Following the Wildcats’ loss to Mississippi State, Arizona Football head coach Jedd Fisch addressed the media, and these were the biggest takeaways.
Arizona Football started off the season hot by beating San Diego State to begin the year on the road.
Unfortunately, all those good feelings about the Cats came crashing down back to reality as they lost to a skilled team in Mississippi State this past weekend.
Granted, no one expected the Cats to win every game, and rebuilds do take a bit of time, so patience with the program is extremely important.
And with Arizona Football returning to action on Saturday, here were the biggest takeaways from Jedd Fisch’s press conference.
Arizona still has a lot to Learn
“The plan for sure is that we take the last game and use it to our advantage,” Fisch said Monday. “Losing gives you a lot of lessons, right? What do they say, you win or you learn?”
Arizona learned a lot last year during their 1-11 season, and while the Wildcats had one of the best off-seasons in the Pac-12 this year, this team still has a ways to go and still has quite a bit to learn about itself before they take on defending FCS champion North Dakota State.
“Looking at the film, I thought there was a lot of good things that our team did. I thought we were in a good spot opening drive, we were very sharp, crisp. Schematically, we looked at a bunch of things. We’re continuing to evolve, get to know our players, get to see what our young players can do… Certainly trying to figure out exactly what they do best and put our guys in position there.”
Arizona’s Offensive Line needs Improvement
“We didn’t run the ball well enough, clearly. We’re very disappointed in the fact that we couldn’t get some of the runs off that we wanted to. I think it was like 11 pressures out of the 50 pass attempts.”
The Wildcats finished their evening with 40 yards rushing on 22 carries, a stark comparison from the 162 yards and 39 carries they had against San Diego State the week prior.
Now granted, Mississippi State has a talented and stifling defense which explains some of the struggles, but according to Fisch, “we weren’t in as good of a rhythm. So we will just improve in all areas, coaching, playing, the whole thing,” he said. “I think the fact of the matter is that it was a situation where we played against a good team, and we played against a good defensive front. We’re a good team and we’re a good offensive front and we have to continue to improve and get better than that in that regard.”
Jayden de Laura needs to learn when to Run
On Saturday in their loss to Mississippi State, “He [Jayden] didn’t run at all. He didn’t scramble (forward) at all. So there would have been about three or four opportunities, I think.”
In instances where Arizona could have extended plays and kept drives alive, Jayden did not. Moving forward, that has to change as Jayden possesses some wiggle. “You just got to know when to say when, you have plenty of time to do whatever you want, other than take a sack,” Fisch said. “There was a couple of third downs that we could have scrambled forward and we didn’t. We talked about it and we’ll get it better.”
The Improving Relationship of Jayden and Fisch
“Jayden and I have been together all of two games. And as we’re continuing to learn one another, we had many conversations the week before prior, the week before as well. There’s going to be time in between every series that I’m going to talk to Jayden about what he likes, what he doesn’t like, where he’s comfortable.”
Look, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it was reasonable to expect there to be some growing pains with the Wildcats this season. And while I have a ton of confidence in Jayden and the offense moving forward, expect there to be some challenging moments at times.
Watch Jedd Fisch’s entire press conference here!