Sept. 1, 2011
Utah Head Coach Kyle Whittingham
"We got the `W'. It was less than impressive. No one would argue that. The offense was sluggish. We didn't have a good tempo, especially at the beginning .There were a couple of bright spots, though. John White IV ran well and competed hard. Our tight ends were involved a lot in the offense. I believe they caught 10 balls. We had zero turnovers, that's the biggest positive that I'll take away. The biggest concern is the throwing game. We also had a couple C-Q exchange issues and dropped snaps, that we have to get worked out. The defense played okay. We benefitted from a couple big plays by Brian Blechen, those two interceptions were huge. We only allowed 12 first downs and held [Montana State] to less than 250 yards of total offense, but we did allow an 80-yard drive. That is unacceptable. We cannot give up drives like that to any opponent. As far as special teams, we need to punt the ball better. The punt return game was okay, too. Charles Henderson did okay, he dropped one return but then he showed that he has a lot of ability with that 28-yard punt return. We also got that block punt. Overall, we have to clean up a lot of things before playing USC."
On the offense:
"John White was definitely impressive with the way he ran the ball. He saw the holes the O-line created for him and hit the holes hard. He was very productive.
"We need to throw the ball down-field more. We ran the ball effectively so we should have been able to capitalize on some of those opportunities. It starts with the coaching staff. That was our mistake in both schemes and play-calling.
"Our slow tempo, especially at the beginning of the game, was what surprised. We usually break the huddle with 22 or 23 seconds remaining on the play clock, but we were pressing it tonight. We were a little sluggish but got better in the second half, just in terms of breaking the huddle and moving with urgency not necessarily production on the scoreboard. It was bad in the first quarter."
On Jordan Wynn:
"[Wynn] just didn't throw the ball very well. He has to get his mechanics worked out, his shoulder's fine. He has to get more zip on the ball. He made all of the right decisions and reads so there are no excuses."
"We have a lot of work ahead of us for preparing to play at USC. We'll study the film of their game against Minnesota on Saturday then build from there. On our end, we have to improve significantly in the next nine days."
On the secondary:
"They didn't play bad as a group. We should have pressed more and challenged them with our coverages."
On the offensive line:
"We ran the ball effectively, but that may change as our degree of difficulty increases as the season goes on. We still had a few miscues, pulling the wrong way and letting linebackers come free, but they gave a good effort overall.
Utah quarterback Jordan Wynn
On the offense:
"We had good start, but we just didn't finish. Somewhere in the game, we lost rhythm as an offense and I tip my hat to our defense. They carried us and we have to get better as an offensive unit. We have to play better. The defense was lights out and gave us good field position.
"To improve, we have to clean up the penalties and concentrate on our execution. I have to play better. I can't miss wide open throws. I'm going to watch the game tape and continue to work hard to prepare for USC."
On not throwing down field:
"I just wanted to take what [Montana State] gave me. They were giving me a lot of different looks and we were able to do some good things, but definitely was not our best showing."
On the opening drive:
"I missed my first two throws, but I just have to forget about those quickly. We then scored on our next four drives so I think we were able to recover from that start. We just fell off toward the end of the first half and couldn't get our rhythm back."
On facing USC:
"It will definitely be a good test. They obviously have a great tradition and we're definitely excited to play in the Coliseum, but we have to play a lot better."
On the health of his shoulder:
"It felt great. I got hit a few times, but I was able to get up quickly. My shoulder is stable."
Utah defensive tackle Derrick Shelby
On the defense's performance tonight:
"We made plays but we had some missed opportunities as well. [Montana State quarterback] DeNarius McGhee is a very mobile playmaker but we were able to corral him most of the night."
Utah running back John White IV
On Utah's running game:
"Big holes were opening up all game because [the Montana State defense] was slanting a lot so we had a lot of `A' gap plays that were open so we were able to move the ball down field. We executed well in the first half but just didn't finish."
On his biggest thrill of the night:
"My biggest moment tonight definitely was celebrating my touchdown with my teammates. When everyone ran over to congratulate me, it felt like the best thing on Earth."
Montana State Head Coach Rob Ash
On his team's effort after falling behind 17-0 in the first quarter -
"I was proud of the way our guys came back and played the rest of the game. We made too many mistakes early--gave them a short field, penalties, a blocked punt, interception--I mean, just a nightmare. But after that our guys bounced back and played tough. Defensively, I thought we did particularly well the last three quarters of the game. I was proud of the way we kept coming back."
On what caused his team's rough start -
"I think DeNarious (McGhee) got fooled on the interception. The guy on the blocked punt, he just made a great play. He jumped over the shield. Man-for-man on paper we've got it protected, and he makes a great play. As for the penalties, maybe just a few jitters, but not necessarily because of the venue. They may have happened at our place too with the opening game and so forth. But that is not acceptable. I told the team, we'll be fine if we eliminate those mistakes. If we don't it doesn't matter who we're playing, they're going to put us in a tough spot."
On his team establishing a run game -
"We never really got it going. You've got to hand it to Utah's front seven. They are very tough, agile, strong, big guys, and they're tough to block. Their team speed was impressive. We got maybe a little bit of a window sometimes, and they'd close it up pretty quickly. The match-up in the trenches certainly favored them when they were on defense."
On how his defense played -
"The thing that was tough about this game is that we didn't have any idea about the formations and the plays that Utah was going to run with Norm Chow being new as their coordinator here. I really thought that was part of it. We gave up the touchdowns early on some plays that we had no way to scout. They were nice calls, good design, and they got some touchdowns. But it seemed like as we got into the game, we got a feel for the formation packages and personnel packages and plays that Utah was going to run, and we started to play a lot better. I think that was a big factor for us."