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
KW: Yeah, very proud of Nate — in fact, the whole defensive line. We’re among the nation’s leaders in sacks. We're right up there, one, two, three — somewhere in the top of the country. Nate and Trevor on the edges have done a great job, Tenny inside, I think Tenny’s fantastic, and Tenny plays great football for us week after week after week. (He's) so consistent.
In reference to Nate, he’s become a complete player. We've been waiting for this for a couple of years. Last year, he did a lot of good things, but some weeks weren't as consistent as others. He’s been very consistent for us this year — a hard worker, great attitude, and it’s a real weapon having him and Trevor on those edges. Two athletic guys who can put pressure on the passer, along with Tenny inside, pushing the pocket as well as the other guys inside. L.T. Tuipulotu and — we got Senny back last week, which really gave us a boost on defense. I'm proud of the defensive line and how they played this year. Credit to them, credit to their coach, Iliaisa Tuiaki.
Reporter: Coach, can I ask you to be a psychologist, a little bit?
KW: Well, I’ve got a little background in that.
Reporter: Where is your team’s mindset after another frustrating week? I know you said they've had a good attitude throughout all this, but each week, I can imagine with frustrating losses, it’s been a little harder.
KW: With the frustrating week we’ve had, we’re very frustrated. It’s been a very frustrating season overall. As I mentioned, we’ve closed the gap so significantly, but again, the record — you are what and who your record says you are, and our record is same as last year, and so in that respect, the bottom line hasn’t changed.
It’s been frustrating in the fact that we know we’re close. We know we’re close and we’re competing and we’re slugging it out with the guys, toe to toe, that we’re playing. But, you know, you got to pick yourself back up. It was a tough defeat, but life’s all about picking yourself up and moving forward and taking on the next challenge, and that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to have a great week in practice, and my guess is the leaders are going to do just what they’ve been doing all year long and make sure that that happens.
Reporter: And Part B, as you prepare for Oregon, do you feel like you’re going to face a downtrodden Ducks team or an angry Ducks team?
KW: Angry. They’re a prideful team, and they’ve got high aspirations and goals, I’m sure, and they’re going to be upset and ready to get back on the winning track. We expect to get their best shot without a doubt.
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