No. 13 Utah lost to No. 8 Oregon 35-6 Saturday afternoon at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Kyle Whittingham returned to Utah’s second defeat of the season (6-2, 3-2 Pac-12)
Below is a transcript of Whittingham’s post-match press conference.
“Not many positives in this match for us. This is as complete and solid as we have been beaten in a long time, especially at home. Give Oregon credit, they’re a complete football team, like I’ve been saying all week. Tremendous talent, size, speed, athleticism, depth on both sides of the ball. They took it to us and we really didn’t do much in any phase of the match. The two things we focused on were winning the line of scrimmage and winning the turnover battle and we did neither, among many other things we didn’t. not done. But once again, they fully deserve their ranking. I have a lot of respect for what they do up there. They brought it to us today.
“We had to regroup, go back into the film room on Monday and figure out what our gaps were, which seem to be many. We had a good week of preparation, our practices were really good last week, but we just couldn’t do anything today. They got us the ball, Bo Nix, a tremendous quarterback. I think he was 14 for 16 in the first half, I don’t know what he ended up with but he’s shooting the ball with almost an 80% success rate. The backs run hard and physically. The line on both sides is really good. They’re really good and thank Dan Lanning for what he’s doing up there.
“For us, I don’t want to go back to the drawing board, but we have to figure things out. Good teams respond and we will respond. I have a lot of players in this locker room who are obviously very disappointed. We must come back. Sometimes in life you get knocked down and you have to get back up, come back, regroup, figure things out and get things done next week. That’s where we are at the moment, we still have a lot of football left. We still have a third of the season left at 6-2, which means everyone wants to be undefeated, but we’ve won some big games. Just as good a mystery as we played last week and as many games as we did last week, only to not be able to do much this week. A lot of that came from Oregon, I don’t want to downplay what they did today at all. The score was not indicative – the play was a mismatch. It was worse than the score indicated. We need to regroup, pick ourselves up and get back on track.
Last time he felt this way defensively:
“Hell, probably TCU (in 2010) in this stadium. As I thought after the game trying to remember an experience like that, this was probably it.
Coming back from a tough defeat:
“Well, adversity and tough times like this reveal character and I believe we have a lot of character in our locker room. A lot of guys are very proud and we will come back and respond and work even harder this week and We will work to get back on track. When you get beat like that, you don’t want to go in and berate your team and intimidate them. What happened there was enough. I have to let them know that you still believe in them, what I believe in them, I believe in the coaches. It’s a football game, we don’t want to overreact, but we didn’t play very well.
On challenge of the number of injured players:
“No one cares if you get hurt. I never want to play that card. Whatever you have at your disposal, you need to understand it and make the most of what you have. Sure, we’re missing a lot of good players that we would have liked to have, but a lot of teams around the country are in the same boat. There are teams that are also missing a lot of players. Injuries are an unfortunate part of this game. My least favorite part of the game and the job is seeing these young men get hurt. But to answer your question, we have to make do with what we have.
On turnover figures:
“I’ll have to watch the movie. I know we returned it (twice) times. I know on an interception the receiver stopped and caught Bryson by surprise, he wasn’t supposed to stop there. We did a really good job of taking care of the ball offensively throughout the season and it wasn’t… it’s not excessive but our margin for error, against a team like that, we cannot start from the negative side. of the turnover ledger and that is what we did. We are at minus one.
“Probably our worst tackling performance of the season. I can’t say for sure until I watch the tape, but I’m guessing that’s what it’s going to be. We had been a great tackle team up until this week. We’ve missed single-digit tackles in all but one of our games this year, and that’s really good. If you can miss a number, you’re really good.
As for whether they’ll learn the team’s determination in how they play next week:
“Of course we will. We did it after Oregon State. There is a team that will go undefeated in a season, maybe not even one. Everyone will be in the same situation, and you have to resolve, get back up and keep swinging.
Why the racing game failed:
“I didn’t win the line of scrimmage. They being more physical. We very rarely get overwhelmed physically, but today we were overwhelmed at the line of scrimmage. If I had to say what the biggest problem with the entire game was, this was it.
On Bryson Barnes’ two interceptions:
“He’s a tough kid. One of them definitely wasn’t his fault. He was surprised by what the receiver did. Bryson Barnes is a competitor. He’s our guy and we believe in him and he’ll bounce back.
On the Oregon beat:
“Not really in rhythm, the quarterback was off and the running game was solid. It wasn’t really the pace that made us suffer, it was the lack of our physicality that didn’t match their physicality. As mentioned, he doesn’t tackle well enough and Bo Nix is an extremely accurate thrower. I think he runs the nation and if not, he’s close.
MORE DUCKS COVERAGE