug and Wolf show on Tuesday as he recapped the win.
The Arizona players, and the seniors, in particular -- who were taking the field at Arizona Stadium for the final time of their careers -- Rodriguez explained, had legitimate hope for an upset over the No. 5 Ducks, buying into their coach's pitch earlier in the week.
"I think they had a belief that they would win," the second-year coach explained. "But I don't think it was until it started developing that they truly started developing, and as the game went on they got more and more confidence. And then by the end of the game, they were really feeling it."
In other words, initial buy-in was the prerequisite and good fortune practically did the rest, reinforcing the team's belief.
"I think it's a lesson to our guys -- (something) that we had talked about the week before," Rodriguez told the show.
"We're not good enough to play poorly and win, but if we play well, and we execute, we've got a chance," he said.
An upset win versus in-state rival Arizona State -- currently 11.5-point favorites -- on Saturday at Sun Devil Stadium will require the same recipe, the coach said. And a second straight such win, Rodriguez seemed to indicate, would partially depend on the Sun Devils' mistakes.
"We've got to play well again Saturday and they've got to help us out a little bit, and we'll see what happens."
- Arizona vs. UNLV preview: Wildcats to debut freshman QB
- Arizona Wildcats to be a Pac-12 South surprise?
- Arizona will start season with freshman Anu Solomon at quarterback
- 2014 UA Hall of Fame inductee Dick Tomey: Rich Rodriguez 'the right man at the right time' for Wildcats
- CBS Sports analyst: Arizona Wildcats coach Rich Rodriguez will be Pac-12 Coach of the Year
- Bearing Down with Adam and Jarrett - Aug. 28 - Thursday August 28Adam and Jarrett preview Arizona's 2014 football season and season opener vs. UNLV.
- Rich Rodriguez, Head Coach UA Football - Monday August 25Who will be his starting quarterback and how will he replace Ka'Deem Carey?
- Greg Byrne, University of Arizona Athletic Director - Friday August 8Greg Byrne talks about the new ruling that gives autonomy to the Power 5 conferences.
- Bucky Brooks, NFL Network draft analyst - Friday May 2Bucky Brooks discusses what the Cardinals should do with the 20th overall pick.
- Bearing Down with Adam and Jarrett - Tuesday April 15Adam and Jarrett talk about UA's early departures.