UNC-Utah: Kyle Whittingham Quotes

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Post-game thoughts from the Utes' head coach.

On being down 10-7 at halftime and turnovers changing the game:
"Absolutely, turnovers were critical. We turned the ball over five times, which is – you're not going to win any football games turning it over five times. It's just not going to happen.

"And defensively, we played fairly well. Two things that hurt us were the turnovers and letting them have the kickoff return the opening play of the game. That's ridiculous. That should never happen.

"You're right; coming in at halftime 10-7 was a blessing. As poorly as we had played, we were fortunate to be only down 10-7 at that point.

"Big turning point of the game also when was Eric Weddle's pick for a touchdown gets called back. You know, it was roughing the passer I guess. So, that was a critical play also."

On it being a winnable game where key plays just weren't made:
"Certainly, we had our chances. Right now, we're just a good football team. And until we can win a tough game on the road, that's all we're going to be – a good football team. That's all we are. Until we go into somebody's house and win a tough one on the road, we're just a good team."

More on the critical roughing the passer call:
"When I saw it – as it happened – I didn't think so. However, there was not reaply in the stands, and I very well could be wrong. It looked like a bang-bang play to me where it was released and hit right after. I can't say for certain until I see it on tape. But as it happened, I thought it was a legal hit. But obviously, I haven't had a chance to see the replay yet."

On the abundance of penalties:
"Oh yeah, penalties. We were penalized…what? Twelve times for 100 yards? That's far beyond… We've been averaging five a game. That's another thing you can't do. You can't be that penalized and hope to overcome it. You combine all the negatives we had – the penalties, the turnovers, the kickoff return for a touchdown – too much to overcome."

On the motivation of the Tar Heels:
"Yeah, they were motivated. They should be. If they weren't, there would be something wrong with them after what happened to them last year. That's human nature."
On the improved Carolina defense giving up fewer yards:
"I thought they played tougher against the run than they did last year. I think the front seven is more active and just a better overall front seven than what we saw last year. And yeah, you're right, a little bit less – it was half. It was 600-plus [yards of total offense] last year and 300-plus this year. So it was a much better job by them defensively. Much better."

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