Go Utes!
Go Utes!
Utah vs. USC Postgame Quotes

Oct. 4, 2012

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Utah Head Coach Kyle Whittingham

Opening Statement
"It was a tough game. We were ready play. Our guys came out with a lot of emotion and energy in the first series and battled hard entire way. It was 24-21 going into the fourth quarter and when you play a team of USC's caliber, that's what you hope for. Give them credit. They made a few more plays than we did, two in particular, the 83 yard play-action pass over the top and then the screen play. Those two were back-breakers. We didn't get it done, but I'm proud of how we fought. We played the entire 60 minutes. We didn't play as smart as we would have liked the whole game. We made an incremental improvement as an offense so it was a great step forward. We executed well and it's something to build on. The bottom line is we're 0- 2 in conference so our backs are to the wall, like last year, and it doesn't get any easier at UCLA next week. Our guys have to continue to fight and that's what we'll do. They'll hang together."

Running back John White

On the game:
"We were two plays from winning that game, the intercepted screen pass and an 83-yard touchdown. We had a formula heading into the game and fought until the end, but it wasn't enough to win."

On the second half:
"We just could not convert on third down. We didn't have that extra fight to get the first downs and we have to execute better than that."

Quarterback Jon Hays

On the game:
"The defense did a great job and put us right where we wanted to be. I was disappointed in myself and our play in the fourth quarter. For my part, I pressed too much on the third-down screen pass. The game did not shift all on that particular play because we were still in the game, but a `pick-6' in that situation can't show up."

Defensive end Nate Fakahafua

On his fumble return for touchdown on the first series of the game:
"What a great way to start the game. It got the crowd into it. I just grabbed [USC quarterback Matt Barkley] and did what I used to do in high school, just ripped the ball away."

"No matter what the offense does, we just have to battle and capitalize on every opportunity we have. USC is a great team with talent all over the field so it was a good opportunity for us."

USC Head Coach Lane Kiffin

Overall thoughts on the game
"First of all, credit Utah. They came out and the crowd was electric as we thought it would be. The players came out and played really physical right off the bat and made some big plays. And, we obviously helped them by not performing well early in the first quarter and getting down 14-0. But at the end of the day, as you go through your season and your team builds itself, those things are good. You don't like them at the time, but if you can rally from that as we did, and not go in the tank and not start pointing fingers, and come back and make it 38-14 after that point--and, obviously that last touchdown was with our threes in there, those are some good things. The penalties were completely disappointing. What did it end up? Fourteen? That's ridiculous. We'll figure out a way to fix it. It's not who we want to be, but we've got to figure it out."

On Matt Barkley's play -
"The quarterback played really well, to go on the road versus a defense that can give you some problems. They've got a couple of really good defensive linemen and do a lot of things. To complete over 70 percent of his passes, no interceptions, no sacks, three touchdowns and was maybe two catches away from a huge night, it's good to see; because we all know what happened the last time we went on the road with our offensive line. So, back-to-back no sacks, it was good."

On what he was thinking after getting down 14-0 -
"I felt really calm, and I felt like our team was and our coaches were. I felt we did a lot better job as a staff today handling negative plays than we did last time on the road. As I mentioned to you guys, I didn't think we did a very good job of that. Not panicking, staying with the run game there even though we were down, it was good for this team to have that. Much like last year, after our first bad road trip we started playing a lot better, so hopefully that's the case."



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