Arizona coach: Team played bad but did not overlook Washington State

Nov 19, 2013, 5:20 PM
LISTEN:

The Arizona Wildcats were not supposed to lose to the Washington State Cougars.

A heavy favorite playing at home against a team that had lost its previous three games by an average of nearly 29 points per contest, the Wildcats were supposed to roll to their seventh win before hosting Pac-12 power Oregon the following week.

But as happens so often in sports, the game didn’t go as planned, as the Wildcats were upset by a score of 24-17.

Arizona fell to 6-4 (3-4) on the season, while the Cougars improved to 5-5 (3-4).

A guest of Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and Wolf Tuesday, Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez said this was not a case of his team overlooking their opponent.

“I don’t think so just because with the makeup of our team all year and kind of knowing where we’re at, it’s not like we’re a dominant team,” he said. “And I’ve said this many times, we’re not going to overwhelm anybody anyway.”

The second-year coach said this was just a case of his team playing poorly and paying the price for it.

“We had a lot of unforced errors,” he said. “We just had some things that hadn’t happened all year. We dropped a ball a couple times, we had a bad snap on a punt, missed a couple easy field goals.

“Just unforced errors that we’re not good enough to overcome right now.”

Washington State scored a pair of touchdowns in the second half, each of which followed an Arizona miscue. The first, in the third quarter, was after the bad snap on the punt that Rodriguez referenced, which gave the Cougars the ball deep in Arizona territory. The second, which proved to be the game-winner in the fourth, was on a drive that followed Jake Smith missing a 34-yard field goal.

In all, the Wildcats lost two fumbles, missed two field goals and were penalized four times for 30 yards. They also had their receivers drop a couple catchable passes, including one that would have gone for a touchdown just before halftime.

It just wasn’t a good performance for a team that needed to win a home game against a struggling team in order to improve its bowl positioning.

“They’re good enough to beat us when we didn’t play well, and we didn’t play well,” Rodriguez admitted. “And you’ve got to give them credit for that.”

Penguin Air

Arizona Football

Rob Gronkowski #87 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers warms up prior to a game against the Carolina Panthe...
Arizona Sports

Wildcat product, Tampa Bay TE Rob Gronkowski announces 2nd retirement

Buccaneers tight end and Arizona Wildcat product Rob Gronkowski announced Tuesday that he will walk away from the NFL for the second time.
8 days ago
In this Aug. 29, 2019, file photo, the Pac-12 logo is displayed on the field at Sun Devil Stadium d...
Nikash Nath

Athlon Sports’ 2022 All-Pac-12 teams include 9 Sun Devils, 7 Wildcats

The college football season kicks off in just more than two months. Athlon Sports' Steve Lassan released the All-Pac-12 teams.
12 days ago
(Twitter Photo/@arian_parish)...
Jake Anderson

Arizona Wildcats football receives commitment from 3-star DB Arian Parish

The Arizona Wildcats football team received another three-star recruit for the class of 2023 on Friday in DB Arian Parish.
19 days ago
Arizona Wildcats wide receiver Davonte' Neal #19 runs upfield during the first half of the Pac-12 c...
Kellan Olson

Former Wildcats WR/CB DaVonte’ Neal charged with 1st-degree murder

Former Arizona Wildcats wide receiver and cornerback DaVonte' Neal has been charged with felony first-degree murder in Arizona.
26 days ago
Head coach Jedd Fisch of the Arizona Wildcats reacts on the sidelines during the first half against...
Arizona Sports

Arizona Wildcats football future non-conference games

Arizona coach Jedd Fisch continues to build the program as the Wildcats have a handful of non-conference Power Five matchups down the road.
1 month ago
Arizona State linebacker Kyle Soelle carries out the state flag as the team takes the field to face...
Wills Rice

ESPN’s Connelly: ASU’s Soelle, Arizona’s Cowing players to watch in 2022

ASU's returning leader at LB and Arizona's transfer at WR are among players to watch in the Pac-12, according to ESPN's Bill Connelly.
1 month ago
Arizona coach: Team played bad but did not overlook Washington State