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Utes football: Utah coach Kyle Whittingham weighs in on recent Pac-12 surprises

Published: Friday, Aug. 28 2015 2:03 a.m. MDT

Washington State kicker Andrew Furney celebrates after kicking the winning field goal during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Southern California in Los Angeles, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013. Washington State defeated Southern California 10-7 for its first victory at the Coliseum in 13 years. (Chris Carlson, AP) Washington State kicker Andrew Furney celebrates after kicking the winning field goal during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Southern California in Los Angeles, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013. Washington State defeated Southern California 10-7 for its first victory at the Coliseum in 13 years. (Chris Carlson, AP)

SALT LAKE CITY — When asked about a couple of surprising outcomes involving upcoming Pac-12 opponents this season, Utah coach Kyle Whittingham took the snap and delivered some insight at his weekly press conference.

As for Oregon State’s surprising 49-46 loss at home to Eastern Washington, Whittingham praised Eagles quarterback Vernon Adams. The sophomore passed for 411 yards and four touchdowns. He also ran for 107 yards and two scores.

“The quarterback at Eastern made a ton of plays in that game and they were very good offensively and just made play after play for the entire football game,” Whittingham said. “Oregon State couldn’t slow them down. They had a bunch of yards and a bunch of points and really the quarterback was the catalyst in that game.”

Southern California running back Tre Madden, top, is tackled by Washington State linebacker Cyrus Coen during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Los Angeles, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013. (Chris Carlson, AP) Southern California running back Tre Madden, top, is tackled by Washington State linebacker Cyrus Coen during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Los Angeles, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013. (Chris Carlson, AP)

Whittingham was then asked about Washington State’s 10-7 upset win at USC last Saturday.

“I’m very happy for Mike Leach. He’s a close friend of mine and that’s a big win for Washington State,” he said, while reflecting on how long it had been since the Cougars defeated the Trojans in L.A. “ ... Kudos to Washington State and Coach Leach in particular.”

BETTER START: Utah safety Eric Rowe said the Utes are determined to avoid a third consecutive 0-4 start to Pac-12 play. It hurt, he acknowledged, to do so the past two seasons.

“Then you’ve got to play catch up. We don’t want to put ourselves in a hole like that,” Rowe said. “So this year we want to get off on the right foot and get our Pac-12 wins because we definitely want to go to a bowl game this year. There’s no doubt about that.”

Oregon State's Storm Wood, front left, dodges around the outstretched arms of Eastern Washington's Ronnie Hamlin on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013, during an NCAA college football game at Reser Stadium in Corvallis, Ore.  (Jesse Skoubo, AP) Oregon State's Storm Wood, front left, dodges around the outstretched arms of Eastern Washington's Ronnie Hamlin on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013, during an NCAA college football game at Reser Stadium in Corvallis, Ore. (Jesse Skoubo, AP)

EXTRA POINTS: Utah’s game at BYU on Sept. 21 will kick off at 8:15 p.m. and be televised on ESPN2. ... Safety Quade Chappuis has been moved to rover linebacker. ... Travis Wilson leads the Pac-12 and is third in the nation in passing yards per completion (18.26). Defensive linemen Tenny Palepoi and Nate Orchard are tied for the conference lead with 1 3/4 tackles-for-loss per game.

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