We’re past the halfway point of the season and Arizona Football (3-4, 2-2) travels to Pasadena to take on UCLA (1-5, 1-3) with Rhett Rodriguez at the helm.
Things will look very different come Saturday when Arizona Football takes on the UCLA Bruins. Instead of Khalil Tate at quarterback, Kevin Sumlin is instead going to likely rest Tate and play Rhett Rodriguez.
The offense has been mostly stagnant and ineffective in 2018 and it appears the coaching staff is going to give Tate a break to rest the ankle and heal. Interesting move, since Tate is likely the best option we have at quarterback and the offense has sputtered this year.
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However, Rodriguez has shown he has a high football IQ and it’s no doubt that he was born and bred for this. Rhett, the son of former head coach Rich Rodriguez will apparently get his first start this Saturday in Pasadena.
As you may recall, the young Rodriguez came in last week to replace Tate, where the sophomore signal caller showed some things. Rodriguez finished the game with 20 completions on 38 attempts for 226 yards and a touchdown.
Granted Arizona lost that game in Salt Lake City by a 42-10 margin, nonetheless, Rodriguez showed he is capable to lead the offense, so long as he takes care of the football.
Coming into this one, we are well aware of his limitations. Rodriguez lacks ideal size for a quarterback in a power five conference, nor is he the most athletic or have the greatest arm strength. No, instead what Rodriguez lacks in physical abilities, more than makes up for in the intangibles.
Overall, he has a very high football IQ, where he is able to make great reads and makes smart decisions with the football. Also, he is very much a game manager when it comes to the position, which honestly could probably help this offense in finding some rhythm.
If he can get protection and protect the ball, I think he and the offense could do fairly well. He will have a tough challenge on his hands come Saturday, but I for one am interested in seeing how he can do as well as other fans seem to be as well.
Here’s our interview with Rhett from his senior day at Catalina Foothills High School:
At Zona Zealots, we are happy to see Rhett finally get his chance to start but also hope that Tate can get healthy and get back to dominating.