The Arizona Wildcats finished today’s football practice shortly before 8 a.m., enough time for players to grab a quick breakfast and run to class.
The 6 a.m. workout was the first of the year for coach Rich Rodriguez’s team. There were a “couple reasons” for the schedule change, he said: The Wildcats will face No. 18 Stanford Saturday at noon, the first day game of the season.
“We’ve played all night games with afternoon practices,” Rodriguez said. “We have to get our guys adjusted to getting up earlier: Going to bed earlier, then getting up and ready to play.”
The schedule change on short notice — coaches told players Monday afternoon — also helps players adapt to quick changes. The schedule tweaks and resulting lessons were a hallmark of Rodriguez’s tenures at West Virginia and Michigan.
Arizona will practice again Wednesday morning, then switch back to their regular schedule.
“We’re trying to get our guys to learn how to adapt and overcome,” Rodriguez said. “Everybody was here 15 minutes early and ready to go. I don’t know if it’s going to make a huge difference, but maybe it’ll make a little bit of difference. “