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Rich Rod tries to be optimistic as Cats hope to end 7 game losin - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Rich Rod tries to be optimistic as Cats hope to end 7 game losing streak; Next up: Oregon State on Saturday

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Here's more from the Arizona Athletics Department and quotes from the "Mondays With Rich Rod" presser:

“It certainly was another long Sunday," said Rich Rodriguez, "We can’t try to run away or hide from our issues. We know we have them and we are trying to find answers for them. We watched the film and we’re trying to get better. Our message yesterday was about focusing on just playing ball, keeping the outside noise outside and trying to focus on getting better. Our seniors have done a lot in their careers and we want them to end on a good note. Everybody has to take a position of ‘what can we do individually to make our team better’, and that’s where we are right now.”

On patience level right now: “It’s probably better than where I thought it would be, but at the same time, I have my moments where I go off. I think everybody has been there when you are frustrated and not winning. When you’re more accustomed to winning, and not gone through this before, it’s extremely frustrating. I don’t have a lot of patience anyway. I don’t think any coach does or at that point, too many of the players. It has to be important to them, and I think it is. But it’s been maybe the most frustrating year I’ve ever had. I’ve had other bad years, not too many, but this probably has been the most frustrating in a lot of ways. That doesn’t mean you’re disappointed in everything, it just means you’re frustrated with a lot.”

On why this season is the most frustrating: “It has just been one thing and then another thing. For example, I said we couldn’t get any turnovers before the last week. We get a turnover last game and we turn it over right back before we get a chance to take advantage of the turnover. With things like that, guys are playing hard, but it’s frustrating that it turns out that way. The injuries, you can’t do much about; everybody has them, but to have it hit all at one position, when it did and how it did, makes it tough. You look at everything you are doing, how your players and coaches are working and the offseason program, and it’s the same or even better in some respects, yet it certainly is not showing up in the results on the field. So that part is frustrating. Fans can be critical, frustrated and disappointed, and they should be. I would be shocked if they weren’t disappointed. Anything and everything, we are looking at and evaluating, and I will continue to do so. I told our coaches yesterday that we have to continue to do what we can. I know that we are going to be pretty good, I think really good, in the future, but I don’t want to dismiss the last two games and do future right now. We owe it to the seniors to work for the next two games, then we will go to the future.”

On quarterbacks having similar struggles: “When you don’t win, you are more critical, saying ‘you missed this touchdown’ or ‘missed this opportunity here’. If you go back, you probably had them in games that you won in the past too, you just didn’t focus on it as much. Now you focus on things like in the second play of the game, we would have had a touchdown if we had just executed and saw the right thing. So those things probably stand out more if you are losing than in the games that you win. In all of my years of coaching, I don’t know if I have ever had a worse average starting field position for an entire season. When you have to go 80 or 90 yards every time, or defend 40 or 50 each time, it is tough to win. I am always really critical of the quarterback play because I expect a lot out of them. We have a couple guys that can be pretty good, we just have to get better.”

On quarterback Brandon Dawkins improving at appeasing rate: “He has. There were some moments in the last game where I thought ‘boy, he’s pretty good’. Then there are other times where I would think we would hit that. He is trying hard, so there has been some improvement. I think it’s always harder to judge that when you don’t win. That was a pretty good defense. I thought our guys moved the ball and did some things. When you look at what Colorado did against some other teams defensively, our guys did execute some things and did move the ball, we just didn’t finish drives. We missed some kicks and messed up in the red zone a few times, so those are things we can’t afford to do to win.”

On Samajie Grant’s running ability helping him with pro scouts: “I think so. I think he’s going to have a chance, because he loves football. He’s a smart football player. He understands schemes and concepts, and he’s a talented guy. I’m really proud of him.” On having receivers collide on a route: “It speaks to frustration. That’s never happened before. These are two veteran guys, and they’re supposed to come close (to each other). But they’ve never collided on that route in practice or in game in four years. It’s frustrating.”

On the difference between being disappointed and being frustrated: “I think it’s both. If you’re not disappointed in our year, then you’re not a competitor, but you don’t just give up on them. Whether you’re disappointed or you’re frustrated or anywhere in between, you’re not going to give up. You’re not going to quit working and getting better at it. The most frustrating part is that we are working on it. You see moments where we are playing well. We’ve seen moments where they practice really well. There’s going to be a time where we don’t have anything screw up and it’s all going to click, and everybody is going to be happy.”

On the upcoming game with Oregon State: “It’s two struggling teams. They remind me a little bit of where Colorado was a year ago, or two years ago. They’ve clearly gotten better, and they’ve been in a lot of close games. They’ve lost some close games. They have some skill guys, and they believe in what they’re doing. We’re struggling at times, so I’m sure they look at it as an opportunity to put some things together and try to get a win, just like we are.”

On kicker/punter Josh Pollack’s confidence: “I’m concerned about everybody’s confidence, and you have to be honest with them. As a kicker, you only get so many opportunities, and when you don’t have a day the way you want to have it, it can affect your confidence. But I know he’s capable and he knows he’s capable. He’s still going to be our starting kicker. Our starting punter, I couldn’t tell you. It might be Jake Glatting, Matt Aragon, or it could be Josh. He’s done pretty well most of the year kicking field to field. He just was off on Saturday. I have confidence that he can do the job, and he should too because he can.”

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