Rodriguez Believes Offensive Questions Answered Up Front

The Arizona Wildcats experienced a breakthrough season in 2014 under Rich Rodriguez claiming a Pac-12 South Championship and Fiesta Bowl appearance.

The good news in Tucson is the ‘Cats return their top quarterback (Anu Solomon), running back (Nick Wilson) and wide receiver (Cayleb Jones) this fall.

The bad news is UA must replace three veteran offense linemen including both tackles and all-Pac-12 center, team captain Steven Gurrola.

Rodriguez believes he can sleep a little better this summer knowing some of those questions have been answered, particularly on the edges.

“Freddie Tagaloa and Lene Maiava had good springs,” he told reporters following Arizona’s spring game. “I feel a lot more comfortable now than I did at [the start of spring].”

The ‘Cats certainly won’t lack size at the bookends with Tagaloa (6’8, 316) and Maiava (6’5, 301) and both have experience which is expected to shorten the learning curve of being first-time, full-time starters for Rodriguez. Tagaloa, a redshirt junior, played in 23 games at Cal before transferring in. Maiava, a redshirt season, saw action in all 14 games for UA at both guard spots and on the special teams last year.

Tagaloa is set to start at right tackle while Maiava will anchor the left, protecting Solomon’s blind side.

“Freddie’s obviously the first guy you want off the bus,” Rodriguez joked referencing his massive frame.

Both figure to be key, yet understated, pieces in an offense looking to pick up where they left off during last year’s double-digit win campaign.