Whittingham on TCU

Utah head football coach Kyle Whittingham discussed last week's 36-3 loss to Boise State and this week's game with TCU in his weekly meeting with the media Monday.

On the loss to Boise State
"Obviously it was a big disappointment Saturday afternoon. Our fans deserve better. It was a poor performance offensively and defensively. The special teams were actually a positive. We did the two fundamental things that you can't do if you're going to try to win a football game. That's turn the ball over on offense and not defend the run properly on defense. We didn't do either of those things well at all. We had four interceptions and we allowed too many rushing yards. Overall, it was a poor performance on our part. Credit Boise State. They're a fantastic football team. I glanced at their schedule yesterday. If someone's going to beat them, I don't know who it is going to be. They have a great opportunity to perhaps get in that BCS situation. Congrats to them. They did a great job against us.

"The offensive line continues to be a positive. They protected well on Saturday. Five games in a row without a sack is pretty darn good. We rushed the ball for 4-point-something per carry. So those were two areas that weren't quite as bad as the rest of the game. Louie Sakoda punted the heck out of the ball. We're third in the nation in net punting and he's done a nice job punting for us. Defensively, we continue to get takeaways. We got three takeaways on defense last week. Some good things happened. But we played poorly. Boise State played well. They looked good on tape. They looked better in person. They are as advertised. They did a great job and they deserve much of the credit. Our fans just deserve for us to put a better product on the field."

On this Thursday's game with TCU
"What we have to do now is put this behind us. It is a non-conference game. You don't want to downplay it like it never happened. But the point is that we've got seven conference games in a row ahead of us. So we have to re-focus ourselves, correct the errors and deficiencies that were there on Saturday. Namely, getting our throwing game back on track. That's more than just the quarterback. We need better route structure by our receivers, as well as better decision-making and throws. So it isn't just on one guy.

On the season as a whole
"I don't believe in evaluating and nit-picking the season week by week. I believe you judge the season as a whole. As coaches we just have to put (last week) behind us and keep working for the next opponent and trying to get better. All I know is we're 3-2. We've lost to two very good football teams and we've beaten three teams that maybe aren't so good. That's where we're at in reality."

On re-focusing this week
"It is very easy. This is conference. We're 1-0 in the conference. Our goal each and every year is to win the Mountain West Conference. This has nothing - from a standings standpoint (to do with the conference standings) - psychologically we've got to overcome it. The way to re-focus the team is that everything is right in front of us. Everything that we want to accomplish is right in front of us."

On psychologically recovering from a loss like last week
"You have to (put it behind you as fast as you can). Especially when you have a short turnaround. Ninety-six hours later we have to line up. So we can't dwell on it. We've got to put it behind us very rapidly and look forward very rapidly. It does not get any easier this week. TCU is every bit of the football team - in fact moreso - than Boise State, as far as sheer speed. They're a very fast football team. We've got our work cut out for us."

On relying on seniors to get beyond last week's loss
"(We'll rely on them) a bunch. The captains and the seniors on this football team, they're the ones. Last year when we went through that tough skid - the three-game losing streak right in the middle of the season - that's who we turned to to help get the thing turned around and pull us out of it. They did a great job. Now we're looking at these guys right here to do the same thing right now ... rally the troops, circle the wagons and all that type of stuff to get headed back in the right direction."

On TCU compared to last year
"There are a lot of similarities. The offensive line has had some turnover and they lost the great receiver. But the backs and quarterback and rest of the receivers ... and the defense is back almost in its entirety. They've got a couple safeties that will just whack you, some linebackers who can really run and two speed ends off the edge. You saw what they did to Texas Tech and Baylor."


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