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Kyle Whittingham: '(Travis Wilson) was in bed the whole game day leading up to the UCLA game'

Full transcript, video and audio of Utah football's Monday press conference

Published: Monday, Oct. 7 2013 3:55 p.m. MDT

Kyle Whittingham press conference, 10/07/13, prior to Stanford

KW: They have a few nice blitz packages, but pretty much straight defense, a lot of split safety looks. The front seven is physical, and statistically they're not as good this year as they have been in the past. They're somewhere toward the middle of the league in a lot of the categories, whereas in years past they've been right there at or near the top. But still, they got all the respect, and it's going to be tough to move the ball on them.

Reporter: You watch that Stanford-Washington game, and Stanford stayed on top of Keith Price. I think they sacked him five times. They watch the edge pressures, where last weekend they gave up some pressures off the edge, a couple sacks, a couple bit hits, those things. What kinds of things can you do to shore up that protection as you take on a really tough front seven against Stanford?

KW: A lot of it is just technique. We got beat physically at times. We didn't turn a whole lot loose against UCLA as far as just unblocked, but we've got to do a better job of getting the ball out a little bit quicker and just doing a better job of our fundamentals and techniques up front. That includes the backs as well. The backs have got to contribute in pass protection.

Reporter: This will the fourth time a top-5 team will be coming in. Just your thoughts on that and how big the possibility of what this game is for your team?

KW: Well, it's a great opportunity. Anytime you have a team with that lofty of a ranking, then obviously it presents an opportunity for you and a big challenge at the same time, but our fans are going to be getting used to that in the Pac-12. That's just how it is, and we're excited about the chance to line up against a quality team like Stanford on Saturday, and our guys will be ready.

Reporter: Coach, to build off that, how much does it help you guys, despite the loss, knowing you went toe to toe, overcame the six turnovers and still had a shot against UCLA in getting another top-25 team?

KW: Well, there are no moral victories — I firmly believe that — but as I mentioned, there are a lot of positives to build on, and as you said, to have a chance to win at the end, given the circumstances, was pretty remarkable. I think that is a credit to our players and how they continue to fight. That's been the M.O. of this team all season long. These guys have been extremely tough mentally. We hope that continues, because if that continues, we're going to have a chance every week.

Reporter: Coach, as you went back and look at the film, how many of those interceptions graded out to be on Travis (Wilson), and how many were just circumstantial?

KW: Yeah, very few were on Travis. He got hit a couple times as the ball was coming out, just as the ball was coming out, which changed the direction of the football, and the flight. A couple of them were right off receivers' hands.

One was a great play by the defense, a play that the ball just kind of bobbled around and (the defender) ended up making the play at the end before it hit the ground. A broken route structure … one time you would have a slant and go dialed up, but didn't get the whole signal on the outside, so we just ran the slant aspect of it and put the ball up. That was the one the safety intercepted in the half.

To tell you, if it's bad decisions, bad throws, it's one thing. You still say, "There were six interceptions," which is a huge negative, but it was not all on Travis, in fact, very few were on Travis. One or two.

Reporter: Coach can you talk to me about the halfbacks — Bubba Poole — kind of a rotation that feels like it's a heart rotation. What's going on there?

KW: Yeah, we're trying to find out if one of the three will separate themselves, and right now they're all giving us good production. Lucky's over six yards a carry; Bubba's over five yards a carry; Kelvin's around four yards a carry. It's not a situation where we're searching for someone to give us some production because we're getting production. It's we're searching to see if anyone's going to separate themselves, and if not, then they'll all continue to get carries.

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