One week ago, the Arizona Wildcats were unsure of what they would get out of the quarterback position.
Redshirt Anu Solomon head earned the job, but seeing how he had never thrown a collegiate pass, there was understandable uncertainty over head coach Rich Rodriguez’s choice.
Solomon amassed 475 total yards — 425 passing and 50 rushing — along with four touchdowns, and if he has not cemented his status as the team’s starter, he is definitely off to a good start after a 58-13 romp over UNLV.
“I think Anu did pretty well,” UA coach Rich Rodriguez told Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Tuesday morning before mentioning how the team’s other three QBs, Jesse Scroggins, Jerrard Randall and Connor Brewer, all got into the game and played well. “It was a good start. We missed so many things in the first half. The execution wasn’t there, typical of a first game.”
No doubt Solomon’s record-setting performance would have been even more impressive had he not overthrown a couple of wide-open receivers early in the game. However, he still set a freshman record for total yards while becoming the first freshman to ever start a season opener for the Wildcats.
“One thing about Anu Solomon, he’s pretty unflappable,” Rodriguez added. “At least he showed (it) in that game. We’ll find out more Thursday night.”
For sure, Thursday’s tilt with UTSA will offer an even better test than the Rebels, if only because it is on the road and it will be the QB’s first game action in a hostile environment.
But Rodriguez is confident in his passer’s ability to handle the pressure, especially after he showed great composure in the season opener. Solomon completed passes to 10 different players, and showed improved accuracy as the game went on.
“I was on him so hard in August just to try to put some pressure on him, to simulate it, and he was unflappable there,” the coach said. “So that didn’t surprise me much. Even the throws that, he had a couple we thought were easy touchdown throws that he missed, and he didn’t get down on himself at all.
“He was disappointed, but it didn’t really affect his mindset, at least it didn’t look like it.”