Kyle Whittingham Weekly Press Conference

The Utah head coach speaks about the loss to USC and looks ahead to BYU...

Transcript from Kyle Whittingham's weekly press conference:

Obviously, it was a tough loss at the Coliseum for us. I am extremely proud of the way that our players hung in there and fought to the bitter end. We had the opportunity to put it into overtime and we didn't take advantage of that. We have things to build on.

The defense played opportunistic and got key takeaways and key stops that we had to have. Offensively, the throw game was improved. It was more productive, we took more shots downfield and had more receivers making plays on the ball. The run game was not good and we've got to continue to address that. Going forward we need more production in the run game. Even though this is week three, it's rivalry week. Our players will respond from this road trip and be ready to go. The team has a great attitude and great leadership and I don't see any issues getting back and getting in the right mindset to prepare for the upcoming game.

On the rivalry: It is what it is, and what it's always been. It's a big in-state event, maybe the biggest sports event in the state every year. Players get up for this game and the fans are excited. The timing is different and it will have a different feel, but it should be every bit as intense and competitive as its been.

It has gotten a little overboard in situations. Hopefully cooler heads will prevail and hopefully we will have uneventful situations on the field and in the stands. This is a great rivalry, but there is a line that we don't want to cross over - we being everyone involved.

Injury report: Tauni Vakapuna should be good to go for practice tomorrow, as should Shawn Asiata. Health-wise, we are in pretty good shape. We had a few guys get nicked up last week, but it doesn't look like anyone will be missing.

On Jordan Wynn and BYU quarterback Jake Heaps: Our guy has won a lot of games for us. He is a true junior, so he is a year older than Jake Heaps is. They are similar in styles. They are both pocket guys, and Heaps has a very strong arm that is one of his main attributes. I don't know enough about him personality-wise to make any more statements, but our guy is a student of the game and knows where to go with the ball. He has an understanding of the game as a whole. He came in as a bright young quarterback but has matured and understands the intricacies at the college level. He has an exceptional football IQ. I believe both guys are playing in correct schemes for them.

On the score change at USC: That was odd. I didn't know until the next morning and I still haven't gotten an official explanation one-on-one with the people in charge who made that decision, but I am scheduled to talk to Tony Corrente (Pac-12 Coordinator of Football Officiating) today. It was inconsequential on the outcome and it's not a big deal to me because we still lost, but I would like an explanation moving forward. We're not whining or crying, but we would like an interpretation.

On kicker Coleman Petersen: He's our guy. Although the kick was lower than you'd like, there was a little push on the right side, so a combination of that led to the block. Although no one came through clean but got knocked back, their big lineman went through the flight of the ball. The hold was good and the snap was good. Coleman handled that well, it just didn't work out for us.

On the run game: We have to look at all our options to supplement it, rather than just John White. We need to look at everything and decide what we are going to do to supplement it.

On Joe Kruger: We spoke very highly of Joe during the spring and in the preseason, and he is living up to that billing. His upside is tremendous and he hasn't even scratched the surface of his abilities. He's just so gifted and rangy and athletic. He's been a very good player for us and we need him to continue on that upward plane and continue to be a force.

On the BYU defense: They've been playing good defense, particularly against the run. They are stout up front, their linebackers are active and make a lot of plays for them. Through two games they have been very stingy.

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