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Kyle Whittingham Weekly Press Conference (Nov. 8)

Nov 8, 2021

SALT LAKE CITY – University of Utah football head coach Kyle Whittingham met with members of the media on Monday morning inside of the Spence and Cleone Eccles Football Center.

The full press conference can be viewed here, and selected quotes from Coach Whittingham can be seen below.

The Utes (6-3, 5-1 Pac-12) are fresh off another dominate win against Stanford on Friday, outgaining the Cardinal 440-28 in the first half alone. This week, Utah heads down to Tucson, Ariz., for its final regular season road game on Saturday, Nov. 13 against the Arizona Wildcats (1-8, 1-5 Pac-12). Kickoff is set for 12:00 p.m. MT and will air on Pac-12 Networks.

Opening Statement
"Obviously we played very well on Friday night and we had a great week of practice and preparation, but I definitely didn't see that coming. To play the way we did in the first half, that may have been our best half of football in a long time. It was good to get the win and that's out mode right now. One game at a time, one week at a time and that was our entire focus last week – trying to get a win on the road. It will be the same this week and there will be no difference in the way we prepare, in the way we approach things, our focus, our attitude and our mindset. If we can stay in the same mode we are in right now, not looking past anybody, understanding that the game is won Monday through Friday with your preparation and just continue to work hard during the week then that will be in our best interest."

On Tavion Thomas and how Whittingham continued to give him chances given his bumpy start to the season…  
"Well it was the talent level that we saw. His talent is very apparent and he's got size, he's got speed, he's got quickness and pretty much everything you are looking for in a running back. Early on, the ball security wasn't where it needed to be and by no means did we ever consider giving up on him. We knew that we needed to continue bringing him along and get him to the point where everybody felt confidence in him carrying the football and that he was going to protect it."

On Arizona snapping their 20-game losing streak and giving them a spark to make this game more challenging…
"Certainly. That game has to give them confidence and they got the win and I'm sure they are going to do everything in their power to continue the momentum. Conversely, we are going to do everything in our power to try to get a win on the road."

On if Whittingham or the team feels any pressure leading the Pac-12 south…
"I don't personally feel any and with our players, there is no indication that they feel any. We never talk about it in meetings and we just say we are in a good position. That's as close as we come to talking about the standings and we just know that the key to everything is that we control our destiny. That's the main thing, that we are able to control our destiny and not have to rely on anyone else."

On what Whittingham sees from Devin Lloyd in terms of NFL ability…
"I see exactly what the NFL looks for in linebackers. He's got the size, speed, explosion, athleticism, intelligence, you know everything that you see in those elite linebackers in the NFL Devin possesses. He may have had his best game this past Friday night and that interception he made was incredible. He's leading the league in sacks, leading the league in tackles-for-loss and somewhere in the top three or four in total tackles so he's having an exceptional year."

On how this year's offense is rivaling 2019's and the similarities between the two…
"Offensively I would say yes. That's why it was so frustrating early in the year because we knew we had the pieces and general building blocks to become a really good offense and we sputtered early in the year. But once we got the quarterback position settled, once the O-line started playing like they were capable of, once we got the personnel groups majored in the right groups and started to run the football efficiently everything started to click."