Kyle Whittingham press conference

Quotes from University of Utah head football coach Kyle Whittingham from his weekly press conference. The coach discussed the Utes' win over UNLV

On the win over UNLV Two Weeks Ago
"I thought we played well on offense. Brett (Ratliff) had his best day of the season. (Darryl) Poston had his best day of the season. (Brent) Casteel had his best day. Robert Conley, our right guard, has his best game as a Ute. So there were a lot of positives coming out of that game. We put 45 points on the board. On third down we were very effective. It was real positive from an offensive standpoint.

"Defensively, we played well up until the fourth quarter. We got a little soft in the fourth quarter. Overall, we scored again on defense and set up a score at the end of the first half, which really gave us momentum going into halftime. That's our sixth score on defense this year.

"The punting game was solid again ... the kickoff game. All the special teams were solid, which they have been all year long."

On Colorado State This Week
"It's a game we need to win if we want to stay in any sort of hopes for ... postseason play and so forth. We have to take care of our business and hope to get some help along the way as well (with regard to the conference standings). Those two games (BYU-Wyoming and TCU-New Mexico), in addition to ours, will make it a more definitive race than it is now. That will take care of a couple of the question marks.

On the Attitude of the Team
"The attitude of the team is very good. We got three days off ... Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Hopefully that rejuvenated their minds and their bodies. We should have everybody healthy this week, except for Mike Liti. He won't be available for the remainder of the season. But Kelly Talavou should be back and all the bumps and bruises we had earlier should be healed up. So the bye came at an opportune time. We've got three to go and the only one we're looking at is the one right in front of us, which is CSU at Noon on Saturday."

On the Running Back Situation With Liti Out
"Darrell Mack has got to step up. We've got to get some quality reps out of Darrell. Ray Stowers is another guy who needs to pick up some of the slack. Between those three guys (including Darryl Poston), we've got to get it done. R.J. (Stanford) is going to play some defense. We moved him to defensive back over the bye week. We're thin at DB and it looks like he's got a lot of potential there. It looks like for the remainder of the season, barring unforeseen circumstances, we're going to keep him over on defense."

More on Colorado State
"They've struggled running the ball this year. That's been their main nemesis ... the inability to generate yardage on the ground. Any time it is hard to run the ball, everything else becomes hard, although they're doing a nice job throwing it. When teams know you have to throw it, it is a little bit different issue than when you can throw it by choice. Sonny Lubick traditionally has a physical ground attack that is very potent. But losing the back (Kyle Bell) early in the year really was a blow. They just have not been able to establish that running game.

"Defensively, they are scrappy and they play hard. Just what you'd expect out of a Sonny Lubick defense. They are very good in their zone coverage, they hustle to the football and they're tough guys."

On Goals for the Last Three Games
"Our goal right now is to get to six ... six wins. Technically, that gets you bowl eligible. So all our focus is on this Colorado State game this Saturday. If we can take care of business there and get to six, we're at that magical number and then we'll worry about who's next."

More on the CSU Defense
"They're not bad. They're 24th in the country in total defense. They're playing hard on defense. Ever since Sonny got there - Sonny's a defensive guy, that's his forte, he was a defensive coordinator for a lot of years. They're always going to be good on defense and they are again this year. They get a lot of guys involved. They play a lot of zone defense with a lot of zone pressure. They're very sound. That's probably the word that best describes them, defensively. They're sound fundamentally, technique and scheme-wise."

On Lots of Close Games with CSU
"I wouldn't expect anything else. Last year was the epitome of our series with them, at least since I've been here. It's always a physical game and it usually goes right down to the end. It couldn't have been any closer last year, with us getting down to the one-inch line. Absolutely, it has been a great series ... hard-fought, physical contests."

On Last Year's Game as Motivation
"Every player has it in the back of his mind. We don't make a big deal about revenge and payback and that type of deal. But as a player and as a competitor, I don't see how it can not loom in the back of your mind."


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