Postgame Quotes vs. BYU - University of Utah Athletics

Postgame Quotes vs. BYU

Utah Quotes
Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham
Opening Statement…
"I hope everyone got their money's worth out of that one. That was another rivalry game for the books. What would you expect? So many times there are so many storylines. The constant has been a great game. I am very proud of our players and coaches for hanging in there. I thought we were out played in the first half and came out in the second half with a lot of purpose, desire and determination. Thirty-five second half points were enough to get it done. Credit to Kalani {Sitake}. He had his guys prepared and gave us everything we could handle. We were fortunate to come out with a win.Jason Shelly, in his third start, showed a lot of poise and confidence. He is one cool customer. There is no stage too big for him and he does a great job.The defense rose up in the second half allowing just one score."

On what he said at halftime to the team…
"Are you willing to be pushed around in the second half and sleepwalk or can we play like we are capable of playing? That was the short, less colorful version."

On whether he felt Julian Blackmon's interception was the turning point…
"I thought it would be. Then we stalled and went back down by 20. It contributed to the win but we did not capitalize on it like I wanted but it was a spark."

On where he felt the momentum changed…
"It was a collective thing and we just got momentum from the offense and defense. All three phases started playing well."

On whether he thought the players were looking ahead to Washington…
"I did not sense that in practice and preparation. If they did, it is my fault. A rivalry game, why would anyone look past that? It is an intense game and the upperclassmen did not, but you never know."

On Jason Shelley's performance…
"Jason is unflappable and nothing seems to bother him. He has a short memory. He did not really do any thing bad but BYU came in with a solid game plan to keep things in front of them. We missed on some shots up the field and we could not run consistently."

On the inability to effectively run against BYU…
"They have a stout front seven. It is tough sledding inside and they do a nice job of pushing outside. We did not get good movement on their big, physical guys."

On the character of the team…
"It says a ton about these guys and all year long, they have been handling adversity. I cannot remember a team handling slow starts and things not going their way to fight through it like this one. Credit to our seniors because they were very vocal at halftime."

On TJ Green's performance…
"He is becoming a Pac-12 back. I would like to see him stop attempting to jump over people. He should be a little more judicious there. He is starting to flicker and is just a redshirt freshman. Like Maxs Tupai, we saw a flicker with him. He has great speed to the edge and when Zack Moss went down, his workload went up."

#15 QB Jason Shelley
On what happened in the first half…
"We executed better. We had some guys running the wrong assignments. We came together and it showed."

On his touchdown run…
"I was just trying to run out the clock but there was a lot of grass so I figured I could seal the game with a touchdown."

On possibly looking ahead to the Pac-12 Championship…
"This was our biggest game of the season and we needed to keep the week alive. Then after this one, we could focus on next week."

#23 CB Julian Blackmon
On his interception…
"Coach put us in a good position. I knew I could jump the slant they called. Their quarterback put it in my pocket."

On the team's mentality at halftime…
"We knew we had to make plays and get things going. If the offense started going in the second half, we would be okay."

On the slow start…
"With the rivalry there were a lot of emotions going and we may have been a little relaxed. We never really worried about it. It is good that there are two halves of football."

On what the rivalry win means…
"It means a lot to the guys from Utah. We know a lot of guys over there. Winning eight in a row is surreal. It has not hit us yet but it means a lot to us."

On what this win says about the team…
"As a team, we can come back. We believe that we can overcome a lot of things and prevail. We have a tough team and I love these guys."

#22 LB Chase Hansen
On the win...
"Awesome. It would have sucked to go out with a loss. I thought we fought hard and it was a fun game."

On BYU quarterback Zach Wilson…
"He was crafty. Give him credit. He played well and converted a lot of third downs. He took a lot of shots and kept bouncing back so give him credit."

On what the turning point was…
"Julian's pick-six. I do not think you can point to something specifically. We started making plays. They were making more plays in the first half and we made more in the second half."

On getting back up next week emotionally…
"Playing in a Pac-12 championship is something we have had our sights set on. We wanted the rivalry win but we have had our sights set on next week's game for a long time and that is the one we really want."
 
BYU Quotes
BYU Head Coach Kalani Sitake
On the play of his team…
"I'm really proud of the way our guys played. We brought a lot of energy. We played extremely hard but we just couldn't finish the deal. I'm really proud of the way our guys played. In all three phases of the game, we just made too many mistakes, especially against a great team like that, like Utah has. That's why they won the Pac-12 South and that's why they have a chance to win the Pac-12 next week. We can't make those mistakes and expect to walk away with a win. Although, I'm pretty proud of the way that we played. We had a lot of energy. Even towards the end our guys just kept believing and kept trying to make plays. Give credit to Utah for the way they came back and won that game. As frustrating as it is, I believe that we have some really good players. My job is to make sure that we give our best for 60 minutes."

"I believe that our team is really close, and this just made us a closer team. We just have to keep working on it. As hard as it is right now with the outcome of this game, my job is to think positive and build on this, and we get another shot at Utah next year. We play them in the first game. We'll be ready for that"

On what made the difference in the game in Utah's comeback…
"We knew that they were going to try to establish the run, try to get something going that way. But you can't have a pick six. The turnover cost us, and really cost us with that one. But you can't point it at one person. We have a lot of young guys who made some great plays. Zach (Wilson) made some great plays. But they made a great play and jumped the ball. That's a great defense. We did some good things and had some god drives and we were able to get some scoring. We knew this is a team that was going to make a comeback. But we just needed to find a way to end it, and we couldn't do that. I don't want to say that we failed to do this and we failed to do that. Utah is a great team. We just made too many mistakes."

On how his team can deal with a loss like this…
"It hurts and it's supposed to hurt, and that's OK. We have another game to prepare for. We're going to learn as much as we can from this. I think it's supposed to hurt. Luckily, we get this game early again next year. It's unfortunate for the seniors. We really wanted this for them. We feel bad for the players and for our fans. But they have to wait less than a year. And most importantly, we have to build for the next game and get ready for the bowl game. It's important to the program, and it's important to our youth and our depth."

On his team's conservative play calling in the fourth quarter…
"We felt really good with our defense and the way we were playing. I'm not sure if it was all conservative because they stopped us. They made a good defensive stand and stopped us. It's not like we just quit throwing the ball and all that stuff. We just tried to be smart with the ball. We had some bad punts. When it's a close game, it comes down to the little things and guys making plays. In all three phases, we just didn't make enough."
 
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