At the end Arizona’s Spring game in Tucson this weekend, Rich Rodriguez headed into the stands to engage with the fans and get some red zone play call suggestions. It’s something that the program has done for a year or two now and fans (and the team) really seem to enjoy it.
With a large play sheet in front of him and the selected offensive coordinator for the play, Rodriguez explained that successful play calls would result in a rousing ovation, while threatened that bad play calls would elicit loud “Boos,” mean newspaper columns, and calls to get you fired from your job. So essentially, they got a very small taste of what it’s like to call the plays at a big-time FBS program.
Last season Arizona ranked 85th overall in red zone scoring, walking away with points on just 80% of their trips. 55% of those drives ended with touchdowns, and 25% of them ended with a field goal. To help put that in perspective, North Texas lead the country in scoring percentage at a 94% clip.
Fans scored on just two of their four attempts, so I think Rich Rod and co-offensive coordinators Calvin Magee and Rod Smith will continue handling the play calling duties in the fall.
In all seriousness though, this is a pretty good idea by the guys at Arizona that we felt was worth sharing. Maybe next year they should have someone else in the stands also call the defensive play to spice things up further.