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Rodriguez hopes to run up to 100 plays in Saturday’s scrimmage

CREDIT: Arizona Athletics

Arizona Wildcats coach Rich Rodriguez isn’t expecting it to look pretty, but he said he’s planning to run 90 to 100 plays in Saturday’s open scrimmage at Glendale Community College.

This will be the public’s first look at the Wildcats and their new looks under Rodriguez — the read-option offense and the 3-3-5 defense.

“I would like to think the execution is going to be pretty good, but typically the first springs and the first scrimmages, the execution is not very good,” Rodriguez said earlier this week.

“My expectations are not really high. But I would be disappointed if I at least don’t see some guys playing hard and flying around and moving a little bit. You certainly are not going to see us in game-type of shape. We have a long way to go to be ready to play football at a high level from a conditioning standpoint.”

Holding the scrimmage in the Phoenix-area also serves to help sell the UA brand to the local alumni and to prospective recruits, who can get a sneak peek at the Wildcats without making a two-hour drive.

“I know we have a tremendous following up there,” Rodriguez said.

“I think it will be fun for the players to kind of go in a different venue and hopefully there will be a nice crowd there. From a coaches’ standpoint, it’s just another day for us to teach and evaluate.”

All eyes will be on senior quarterback Matt Scott and how he runs the read-option offense. On defense, Akron transfer Brian Wagner, the nation’s leading returning tackler, is one to watch.

The coaches will also get a look at the guys who tore their ACLs last spring — safety Adam Hall, linebacker Jake Fischer, running back Greg Nwoko and defensive lineman Willie Mobley.

Admission to the scrimmage, which will run from noon to 2 p.m., is free. Rodriguez is scheduled to sign autographs for 30 minutes following the scrimmage. The UA is also bringing the Territorial Cup — which goes to the winner of the Arizona-Arizona State game — to Glendale.

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