Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  By STEVE RIVERA  |  Last updated 10/7/13
TUCSON, Ariz. -- David Richards isn't about the play the "what if" game. It serves no purpose. It's the here and now that's important for Richards and the Arizona Wildcats. And right now, Richards is back to help a group of receivers that have struggled through four games. So forget that he was out for the first three games, and that star receiver Austin Hill could miss the entire season. "We have the guys we have," said Richards, a 6-foot-4 receiver sophomore. "We're probably not going to have Austin (anytime soon), so we can't think we have Austin. The guys we have right now will get the job done." Through four games, Arizona's receivers as a group have 45 total receptions and two touchdowns. And while quarterback B.J. Denker has taken a lion's share of the criticism for the struggles of Arizona's passing game, the receivers have to share in that, too. Denker is realistic enough to know you work with what you have. "Everyone knows Austin is a great talent, but David is going to come in and step up and make some plays," Denker said. "He's here to make plays; it's a reason why he worked his butt off to come back. (Richards) is going to be a big target for us, especially in the red zone. Even in short yardage, he'll get his big body in front of defenders." First, Richards must continue to get back into game shape following surgery to repair a broken foot. It was delayed by a bruise about three weeks ago. He wasn't a factor in his season debut last week against Washington, failing to catch a pass, but is hoping to make a larger impact in Thursday night's game at USC. "It was more difficult than I thought, but I just have to keep working," Richards said. "I did feel good to be out there with my teammates, that was the best part. "I'm highly motivated to go back to California and play in front of my family and friends. This is one of the bigger games." Richards came into the season as one of Arizona's most seasoned receivers, finishing with 29 receptions and three touchdowns last year. Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez said Richards is getting more reps this week. Richards joins senior Terrance Miller in giving the Wildcats a pair of big bodies at the receiver position. To this point, Miller has been used minimally -- catching just three passes while also lining up t tight end. "We haven't thrown the ball as well as we need to but Terrance is extremely valuable because he can play outside, inside and can play tight end," Rodriguez said. "He's done a good job blocking, but we need to use him more." Miller said he'll fill whatever role is needed. "I haven't really thought about (the stats), but I actually look forward to getting bigger blocks than receptions," Miller said. "Obvious as a receiver you hope to have more receptions and you always want the ball. Every receiver thinks they are open, but for the most part I'm thinking about blocks. "I'm pretty comfortable anywhere. I know all the positions and where I play is random but part of the game plan. Yes, it's a tough job, but Coach Rodriguez puts that on my shoulders because he feels I can handle it. And I know I can handle it." Miller says Richards' return helps him, too. "We dont have that many big wideouts in the lineup right now," Miller said. "Getting him back now allows me more flexibility and a little more versatility to our offense. We can do more things with bigger guys." Rodriguez said the passing game has looked better in recent practices, which leads him to believe it'll get better in games. "Until we do it in a game, everyone is going to question it," Rodriguez said. "I don't blame them, because I question it. We have guys who are capable of doing it. We work extremely hard in practice to do it in all facets. I've been encouraged what I've seen the last couple of weeks."
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Marcus Morris to Kyrie Irving: 'Just don't go to Golden State'

Report: Cubs interested in Rangers catcher Jonathan Lucroy

Marc-Andre Fleury took Stanley Cup on a road trip, protected it well

Cardinals say Carson Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald won't play in Hall of Fame Game

Chiefs LB Tamba Hali goes on Twitter rant, seemingly wants out

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

O.J. Simpson still invited to attend Hall of Fame ceremonies

WATCH: 49ers and Seahawks players working out together

WATCH: Vince Carter throws out first pitch for 'SagerStrong Night'

Knicks GM Scott Perry has yet to meet with owner James Dolan

Karl-Anthony Towns, Jimmy Butler reportedly recruiting Kyrie Irving to the Timberwolves

Cardinals QB Carson Palmer gives David Johnson stitches

Sports & Politics Intersect: Trump casts shadow over U.S. Women's Open

Best of Yardbarker: General managers take the spotlight

The 'Pay that man his money' quiz

The unexpected rise of the Connecticut Sun

The National League Wild Card is suddenly relevant again

Kicking It: USMNT struggles to find consistency in Gold Cup as World Cup qualifying nears

Three Up, Three Down: The Dodgers are a complete juggernaut right now

BIG3 Week 5: Pivotal make-or-break weekend in Chicago

Who won the Open Championship in the year you were born?

Making an NFL GM change in the summer has its benefits

Box Score 7/21: Stay cool this weekend sports fans

The 'Let's show a little love for James Jones' quiz

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Sports & Politics Intersect: Trump casts shadow over U.S. Women's Open

The National League Wild Card is suddenly relevant again

The 'Pay that man his money' quiz

BIG3 Week 5: Pivotal make-or-break weekend in Chicago

The 'Let's show a little love for James Jones' quiz

Making an NFL GM change in the summer has its benefits

The 'Yoan Moncada era starts now' quiz

The Orioles need to unwind past deals if they are going to rebuild

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Sam Hinkie is calling the shots

The 'No one is betterer than Roger Federer' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker