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

Nov. 14, 2011

Opening statement:
I thought we played another good football game against UCLA. It was very much the same blueprint that we've used for the last few weeks. The defense was solid from start to finish. We just gave up two field goals, and one of those was in a short field situation. We only had one miscue on special teams. A dropped punt return was the only negative, otherwise we did a very good job on special teams. The offense did another outstanding job doing what we need to do to win the game. John White scored three touchdowns, and we didn't turn the ball over. Jon Hays did what we needed him to do to win. It's a positive step for the team and the program. It was good to see Conroy Black get two interceptions, one which was returned for a touchdown, as part of the defensive effort. The front seven played well on defense also. Star Lotulelei is a guy who rarely shows up in the stats, but the presence he has on the field for us is big. He's a big part of our success on defense.

We are in a similar situation to last week, where Washington is coming off a big win over Arizona State, ironically enough. Their freshman quarterback (Connor Halliday) is playing exceptionally well. He threw for almost 500 yards against Arizona State. There is not a lot of tape on him, and we have to prepare for him. Their receiver (Marquess) Wilson is a good target. We'll go up there and play in cold weather again, which shouldn't bother us a bit.

On WSU quarterback Connor Halliday:
We got a good sampling of what he's all about in the game against ASU. He played all but the first few series, so we have a good amount of film on him. He's a pocket passer, much like Brock Osweiler and Nick Foles. He is big, and likes to stay in the pocket and throw the ball.

On Shawn Asiata:
We're grateful that he did come back and earned a scholarship. We awarded one to him and Tauni Vakapuna. Having Shawn on the field is like having a sixth offensive lineman. He's a sledgehammer in blocking. He is instrumental in our run game. We have given him the ball a few times on throws, and we may hand him the ball once or twice to see what happens. Essentially, he's an offensive guard in the backfield, and he's been instrumental to our success running the ball.



On the defense:
First of all, they have played well. We had one bad half of run defense against Washington. Other than that, it's been very consistent. We talked all preseason of the strength of the line, and that has really been the starting point. We're playing very good at linebacker and effectively in the backfield, but it starts up front. Great defense starts up front. We've had excellent play from the defensive line and great consistency from the entire defense.

On the pass defense against Pac-12 quarterbacks:
It's a league full of great quarterbacks. The kid we will see this week appears to be in the same role, and he's just a redshirt freshman. We've got to be prepared. Our pass defense has historically been good. This year the completion percentage has been a little higher than in years past because of the accuracy of these quarterbacks. That's the nature of this conference - it's filled with accurate passers. Even though this guy has one game under his belt, it appears that he is in the same mold as the other guys.

On Lucky Radley:
He is home now and should be back tonight. It is unfortunate what happened. He is there to support his family and his mom, and he'll be rejoining us this evening.

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