Rich Rodriguez now faces the central task of making sure his players don’t lose faith after a classic Arizona stomach-punch loss against USC. The one original Pac-10 member without a single Rose Bowl appearance has to stay the course. If it does, the Pac-12 South is still there for the taking. The winner of this division will probably have at least two conference losses by season’s end. Arizona can overcome just about any scoreboard obstacle, but the Wildcats’ offense needs to be able to score more than 13 points through three quarters at home. The Wildcats were stuck on 13 after 45 minutes in home games against California and USC. The Wildcats overcame the Golden Bears. They weren’t able to make one last kick against USC. Start-to-finish consistency on offense is what Rich Rod has to cultivate over the next month and a half.

PHOTO: Before Arizona’s Hail Mary, RichRod Was Praying

Arizona defeated California late Saturday night in Tucson on the strength of a 36-point fourth quarter, capped by a Hail Mary on the game’s final play.

Just before that Hail Mary, look at how Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez was facing the moment:

No words necessary.