After reinjuring his left ankle, Arizona’s Khalil Tate will sit out against the UCLA football team. Instead, the Wildcats’ inexperienced backup Rhett Rodriguez will get the start.
The UCLA football team had phenomenal performance over Cal last weekend and they are looking to extend that momentum into their contest with Arizona this weekend.
That feat might have become that much easier as Arizona head coach Kevin Sumlin has announced that starting QB Khalil Tate will sit out the game against the Bruins after he re-injured a sprained left ankle against Utah last Friday.
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Instead of having the dual-threat QB lead the Wildcat offense into the Rose Bowl for this crucial Pac-12 showdown, sophomore Rhett Rodriguez will be under center.
Rodriguez, who is the son of former Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez, has only played in six games during his two seasons in the desert. This year he has made an appearance in four as he has had to take over for the injured Tate. For the season, Rodriguez is 26/45 for 275 yards and 1 touchdown.
Like UCLA, Arizona has been going through a transition with a new coach and a new system. Though it was assumed that the Tate would flourish in OC Noel Mazzone’s spread offense, things have not yet worked out as planned.
Getting the Arizona offense going with a backup will make that harder for Mazzone and Sumlin to get the win over UCLA.
Arizona is 2-2, 3-4 and in fifth place in the South Division. They are half a game ahead of the Bruins who are 1-2, 1-5 on the season and at the bottom of the South Division. At this point in the season, Arizona seems to be trending down while UCLA is trending up, especially after two solid games against Washington and California.
Those patterns might continue this weekend when the Bruins host the Wildcats at the Rose Bowl, a site that has not been kind to Arizona who has only won twice out of the last seven battles in Pasadena.