Arizona football fans will get their first chance to catch a glimpse of the defending Pac-12 South champions with the annual spring football game on Friday.
The Spring Game will be at 6 p.m. at Arizona Stadium and will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks.
“I think it’ll be fun; I think the players will enjoy it,” Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez said. “It may remind them of high school a little bit. It’ll be nice for the fans; obviously the weather will be nice. I’m looking forward to it.”
Receiver Nate Phillips said having the Spring Game at night might make things a little different.
“It kinda feels more like a game when you’re there under those lights,” Phillips said.
Quarterback Jerrard Randall said playing on a Friday night reminds him of playing back in high school in Florida.
“I like playing under the lights; it kind of feels like I’m back and home — I come alive in the lights,” Randall said. “I wouldn’t really mind if it was day time. Either way, I want to play football, but in the lights, it’s a lot better.”
Randall said he is hoping for a big crowd.
“I want to show the fans that I got something here,” Randall said.
Parking is free in all surface lots after 3 p.m. The UA suggests fans enter campus from south of Sixth Street.
Gates will open at 4 p.m. and fans will enter through Gates 1 and 2. The only outside food or drink that fans can bring inside the stadium is bottled water.
The A-Club Celebrity Flag Football Game takes place at 4:45 p.m.
The alumni game will feature former Wildcats Jake Fischer, Jason Johnson, Callista Balko and Syndric Steptoe. John Fina (football 1991) and Burney Starks (football 1973) will serve as coaches.
Rodriguez said hopes to avoid injuries, but likes the chance for young players to play in front of their fans.
“We have a lot of young guys that maybe haven’t been in a big crowd situation since high school,” Rodriguez said. “Just to see them compete and execute a little bit, I think they’ll play hard and I want them to enjoy it. They’ve had a good spring and worked hard but I want them to enjoy this one.”
Phillips said he thinks the Wildcats will be excited for the Spring Game, as they want their side, offense or defense, to win.
“You can see at the end of practice — and it’s situations, and it’s a close game according to our score — guys want to win,” Phillips said. “When we go out and it’s tackle and it’s live, guys will be flying around and excited.”
Rodriguez said he was happy with what the Wildcats accomplished in the spring.
“The enthusiasm has been pretty good, and I think they’ll have fun [tonight],” Rodriguez said. “We won’t be out there too long, maybe 80 or 90 plays, but it’s been pretty good.”
Arizona will have some fun with the Spring Game.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Rodriguez said. “I may even venture into the stands late just so I can have people call bad plays. And I can boo them and criticize them and maybe send them emails and stuff like that.”
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