Learning process is never ending for Arizona QB Solomon

Arizona's Anu Solomon passed for 231 yards in Thursday night's win over UTSA.

Eric Gay/AP

TUCSON, Ariz. — Arizona sophomore receiver Cayleb Jones has learned more from Anu Solomon more than vice versa. And this week should be a big learning week, given all the time Solomon has spent studying Thursday night’s narrow victory over Texas-San Antonio.

"He’s a very good leader and very experienced … just because he’s a redshirt freshman doesn’t mean he’s not knowledgeable about the game," said Jones at Monday’s press conference in advance of Saturday’s game with Nevada.

Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez said Solomon has seen the UTSA game — a 26-23 win — at least four times.

"There are a lot of things we can get better at," Rodriguez said. "I think our guys also realize we’re not good enough to play poorly and win — against anybody."

The Wildcats were just good enough to beat UTSA. Solomon, after setting the world on fire with a record-setting effort against UNLV a week earlier, was part of their struggles.

Rodriguez made sure Solomon realized that.

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"Sometimes it’s pleasant and sometimes it’s not," Rodriguez said of the game review of UTSA with Solomon, who passed for 231 yards after amassing 425 yards in the opener. He was 17 for 32.

Rodriguez said what’s good is Solomon is conscientious about what he’s doing, but the most important part of the review is to explain what everyone’s role in a play is and the philosophy behind the play.

"A lot of times we don’t have the time to explain (everything), but I want the quarterbacks to know why we call what we call," Rodriguez said. "What is the call designed to do … that he understands the philosophy behind it."

And Solomon does, Rodriguez said.

"A quarterback in our offense doesn’t get a break mentally," Rodriguez. "Some quarterbacks just hand the ball off and carry (the play out). But our quarterback has to think just about every snap. … From that standpoint we put a lot of pressure on our quarterbacks during camp and the game to be sharp mentally. He can handle that."

He likened it to a "fast-break on every snap."


"As they grow in the system it’s easier to handle the fast breaks."

Rodriguez said walk-on receiver Abraham Mendivil, a redshirt freshman from Apollo High in Glendale, has worked himself into a special-teams spot via his work in practice.

Rodriguez said Mendivil was placed on the kickoff team and "he was the best guy we had. Maybe the best guy we’ve had there in two years."

It’s opened the coach’s eyes to possibly place Mendivil on other special teams.

Rodriguez said he shows the entire special-teams performance to the team at Sunday’s practice.

"It shows that going from the scout team to being a starter on special teams to maybe getting into the regular rotation (is a possibility)," Rodriguez said.

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