Quotes From Kyle Whittingham's Weekly Press Conference - University of Utah Athletics
Quotes From Kyle Whittingham's Weekly Press Conference

Quotes From Kyle Whittingham's Weekly Press Conference

Opening Statement…
"Positive game for us on Friday night. We were able to build on the performance we had at Stanford, which was good to see. All three phases, much like the week before, were very positive. That was probably the best we have played on offense all year long. We had around 500 yards of offense and probably could have had 600 if we wouldn't have shut it down in the fourth quarter. We scored points, we took care of the ball outside of the one interception. For three weeks now we've had one turnover in three games, so that is very positive. Defensively, we did a really nice job against the run. We held our opponent to less than a hundred yards again and we are proving to be a pretty good run defense so far this year. We didn't get any takeaways, which was the disappointing thing on defense, but we played well. Special teams was solid. Matt Gay didn't have a chance to kick any field goals, but he hit all of his PATs. Mitch did an outstanding job punting the ball. Overall, it was a good week. We have a big challenge this week with USC coming to town. Every conference game is very important going forward. They are coming off some nice wins, most recently against Colorado. So, it should be an exciting game with a great atmosphere. We are hoping our fans come out in full force as usual and everybody is there to make it a great atmosphere."

On if he feels that there is a rivalry between Utah and USC because of how close the games have been…
"Yeah I think that might be an accurate description and is heading in that direction. It has been back and forth with close and competitive games. Obviously, last year it went right down to the wire with the two-point conversion we weren't't able to convert. So yeah, I'd say there is some validity to that in my opinion."

On if it changes things that USC's LB Porter Gustin won't play the rest of the season…
"They have plenty of good players, just like everybody else. You just move on to the next guy. You feel bad for him because he is a great kid and a really good player, but I never really address injuries much because everyone has them. You just have to play with the guys that you have and go from there. We won't change what we do dramatically. Obviously, he is a really good player, but you don't wholesale change because someone won't be playing. You might tweak something here or there, but nothing major."

On where he wants to see Tyler Huntley's passing numbers at…
"We know that we didn't have enough Zack Moss early in the season because he just wasn't ready for that load at that point in time. With Armand Shyne starting to emerge as a really good counter punch to Zack, that has kind of been the formula. Right now, that is our identity and what we are evolving to. Zack is a tremendous back and Armand is not far behind. So you play to your strengths, and when you have a strong run game, you throw the ball better. People are gearing up for the run and when you run the ball, you go to the play action pass and that is what we have been doing on those 20 throws, there have been very few just straight drop backs percentage wise compared to earlier in the season. And things have been more effective for us."

On what his takeaway from talking to Larry Scott about the replay system…
"I think I have a pretty good handle on it. We talked about the problems that arose and the issues that were present whenever it happened. I can't tell you exactly what we talked about, but I felt good afterwards because it was a chance to get better at what we are doing and there were no ill intentions or anything like that. We just move forward and try not to make the same mistakes twice."

On if there is something he can point to in the last two weeks with the increase in offensive production…
"A few things. The offensive line play is really starting to shape up. We controlled the line of scrimmage last week. Receivers are making plays and we had zero drops in the last game. We went through that period where we were dropping a lot of balls, but that has been tightened up. Zack Moss getting back to his usual production level has been key. So between those factors, I think that is why."

On the Pac-12 South Division race…
"As I said a few weeks ago, I didn't think that anyone would be undefeated and that maybe even a two-loss team would win the South. As we sit right now it is fortunate because we control our own destiny. If we take care of our business, which there is a ton of football left, we don't need any help. We need to focus and try to keep plugging away week by week, starting this week with USC."

On if he still sees Orlando Umana as a guard or now maybe as a center…
"That is a good question. With Lo Falemaka being a senior and a captain, when he is healthy and able to play, he would be the guy. Long term though, that is certainly a possibility for Orlando and he has proven the last two weeks that he is a very capable center. He is really an inside three guy whether that is at center or guard, we just know he isn't going to play tackle. We will see after this year who emerges at center. We have some good young guys like Paul Maile, who has moved over to the offensive line, that looks like he will be a good inside three guy as well. It is too early to say, but it is great to have Orlando and to know he has the knowledge to play there if we need him to."

On USC's wide receivers and if he thinks USC will try to attack through the air because of Utah's strong rush defense…
"A bunch and that will be the key to the game. They have several receivers that are all play makers and when the ball is down the field, they do a great job of making plays under coverage. So, to me for our defense, the biggest factor in the game will be whether we can make those plays in the back end. That will be a great challenge for our secondary, but we will good about our secondary."

On how he feels the secondary has played to this point in the year…
"Pretty darn good. We are No. 1 in the conference in pass efficiency defense, which is our barometer of how we are doing against the pass. We are also among the leaders nationally. I think we have given up some yards in certain weeks, but like I've said you judge it by the efficiency of it all and I think we are doing a good job."

On John Penisini's performance this year…
"First of all, he changed his body in the off season. He shed about 15-20 pounds of weight that he didn't need, so he is a svelte 315 now. He is tough, he is active and he plays with great pad level. He has really good natural use of hands. He is strong at the point of attack and he is a slippery pass rusher. I think he is one of the most underrated tackles in the conference."

On if he has been happy with the nine-game schedule in the Pac-12 and on the fact that USC didn't have to play Washington or Oregon…
"As far as playing eight or nine games in conference, I don't care what it is as long as the entire country is on the same program, and they are not. I don't care if it is eight, nine, ten, but when there is no standardization across the country, I think that is a little bit out of line. I don't care about how many games there is, but I think there needs to be uniformity and I think we will see that in a few years. And as far as scheduling, oh well. You control the controllable and that is beyond our control so we don't worry about it."

On if he thinks this USC game is one of the biggest in program history since joining the Pac-12…
"Every week is big. We don't place any extra weight on any one game than another. That is just how you have to operate. Every week you have to bring your 'A' game and be ready to go."
Print Friendly Version