SALT LAKE CITY — In the wake of a subpar performance in last Saturday’s 23-20 loss to Stanford, Utah quarterback Troy Williams received a little pep talk from offensive coordinator Troy Taylor.

He told Troy: “Every quarterback that has ever played has had a day that they wish they could have back.”

Taylor then mentioned guys like Joe Montana and Tom Brady. Taylor also noted having one of his days as a quarterback. He set records in college at California and later played for the New York Jets.

“They’re demoralizing, especially after the fact because you give so much and it’s so important to you,” Taylor said of rough outings. “And then when you don’t play to your expectations, you’re down. I was down, too, when I left the stadium.

“But part of being an athlete is you’ve got to respond and come back. The only way to get confidence is to play better. He’s a tough kid and he came out today ready to battle,” continued Taylor, who is confident Williams will come back and play better.

Williams is determined to do so as the 23rd-ranked Utes began preparing for this weekend’s game at No. 13 USC.

“You just have to realize that it happens to everybody,” said Williams, who was 20 of 39 passing for 238 yards with two interceptions and a touchdown against the Cardinal.

Williams added that “it happens” while recalling Taylor’s remarks about quarterbacks like Brady and Montana returning to form after poor outings.

“I’m just kind of coming into this week just trying to step everything up, my intensity, film study — just trying to get us going as an offense as a whole,” Williams said. “And trying to get us ready for this week.”

Williams led the Utes to a 31-27 win over USC last season at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

Twitter: @DirkFacer