Whittingham quotes

University of Utah head football coach Kyle Whittingham discussed last week's victory over San Diego State and this week's game with Boise State at his weekly meeting with the media.

On Last Week's Win at San Diego State
"Another outstanding performance by the defense - third week in a row. Five takeaways, two touchdowns scored on defense. That gives us four touchdowns scored on defense in the last two weeks and that's pretty darn good. They're playing very well.

"Eric Weddle was obviously the storyline - three interceptions and it could have been four. He very unselfishly knocked that ball down like he's supposed to in the Hail Mary situation. He was just outstanding. Eric's been kind of quiet the first three weeks of the season due to no fault of his own. They (opponents) just haven't been going his way. So they (SDSU) decided to go his way a little bit in this game and had one little bit of success early. After that, it was Eric Weddle taking over.

"As a whole, defensively. We controlled the game ... 280-some-odd yards is what we gave up. We weren't quite as good against the run as we had been. But still decent numbers.

"Offensively, it was a solid performance. I can't say enough about the offensive line. Still, through four games, they haven't given up a sack. And we're still rushing the football for close to five yards a carry. The offensive line is off to an excellent start. It is only four games in, but so far lights out by the o-line.

"In addition to the o-line, we turned the ball over a couple times and both in the red zone, which are the big downers. That can't happen. We've got to clean that up and be more efficient in the red zone. Our throw game has got to be a little more efficient. Our numbers were not good enough as far as completion percentage and so forth.

"Special teams was probably a wash in this game. I don't think there was any advantage either way on special teams. Louie Sakoda continues to be 100 percent in his placekicking - field goals and PAT. His punting was not as strong as in the first three games, but still adequate.

"Other than that, it was great to get off to a win and get off to a good start in Mountain West Conference play. San Diego State has been a tough venue for us to go down and play in years past. They've played us extremely well down there."

On This Week's Game Against Boise State
"We've got obviously a big challenge ahead of us on Saturday. Boise State is ranked No. 22. It will be a great test for our football team to show what we're all about. We're excited for the game. I've got all the respect in the world for Boise State. They've got a very balanced offensive attack and they're playing very good defense. Their statistical numbers are very similar to ours. There is very little difference between the two football teams, so it should make for a good matchup."

On Boise State's Continued Solid Play Under Different Coaches
"Dirk Koetter got it started back seven or eight years ago and really got that thing going. Of course Coach (Dan) Hawkins took over from there and now Coach (Chris) Petersen. We're still early in the season. But it looks like they haven't missed a beat. That's - number one - the product of good recruiting. They've done a great job getting the right kind of players in there to fit their system. They've done a very thorough job of recruiting and that's where it starts. Their scheme is very good on offense. I'm very impressed with their offensive coordinator, not only his schematics, but his play selection. He does a nice job of keeping you off balance and throwing different things at you. They're combining that with solid defense. That's been their recipe for success."

On the Next Stretch of Games, With TCU Next on Oct. 5
"There is no next little stretch. There is Boise State and that's it. It is a one-game season. This is it. Boise State is all we're thinking about. It is a non-conference game, but make no mistake there is no thought in the back of our mind that we'll take a little deep breath because it is a non-conference game. This is a big game. This is a game to get back some respect and to earn some respect."

On This Game Being a Gauge for the Utes
"I think so. I think it will be a good barometer of where we are in week five. It doesn't make or break the season by any means. No one game ever does. But it's going to be a good barometer of where we stand at about the mid-point of the season."

On BSU Running Back Ian Johnson
"They've got a great running back. The Johnson kid is rushing for 150-plus yards per game. Their offensive line reminds me a lot of ours as far as the offensive line is really the centerpiece and the focal point of what they're doing. Without that offensive line they wouldn't be able to accomplish what they're accomplishing. (Johnson) does everything well. He's got speed, he's got quickness, he's got great vision. He runs tough. He runs behind his pads. He makes those tough yards between the tackles and is capable of getting outside. He really has no weakness. He's just very good in all aspects. He runs bigger than his size. He weighs 194 pounds, but he runs like he's 220-pounder."


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