It’s been a long road for Matt Scott in an Arizona Wildcats uniform but after red shirting in 2011, which new head coach Rich Rodriguez said was the best decision the last coaching staff made, he will be the starting quarterback and will lead the Cats into a new era of football in Tucson.
“Overall I can’t complain,” Scott told Brad Cesmat on ‘Big Guy on Sports.’ “I came here expecting to start after my sophomore year but it didn’t really happen that way. But I learned a lot, I grew a lot and I can’t say I regretted it.”
Scott got his first opportunity at quarterback in 2009 where he emerged out of spring practice and fall camp as the starter for three games. But the job was then handed to Nick Foles who kept the starting role through last season.
“It was real difficult,” explained Scott. “Obviously coming out of high school everybody’s that guy. Everybody’s the starter, everybody’s the star. And coming here I expected to come and be the same thing. It didn’t really work like that for me and I had to learn behind Nick but you know what, it helped me learn and it helped me grow.”
Scott even toyed with the notion of transferring as a result.
“I did a couple times,” Scott added. “But I couldn’t really see myself anywhere else. I committed to Arizona and I feel I did for a reason.”
Now as a fifth year senior, Scott is the guy and is embracing that position as the quarterback leading the way into year one of the Rich Rod era. Scott was recruited by Mike Stoops and spent four years with him. Since Rodriguez was hired in November he has gotten to know many differences between the two coaches.
“They are obviously two different personalities,” mentioned Scott. “Rich Rod is probably a little more easy to talk too and negotiate with maybe. Stoops is a little more firm. More that’s how it’s going to go and that’s how it is.”
Rich Rod is known for his high-octane offense and has had quarterbacks, especially ones that can run, find great success under center. Scott is familiar with running a spread style offense based on what he’s ran at UofA as well as in high school. The style is not something he will need to adjust to. But how about this pace?
“The tempo is going to be tough for us to match,” Scott mentioned. “Rich Rod wants a real fast tempo. We’re going really fast right now but it is still not what he wants. That’s going to be the biggest thing is getting everyone on that tempo and keeping them on it for a whole game.”
The Wildcats under Stoops had reached three consecutive bowl games after having a decade long drought up until the start of last season. Then 2011’s disappointments occurred which led to a lot of change. And there are still a lot of returning players on this roster along with Scott who have not forgotten about last year.
“Everybody’s real hungry coming off last season,” said Scott. “We had four wins and if you asked me, that’s pretty pathetic. Everybody’s just hungry to do better this season.”
Matt Scott and the Wildcats begin their season at home against Toledo on September 1.