Kyle Whittingham: It's apparent that chief among Utes' problems is turnovers
Full video and transcript of Utah football press conference
KW: Probably nearing double digits or just into double digits as far as that goes. For turnovers, are you talking about takeaways? Yeah. There was other missed opportunities like sacks and that type of thing, but just for takeaways, yeah.
Reporter: Where is this team with the offense? With a matter of four games to go, do you think you have the elements in place to be successful? Is it a matter of just tweaking things or what is it? Are you taking a harder look at maybe making some some changes in philosophies?
KW: Well, we don’t want any wholesale changes; we’ve got to decide what our best opportunity is. Do we slow the game down, to shorten the game, ala Stanford? That's their mentality to shorten the game, win with defense, though their offense is being very productive. So there’s a lot of different ways you can go. The one thing we’re not going to do is to wholesale change; it’s too late in the season for that.
So we’ve got to decide on the things we’ve done well, try to emphasize those and maybe streamline things even a little bit more than we have in the last couple of weeks.
Reporter: Can you talk about your success following a bye week? Is there anything that you do differently than the rest of the season?
KW: You know, I think we’ve handled the bye week pretty much the same each year and I think, you know, when talking to the other coaches, it's pretty similar. I don’t think there’s a whole lot of variance with teams during the bye week. They get some work on the field, give their players some down time to get rested up, and so, I don’t think that there’s anything we do unique or different than anybody else.
We have had a pretty good track record, but again, the biggest deal coming out of a bye week is who you play coming out of the bye week. That determines the game more than anything, not necessarily the bye week itself.
Reporter: With this week and then next week, especially with the quarterback position, is it more about physical, getting healed and healthy, or is it more about the confidence and the mental side of things?
KW: I’d say both, I’d say both. We’ve got to make sure that we’re confident and mentally in the right frame of mind. And we’ve also got to improve physically, and so I’d say it’s a 50-50 mix on that front.
Reporter: The contrast between success in the Mountain West and now, the frustration of losing so much in Pac-12 play, talk about the fan base — maybe the expectation of being too high, is it coming back down to reality?
KW: Well, the competition level in this conference is second only, and maybe a very close second to the SEC in my opinion. And so it’s a very competitive league. There’s no doubt that we have gotten better as a football team from when we first entered the league until now, but the problem is, you know, that as far as the conference itself has gotten probably better at a faster rate than we have in the last three years. And we’ve got to pick up the pace and continue to improve; it’s through recruiting is how it’s going to happen.
But you know, our fan base has been great, they’re out there to support us. They have high expectations, which is great. You know, you don't want a fan base that doesn’t want to win. And so we’re happy with the support we’ve gotten, and they’ve been in that stadium every single week, and we really feed off those guys and so it’s been a big positive for us.
Reporter: Kyle, could you just talk about having Eric Weddle back? It looked like he had a good time.
KW: Back to play for us? (Laughter.)
Reporter: Yeah, he’s eligible this week. He said he had a good time hanging out with the team on Saturday.
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