A good win for the team on Saturday against Iowa State. We had a great team effort but we also had great individual efforts. Shaky Smithson did his thing again in the return game and he threw a touchdown pass. Reggie Dunn had another explosive play. Jordan Wynn played well and had good numbers. Shaky and Jordan were Mountain West Conference Players of the Week, which is a great honor for those guys. We were productive on offense overall, which was good to see after a few turnovers early. That was a big negative. We were a little soft in the run game defensively, but it was a good effort otherwise. We played hard and played together and played with passion and emotion. It was a positive evening.
Wyoming is coming off a tough loss to TCU. All of their losses have been to top 25 teams. I think Dave Christensen had done a nice job with that program. He has had a rough go of it at the beginning of the season. We have got to go about our business as we always do with the same preparation and the same mentality. There is no difference to our approach.
Injury-wise, we are in good shape. Jordan Wynn dinged his shoulder but he was able to come back and play very well. We expect he will be full go on Saturday. J.J. Williams is probably going to be out for another week. Hopefully at some point he can return, but we don't know when that is.
On big plays for special teams: We have not put any more emphasis on it than in the past. Shaky has been playing with a lot of confidence and is coming into his own. He has a great feel for the punt return game. He came up a few yards short on Saturday, and that would have been four weeks in a row we have scored with the punt return unit. It's a matter of playmakers. Reggie Dunn is maybe the fastest guy on the team. To have the ball in his hands is a big plus. Our second and third string guys are comprising the majority of those units, so our recruiting efforts are starting to manifest in the special teams. The team speed on special teams is very good.
On the team's character: I have been here 16 years and I don't think there is a team that I have enjoyed being around more. They genuinely care about each other and their unselfish streak is a tremendous asset. They are still blue collar and there are no major headliners, they are a group of guys who are not concerned or care about who is getting press or headlines, they just care about winning. That's good to be around.
On the offensive comparisons to 2004: I think the bottom line is similar as far as production. There is a lot of football left. We are far from feeling like we have all the answers in any area and we are a work in progress trying to improve each week. We have a quarterback who we feel really good about like Alex Smith. We have a productive set of receivers and we have two good backs in Matt Asiata and Eddie Wide, like Marty Johnson and Quinton Ganther. The scheme has been tweaked, but the basic premise of the spread attack is still intact. There have been quite a few similarities in production.
On playing in Wyoming: There have been some great battles in Laramie. They smacked us around a few years back in 2006. There have been some right-down-to-the-wire games up there. I remember as a player going up and playing in snowstorms. In 1980, they beat us there when Jimmy Mac was our quarterback. That was a miserable experience.
On Austyn Carta-Samuels: He is a mobile quarterback. He didn't play Saturday against TCU and I don't know his status. He is a guy who is capable with his legs as well in his arm. I'm not sure if we're going to see him or the other quarterback.
Kyle Whittingham Press Conference
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