Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  By STEVE RIVERA  |  Last updated 11/4/13
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez has gone on the record saying he has no problem going "for it" on fourth down with the Wildcats in opponents territory. He's done it more than a few times over the last couple of seasons. Actually, more often than not. On Saturday at California, he didn't, believing his senior place-kicker Jake Smith might have enough leg to hit it a field goal from 50-plus yards. Smith was 50-50 from 50-plus -- hitting a 53-yarder and missing from 55. "Hopefully they will let me try more," Smith said. "It's about coach having confidence in me." On his personal-best 53-yarder, Smith's kick cleared the crossbar with about three yards to spare. On his 55-yard miss, he came up about two yards short. "I knew as soon as I hit it I got under it," Smith said of the miss. "As soon as you hit it ... you know how it feels. "Missing from 55 (yards) is not OK with me, but it's OK with me (more) than missing a shorter one." Rodriguez said he liked what he saw from Smith, who has been good on his kickoffs all season. But he's only 9 for 13 on field goals, missing some seemingly easy ones. His role could be magnified Saturday when the Wildcats host No. 16 UCLA in a pivotal Pac-12 South game. Both teams are 3-2 in the conference and 6-2 overall. "I don't want to say he's been uneven, but he's gotten better," Rodriguez said. With John Bonano handling kicking chores last year, Smith sat out the season while recuperating from a knee injury. "I still don't think I'm there," he said of being fully healed. "There's another level I can get to, where I'm trying to get to." But he does feel he can hit from beyond 50 more often. Of course, it will be up to Rodriguez, who likes to gamble on fourth down rather than take a chance at the three points. "I don't think I have that pull just yet," he said when asked about lobbying for longer kicks. "I just go out there when I'm kind of told to go out there. Would I like to go out there and try a longer one? I wish I would; I have confidence I can make them and help the team out." Smith said in practice and warm-ups he's hit from 60 yards at Arizona Stadium. He said he has enough leg for a 55-yarder. "I just want to win. I don't care how we do it," Smith said. Arizona also got a strong effort Saturday from sophomore punter Drew Riggleman. He punted eight times for a 41.4 yards per kick average, had four kicks downed inside the 20 and had a career-long 56 yarder. "He's been pretty solid (all year)," Rodriguez said. Quarterbacking clinic Rodriguez said he didn't have a chance to see former UA quarterback Nick Foles throw for seven touchdowns against Oakland, but he did see the highlights. Rodriguez came a year after Foles finished his senior year. "Nick put on a clinic," he said. "I got to see some of his highlights when he was here. I said he'd be great in anyone's offense. Just like Matt Scott (who replaced Foles at Arizona)." Scott is on the practice squad of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Extra points Special teams player Trevor Ermisch suffered a season-ending knee injury on Saturday in a non-contact situation, Rodriguez said. It occurred on the opening kickoff and apparently happened when he was trying to make a cut. He's expected to have surgery to repair his ACL. Rodriguez called Ermisch, a junior, the team's most productive special teams player. Senior linebacker Jake Fischer did not practice on Sunday after missing the Cal game with a knee injury, but he is expected back against UCLA. The UCLA game will kick off at 8 p.m. and be televised by ESPN. Arizona announced that its Nov. 16 game vs. Washington State will kick off at noon and be televised by the Pac-12 Networks. Rodriguez said his preference is to play early games, in part so he can have the rest of the day to watch other teams play later in the day.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Seahawks’ Frank Clark rips Cam Newton ‘that boy a b—‘

Report: Tom Thibodeau has 'always wanted' Knicks job

Report: Luke Walton will not consider coaching offers until offseason

Budweiser: Peyton Manning not paid for Super Bowl beer plug

Archie Manning: 'I think Peyton's done in Denver'

Donald Trump: I told Tom Brady not to endorse me for President


Marshawn Lynch: Complicated and talented NFL anti-hero

Hue Jackson lets Manziel and ex know they aren’t alone

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

Tyronn Lue faces backlash for Cavs record since Blatt’s firing

Report: LeSean McCoy assaulted off duty Philly police officers

John Elway was right, the Broncos didn’t need a Plan B

Jeanie Buss may clean house in Lakers’ front office

Lisa Ann wants to reward Emmanuel Sanders for Super Bowl win

WWE Superstar Daniel Bryan to announce retirement

Nine best and worst players from 2015 NFL playoffs

Rodman wants Phil Jackson to know he’s ready to coach Knicks

Wade Phillips trolls Cam Newton with dabbing tweet

Top defensive performances in Super Bowl history

FBI questions Jeremy Shockey about drug and gambling ring

Coldplay drummer thought Johnny Football was real name

Ranking every game from 2015 NFL Playoffs

PHOTO: Panthers LB shows gruesome arm injury after SB

Patriots, Panthers early Super Bowl 51 favorites

Von Miller trolls Cam Newton, Panthers

College Football 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 Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Report: Marshawn Lynch plans to retire

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker