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

They're all producing, they're all contributing, they're all doing a nice job in pass protection. I don't see that as a negative. I see that as something that if it happens, great. If not, it's not a big problem as long as we're getting production from each guy, and I don't view that like, you know, you say when you have more than one quarterback, you don't have any. I don't think that applies to other positions like it does a QB.

As long as they're all three contributing and none of them are separating themselves, it'll probably continue like that. If we get a guy that starts to become more productive than the others, then that particular guy will be the lead ball carrier, but right now that hasn't happened.

Reporter: Coach, you've been so close so many times. What's it going to take to get over the hump and get a win — a big signature win?

KW: Well, we've had two close games that we lost. We're 3-2, obviously, and the two losses, the overtime loss against Oregon State and the one on Thursday. I think we're knocking at the door.

We've got to make a few more plays — that's the short version. When you're close like that, it usually comes down to a play or two or three plays that's the difference, which has been the case in those two games. The opponents have made those plays, and we haven't. We've got to find a way to make those plays.

Reporter: Coach, just trying to get a gauge for how good you think this Stanford team is, where do they rate among the teams that you've had to prepare for as a coach? Are they right up there with someone maybe like an Alabama back in 2009?

KW: Maybe not quite at that level. Alabama, I mean, they had unbelievable talent, and you can see what they did the next four years or however long it's been since we played them. They've just been on a tear, and that essentially was the nucleus of their team.

Maybe not to that level, but certainly, like I said, very deserving of their ranking. They're the most physical team that we've played to date, without a doubt, and as I mentioned, the most physical team in the Pac-12 in my estimation at least to this point in time.

They're good. Where do they rank? Maybe like, I can't remember who the other ones that were … TCU came in with a highly-ranked team that one time, probably like that, around that level, just going off the top of my head.

Reporter: Coach, Andy Phillips. It seemed like a lot of his kickoffs have been short. Is that strategy? And if so …

KW: If it's strategy, it's bad strategy …

Reporter: So it's not then? You'd like touchbacks every time then?

KW: We'd like them deeper, and touchbacks would be great. We prefer touchbacks. The Montgomery kid is a tremendous kickoff returner for Stanford. He's a real weapon, and you saw him take the opening kickoff against Washington Saturday night. So, we've got to try to keep the ball out of his hands.

But to answer your question, no. Our kickoffs have been not what we need them to be, and we're continually working on that and hopefully can get them a little more hang time and a little more depth.

Reporter: As for the secondary, that was a concern earlier in the year. Talk about how that's been improving in the last few games.

KW: It's taken steps forward, without a doubt. We've still got a lot of work to do. I'm not going to say that we're there yet, because we're not there by a long shot. But you know, Keith McGill — the play he made on the interception pick six — if we had won that game that would have been the play of the game in my estimation. We didn't win the game, so that's a moot point.

Keith is second in the league right now in passes defended. The other corner, Davion Orphey, has been a little banged up, but he's progressing as well. Justin Thomas, Mike Honeycutt at the nickel spot, so we're pleased with the progress, but we've got to continue to get better. As long as they keep the work ethic and the focus that they've had the last few weeks, then I think we're going to be on the right track. Hopefully that continues.

Get The Deseret News Everywhere

Subscribe

Mobile

RSS