SALT LAKE CITY – University of Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham held its weekly press conference on Monday and met with members of the media at the Spence and Cleone Eccles Football Center.
Selected quotes from Coach Whittingham can be seen below.
“Disappointing loss at Eugene. The short version is they made a game or two more than we did. I thought we played exceptionally well on defense. We played the run hard, rushing (59) yards… Twenty points allowed which should be good enough to win the game it wasn’t in this case three takeaways one of which was a goal the real problem was we weren’t our usual selves on offense we were weren’t productive enough 10 points, (326) yards We had our chances and didn’t take them Believe Oregon, they played well and ended up making the plays they needed to make so we fell short.
“Looking ahead, we have Colorado on the road this week. Apparently the last game of the regular season. You know the old adage: We can’t let Oregon beat us twice for you. You have to recover and prepare for the next one. Mathematically, we still have a way to [Pac-12] Championship. But all we can worry about is our part of it, and that’s our focus. We need to finish the season right and just take care of ourselves. We’ll see what else comes up. It’s been a year with a lot of positives and obviously some negatives, but we have a chance to win our ninth ball game and that’s our focus.”
To the kicking game in the red zone…
“It’s impacted it, probably four to six times where it could have been a bigger factor with drives. We rely quite heavily on analytics. There really wasn’t anything in this past game that was borderline; it was all cut and dry, the decisions that had to be made in that past game. But it always helps to be consistent.
On offensive takeaways after watching an Oregon movie…
“We didn’t do much in the throwing game. That was probably our biggest shortcoming. We walked around a decent crowd and had a decent production there. But we weren’t as sharp, or as productive, or as efficient at throwing the game as we needed to be. All three ball losses came in the throwing game. That was the most problematic area for us.”
How the perception of Utah’s record can also count as a measure of respect…
“I think that’s a valid point. We’ve been in the league for 12 years now. To have one [potential] 7-2 record [in Pac-12 play] To be somewhat of a disappointment is probably in some ways a compliment — in some ways. But we don’t focus on that. We’re just trying to repeat ourselves as conference champions. Nine games [overall] Won, if we are able to, is more than 90% of the country.
On factors leading to mid-Q4 kickoff…
“Analytics, watching field goals in practice, the advantage of being the first to land at that point. Everything goes in. The ‘Go’ number was analytically far greater than what we had at the time. I think it was a ‘ go’ at 7. The composition of these different areas made this decision.
On the Offensive in Oregon…
“The three biggest problems on offense were … the lack of chunk yardage, the lack of red zone production and the three turnovers. Those were the three biggest problems. There was a certain susceptibility to larger plays on the field. We didn’t do it.” I didn’t do any that game and (Oregon) did. credit given to their receivers; they made two, three, four plays on the field that were big chunk yard plays. That was one of the differences in the game.
How to put Oregon in full rear view and focus on Colorado…
“You have to … put it behind you as a coach as soon as possible. Our mentality and our attitude, the way we approach things is crucial. When we go around feeling sorry for ourselves and moping, the players read that. Your players read you every day. Everything you do, they read. You better practice what you preach. There’s nothing new about having that attitude when you come back, put it behind you and move on. All positive, as difficult as it can be at times. But that’s the way to go about it. As I mentioned before, if we can take care of business, we have a chance to end the season with a pretty decent record. And, we have a chance… to mathematically get back into that [Pac-12] championship game.”
The Utes will play their final regular season game on Saturday, November 26, away in Boulder, Colo. against the Colorado Buffaloes. The opening push is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. MT on Pac-12 Networks.
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