Rodriguez Pleased With Wildcats’ Spring Progress

TUCSON-Friday evening marked the end of spring football practices for the Arizona Wildcats. The team gave fans a chance to see what they’d been working on for the last few weeks at the annual spring game in Arizona Stadium. 

There was a festive atmosphere surround the scrimmage, as the crowd was clearly happy to have football back. Fans laughed with one another and cheered as players participated in one-on-one hitting drills before the actual game. At the end of the contest, Wildcats’ head coach Rich Rodriguez headed into the stands and allowed Arizona supporters to pick the final offensive plays. But there was also serious competition on the field, including good-natured jawing between cornerback DaVonte’ Neal and wide receiver Cayleb Jones, who were matched up against each other on several series. 

“I saw some good, saw some ugly, but I think they had a little fun,” said Rodriguez to reporters after the game. “We had a good crowd and we got a lot of things we can build off of.” 

The pace of the offense was quick as the teams ran 100 plays. Returning redshirt sophomore quarterback Anu Solomon played well, completing 19 of 25 passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns. 

“I’m surrounded with talent all around me,” said Solomon. “As a quarterback, you want that and you just spread the ball around.” 

Wide receiver Cayleb Jones and running back Jared Baker are a big part of the talent. Both had big performances on Friday, with Jones catching three passes for 27 yards, one touchdown, and a two-point conversion. Baker was a machine on the ground, finishing the game with two rushing touchdowns. 

The defense had several big plays as well, including a fumble recovery by safety Rodney Carr, Jr. and a broken up handoff by defensive lineman Marcus Griffin. Although several defensive starters didn’t play significant minutes, Rodriguez was impressed by some of the players who took their place on the field. 

“We found some guys we need to get in the rotation,” noted Rodriguez. “Hopefully they’ll work hard this summer and be ready in August.”