Kyle Whittingham: This team is better this year than it was last year, despite the record
Audio, video and a transcript of the Utah football press conference
SALT LAKE CITY — Kyle Whittingham addressed the media for his weekly press conference Monday.
In the conference, Whittingham addressed a number of issues with players and personnel. He also addressed the fourth-quarter collapse against Arizona State and how the Utes will look to rebound this weekend against the Oregon Ducks.
What follows is a partial transcript of the conference.
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Reporter: A few weeks ago you had mentioned that Isaac Asiata was playing well for you. Is there a chance you opened up the battle there?
Kyle Whittingham (KW): There’s a chance that he’ll play more. He did play in this game. He took about eight to 10 reps this game on Saturday, and he will play more. We’re going to get him more involved. He graded out at 100 percent in his minimal reps, and so, I’ve been an Asiata fan for a long time. He’s just a redshirt freshman. But, to answer your question, absolutely, Isaac will get more playing time.
Reporter: Coach, as frustrating as last season was, how much of a shell shock is it to find yourselves basically in the same situation this year?
KW: Yeah, it is, and I can tell you what, and I’ve said it I think one or two other times this season, we were a better football team this year than we were last year. The record does not reflect that. You know, this team, Arizona State, we went down there last year and we just got shellacked. I think it was 40-6, or whatever the case may be.
We’re standing toe to toe with the best the conference has to offer, and I said that in the press conference on Saturday night, but we’ve got to find a way to get more wins. We're more competitive, but it’s not about being competitive. It's about getting Ws, and so, that’s the next hurdle we got to get over is finding a way to win these games. But like I said, last year, a lot of the games we weren’t even in. So, we made progress, but nobody cares unless you get the W. Nobody cares what else is going on.
Reporter: I know you’ve mentioned the protection on Travis Wilson wasn’t good enough for him to hit, but are you receivers doing enough to get themselves open?
Reporter: Is there enough separation?
KW: Absolutely not. (We were) gloved up at receiver, and I’ve mentioned that, and they just ... Not one position group on offense played well. Even had the protection been better, many times there was nowhere to go with the ball, and so, it’s a concerted effort across the board on offense to get better this week. We’ve got to get better at every single position group.
Reporter: Coach, on offense, when you say, you know, getting better, is it a manner of maybe trying to find some new players who can step up? Are those players there and waiting in the wings for chances? What exactly do you do?
KW: We’ve got to coach better, and I always bring it back to coaching, because we’re not coaching to point fingers at players and blame them. I mean, if your guys aren’t performing, then you’ve got to coach them better and if they can’t perform better, then you've recruiting the wrong guys.
No matter how you spin it, it comes back to coaching. We’ve got to do a better job there and maximize the guys that we have. We’ve moved the football this year. The Stanford game was an example of that. We moved it well, and so, we’ve just got to do a better job across the board.
Reporter: Is there anything different you guys can do offensively at the start of games? It seems like there’s been some struggles ...
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