Go Utes!
Go Utes!
Quotes from Kyle Whittingham's Weekly Press Conference




Aug. 27, 2012

Opening Statement:
Like every year at this time, we're excited to get the season started. We've spent a lot of time banging on each other, so we're eager to line up against an opponent and hit someone besides ourselves.

We're excited to find out what team we have. All indications from spring ball and fall camp indicate we're going to be pretty competitive, but you never know until you line up against an opponent.

We are pretty good health-wise. We came out of fall camp as well as we can possibly hope for. We had some injuries that set us back prior to fall camp, but I thought we came out of camp clean.

The guys have worked hard and our leaders have kept our work ethic where it needs to be. Practices have been spirited and productive and we're ready to get things started.

On Northern Colorado:
They have some skill. They are a spread team. Last year they spread the field and were very much a throw-first team. There are a lot of unknowns going into the opener and this year is no different. We're hearing there is more balance out of camp; it's more 50/50 this year rather than concentrate on the throw. I've been more concerned about us this camp. We've been more concerned about our own guys and doing things the right way.

On the depth chart and Ken Scott:
Ken Scott has been playing exceptional football, particularly the last seven to 10 days he has really started to emerge. From the onset of camp, every day is a competition. Scott has done enough in practice to be a starter.

On Jarrell Oliver:
Kelvin York hasn't slipped, but Jarrell has been one of the pleasant surprises during camp. His initial drawback was pass protection and his responsibilities have come a long way in that area. Really it is a two-way tie for second and there is not a lot of separation between the two. They will both play, but if I had to say, I would give Jarrell the edge.

 

 

On the offense and how much Utah will show against Northern Colorado: A good percentage of it is specific schemes and game plans for your opponent. We will do things next week that you won't see this week. It's an ongoing process. I'm not going to hide anything. We will do what we have to do to run the offense and be productive.

On offensive coordinator Brian Johnson:
This is not the first time he has called plays; he did it plenty as a quarterback. We have had conversations and I have felt very comfortable how he has handled scrimmage situations. He's been outstanding, so there are no reservations whatsoever. I have a great deal of confidence in Brian and he has prepared well for this opportunity.

One thing that he is in charge of now is personnel groups - whatever group is on the field, he is in charge of making the decision on what group is going to be in the game. The biggest difference is making that determination. It's a chess match. You have to stay two to three steps ahead of the defense. He was able to do that as a quarterback and I expect he can do that as a coordinator.

Aaron Roderick is his right-hand man as the passing game coordinator. He will be down on the field along with Dan Finn, and Brian will be up top with several graduate assistants. For the most part we have an excellent offensive staff. It's not just Brian; the installation of this offense was a team effort on the part of five coaches. Brian has no ego - he listens and is eager to accept input and I think it's made a good situation. They are all on the same page and I expect them to be productive.

On the offensive line:
Right now Miles Mason is our left tackle and Bot (Percy Taumoelau) is our right tackle. We have some flexibility. Sam Brenner can move outside as well; we feel comfortable making that switch. Kala Friel and Jeremiah Poutasi have come a long way as well. It's as solidified as it could be, but we still need to see how well things unfold in a game situation.

On Travis Wilson:
Our plan is not to redshirt him. We want him to get involved in the mix and in a game situation. We will dictate where that takes place. There is no set plan, but we hope to be able to give him the football.

On the defense:
We expect to be physical in the front seven and tough against the run. We expect to control the run game every week. No blown assignments in the secondary and execution in responsibilities. The most important thing is to tackle well. I feel we are one of the best tackling teams in the country. The most important skill on defense is the ability to tackle.

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