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

Quotes From Kyle Whittingham's Weekly Press Conference

Opening Statement…
"Obviously it was a disappointing weekend in Tempe. The most disappointing aspect was losing Tyler. He is a kid that is a fierce competitor and to see someone who loves football as much as he does see his season end is hard. He is finished for the regular season. There is a chance with bowl timing that he would be able to come back and play. My heart goes out to him. This is a devastating injury for him, but one that he will recover from and be back with us in time. As far as the game, there were a lot of things that you can point to as to why we weren't successful. Starting on defense, that was very uncharacteristic of us. By far the worst game of the year defensively, and probably our worst game since the last time we played Oregon. We didn't control the line of scrimmage, we didn't tackle well, we didn't create havoc. Offensively we didn't get enough done there either. We ran the ball efficiently, didn't throw the ball well enough, didn't make enough plays and we had three turnovers. So those were the reasons for the outcome. We have Oregon this week. We are tied for first in the south. Some things have to happen for us to have a shot, but we aren't worried about any of that right now. Our focus is on Oregon. They are every bit as good of a football team as Arizona State, so we have our hands full. They are very talented, tremendous quarterback and a receiver that is putting up big numbers. They run the ball efficiently and they are scoring a bunch of points, so they are a big challenge. We have to be ready to go, put this behind us and move forward."

On what he likes about Jason Shelley as a quarterback…
"He is a lot like Tyler in that he is a dual threat. He has a very calm demeanor about him. Nothing really gets him flustered, he is cool under pressure. He ran this type of offense in high school very efficiently and did a great job. This is his element, the spread offense. We are excited to see what he can do. We will have a full week of getting him the No. 1 reps and see what happens. We have a lot of confidence in him."

On how to keep Shelley out of situations that could cause injury…
"You have to play to his strengths and tailor the offense to what he does best. We are still going to have a quarterback run game element to our offense, that is not going to change because that is who we are. He has to be smart when he does carry the ball to get out of harm's way and not take direct shots. If you are going to run the spread offense, the QB run game has to be in the equation."

On their decision to not allow Jason Shelley to talk to the media this week…
"He has enough on his plate. Why would we distract him with media when we don't have to. He has enough with digesting the game plan, trying to get ready to play his first Division I football game as a starter. There just doesn't seem to be a need to put more on him than what he already has. We don't hate you guys, we actually really like you guys. It's not something that is out of the ordinary, we have done this in the past with guys in similar circumstances."

On if they have solidified a rotation on the offensive line…
"No. Lo played sparingly in the game, but that was by design because he hadn't had much work in practice at all last week. We just didn't feel like he could take on that kind of a load, but now he has been cleared completely for everything. So, we will see who we are going to go with as practice develops this week."

On the run defense against Arizona State…
"That was very unlike us. When you watch the film, there was nothing going on schematically by Arizona State that surprised us or took us off guard, we just didn't solidify the gaps. We didn't play physical like we normally do and we made some mental mistakes. We didn't fit with the linebackers at times and we didn't tackle well. We had a season high of missed tackles by almost double our previous high. A lot of that is credit to Arizona State. Their running back is really good and their receiver is obviously very good. Quarterback made great decisions running the offense, so it is not just us laying an egg, it was them playing very well in addition."

On inserting a new quarterback…
"First of all, the team has to rally around him and embrace him. It is not just about the quarterback, everyone around him has to be better. The defense has to be better and everyone has to do their part in picking up the slack. Losing Tyler, he was a heck of a player, so we have to make sure Jason knows we have complete confidence in him and I believe he does."

On if he will look to emulate Zack Moss when he goes to recruit for running backs…
"There are a lot of types of backs, but I tell you what if we had the next 10 years of players like Zack Moss, that would be awesome. So to answer your question, yes that would be ideal, but there are many different types of backs that can get it done. But the bottom line is that Zack is so tough and physical, quick and fast, he is just the entire package. So yeah, I guess you could say he is a prototype for this offense."

On Zack Moss only having 18 carries against Arizona State…
"Well we only snapped it like 54 times, so when you don't snap it 70 times like usual, everything is going to diminish. As we got down to the fourth quarter and you are down X amount, you can't run the ball at that point. There was nothing to that other than those factors. There was no plan to run him less or anything of that nature. The way the game unfolded, that's just how it ended up."

On if he will start playing players who haven't seen action because of the new redshirt rule…
"Yeah there is a handful of guys that have not played that now we would not hesitate to put in given the right circumstances. Obviously there is no one sitting in the wings that could really help us win, otherwise we would have used them before now. These guys are the ones that have been developing all season long and can now give us some depth and have a few snaps here or there."

On Oregon's inconsistency this season…
"The Stanford game was tough on them. That was a game where they had all but won and then didn't finish it. They are 6-3 and they have done a good job this year, but I don't know if I can put an exact finger on why they have played better in some weeks than others. I don't know anyone in the country that doesn't play better in some weeks than others. Well Alabama I guess, but everyone else, all of the normal teams usually struggle to play their best every week."

On if there was anything interesting in the recruitment of Jason Shelley out of high school…
"Nothing really interesting in his recruitment, but we were very impressed with the numbers that he put up. The confidence and poise that he has and then everything that you look for in a quarter he had, and we still think he has. He was very prolific in high school. There were some good schools that wanted him and so we felt like it was a good get for us."

On the Pac-12 South race with two games left…
"Like I said, we are just focused on Oregon this week. I guess there are dozens of possible scenarios of what could happen so why waste your time with it. We just know that our task is to try and get a win this week and let the chips fall where they may."

On if Jason Shelley's height will play a factor in how he plays in the pocket…
"It doesn't seem to impact Drew Brees, so he does a good job. There are certain quarterbacks that have a knack for throwing it right through windows and he is one of those guys. So to be a quarterback of that stature, you have to have those qualities or you don't survive. Does he wish he was 6-4? Probably, but he has proven to be able to find those windows much like the successful shorter quarterbacks that you see."
 
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