University of Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez is no stranger to big rivalry games. As the head coach of the University of Michigan from 2008-2010, Rodriguez experienced what many consider the biggest rivalry in college football against Ohio State.
So when his No. 24 Wildcats welcome cross-state rival Arizona State to Tucson for the annual matchup this Friday, Rodriguez said he knows from experience that psyching up his players won’t be problem. He just needs to make sure they stay focused.
“As far as getting them excited and emotionally ready, it should be easier than any game because of the rivalry, because of the intensity and because we hear about it all year,” Rodriguez told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and Wolf. “What you have to do is make sure your execution is there. When you start getting too emotional or forgetting about how to execute and just run your play then I think you’re going to hurt your team.”
As for his opponents, who are coming off a 46-7 dismantling of Washington State this past Saturday, Rodriguez said he expects Arizona State to bring a well-balanced attack from both sides of the ball, but is confident his team will be prepared.