Kyle Whittingham: It's apparent that chief among Utes' problems is turnovers
Full video and transcript of Utah football press conference
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah football head coach Kyle Whittingham addressed the media Monday as the Utes head into a bye week following their second straight road defeat.
Among the topics Whittingham addressed were Utah's struggles with turnovers and the team's quarterback play against USC, a game the Utes lost 19-3 to the Trojans. The entire text of Whittingham's Monday press conference can be found here.
Kyle Whittingham: Okay, once again, turnovers led to our demise. It was unfortunate; we played exceptionally well on defense. Special teams was excellent as well. We definitely won the special teams battle. We couldn't get much generated on offense, but there's going to be games that are defensive struggles. There's going to be games that are offensive shootouts. The one common denominator in those games, and in every game, is turnover margin. That's the thing that usually is the difference-maker.
And in this game, it was exactly that, where four turnovers and no takeaways and you're probably going to win zero games a season doing that. It's something that's got to be corrected. In our losses, it's showed up. In our wins, it's been reversed. It's pretty apparent what our issue is. We've got to get it fixed. That's the long and short of that.
We've got a week off, as far as no game this week. We'll practice, we'll work Monday through Thursday, give them a three-day weekend, then come back Monday of next week to get ready for the Sun Devils who are coming to our place. Excellent team, by the way, very good football team. First place in the (Pac-12) South and a great offense, second only to Oregon in total offense and scoring and playing really good defense, too. Very complete football team is what Arizona State is.
Reporter: Coach, would you say that all five of your offensive line's starter's positions are safe at this point?
KW: Well, we feel they give us the best chance to win. They're the guys that have been playing together since last spring. Isaac Asiata is a guy who does a great job and maybe merits an opportunity to play some snaps in a game, but other than that it's those five guys are clearly the best five that we have at this point in time.
Reporter: Coach, can you kind of take us through the quarterback decision? I'm sure a lot of tough thought went into that with injury, with backup, with Conner Manning, I'm sure, warming up. Kind of take us through the quarterback flow going into the game and then during the game, how things kind of went down.
KW: Going into the game, we hoped that Travis (Wilson) was going to be able to be effective. It turned out not to be the case. We struggled, brought (Adam) Schulz in to try to get a spark and get something going. (We) brought him in and didn't really have a whole lot of success there, either. Conner Manning was never really a serious consideration to put him in; he's got the redshirt label on him right now and really is, he's a true freshman. He's probably not quite ready for a situation like that.
That's where we're at. We've got to get better play at the quarterback, we'll be the first ones to tell you we've got to get more effective play there. That's something going forward that's got to improve. Now, Travis was lights-out the first five games; we had very good quarterback play and it's just been the last couple games that we've had struggles.
Reporter: How much of those struggles do you think were a result of that hand, the interceptions?
- Dick Harmon: Big 12 expansion talk (ahem,...
- Morning links: BYU letting fans tailgate;...
- Morning links: BYU, Utah and Utah State all...
- Ute football team picked to finish 5th in...
- Doug Robinson: Weber State track coach isn't...
- Utah Jazz: 'Hungry' Trey Burke keeping busy...
- Utah Utes football: Ranking the best players...
- 4-star basketball recruit Connor Harding...
- Dick Harmon: Big 12 expansion talk... 92
- Morning links: Utah is on the rise in... 74
- Cougars say they have learned lessons... 70
- Utah makes top 7 for 4-star offensive... 49
- Ute football team picked to finish 5th... 48
- Morning links: BYU, Utah and Utah State... 41
- BYU looking for another defensive... 33
- Morning links: Tom Hackett is the Utes'... 33