No update on Rodriquez as Cats prepare for Florida

Star running back was a healthy scratch from the opener against Miami University.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Mark Stoops said he could not comment Monday on the status of running back Chris Rodriquez as his Wildcats get ready for a big SEC East opener at Florida Saturday.

It's not being called a suspension, but Rodriquez was a healthy scratch in Saturday's opener after an incident that isn't being discussed by the coaching staff.  

“I wish I did guys. I wish I did," said Stoops. "I don’t know, with being a holiday today, I don’t have anything I can report.  Again, I’ve always been transparent with you and try to be the best I can. Again, I’ve been advised there’s things going on, there’s layers to this, I’ve been advised I can’t comment on it. It’s not that I’m trying to hide things from you, but again, the players have rights and things of that nature with this situation.”

Stoops thought things weren't as bad as they might have appeared in Saturday's win over Miami (Ohio) when it came to the offensive line struggles.

"We all felt like, and you all can attest to that over the past few years, we felt like we had a pretty solid offensive line," said Stoops. "I remember being in here discussing with you, either last year or the year before, or the past several years everybody hitting panic mode on the offensive line. We seemed to pull it together pretty quickly. I don’t think it will be an issue this year as well. I felt like we played a little better than we thought in four of the five positions and those guys will continue to get better."

Florida opened the coach Billy Napier era with a home win over 7th ranked Utah last Saturday and revitalized quarterback play from Anthony Richardson.

“Anthony Richardson is one heck of a football player, very good player," said Stoops. "I think that's pretty obvious. Just very talented, you could see much more comfortable in this offense with Coach Napier and what they're doing. He has a very talented arm and could make all the throws and, obviously, hurt you with his feet.”

And as for whether he considers this a "make or break" game?

“Should I, with 10 games left after that?" Stoops said with a laugh. "Should I pack it in after this one? What would y’all do? Win or lose, it’s one game. Yeah, in the SEC, every SEC game is important, and again, you know this from covering a long time — tell what game is less important than the other? I acknowledge sometimes over the years when certain things come in here and the way things play out, it’s a big game, yeah. But this is the next one, we’re gonna have quite a few big games and we always embrace that – you better. You better embrace the challenges that are in front of you and this is certainly one of them but you have to look at it. It’s fun.  For us, and again I mentioned this through the years, but getting on the plane with a smaller group, focus on what we have to focus, go on the road and take that challenge is something we’ll embrace.”

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