Whittingham quotes from weekly press conference

The Coach held his weekly press conference where discussed last week's abortion and the Utes upcoming game against New Mexico.

"We went up to Wyoming and they stuck it to us pretty good. There's no beating around the bush. Their defense really controlled the football game.I'm very impressed with their defense. They are very worthy of their number-three ranking in the country (in total defense). We just never really could get anything under way on the offensive side of the ball.

Their defense only controlled the football game because you coaches failed to make the adjustments needed to win the game. Utah's offense had no business going through the air knowing that the Cowboys' weakness was their run defense. Instead of passing, they should have gone to the ground game and let that set up the pass. Ludwig went into the game saying Utah would beat Wyoming through the air, well how'd that turn out for you, Lud?

"The bottom line with this team is ... after going through things from A to Z, three or four times over ... it is very simple. When we take care of the football and don't turn it over, we're very good. When we turn it over, we stink. In our three losses we've turned the ball over 11 times and in our four wins we've turned it over four times. It's not hard to figure out. Now, why do we turn the ball over? If we had that answer, we'd have our problem solved.

You're kidding me, right? You're turning the ball over because the quarterback has an unbelievable ability of throwing to the defender. Here's a concept, why not run the ball more instead of risking it through the air? The Utes lost to Wyoming because their passing game turned the ball over too many times. They turned the ball over too many times because Wyoming actually has a good defense and the Utes failed to adjust to it. It's not exactly rocket science we're talking about here. If you want to control the turnovers, either deviate from the pass or put in a competent quarterback capable of going a game without throwing multiple picks.

So what's the game plan for New Mexico?

"It's the same scenario we found ourselves in two weeks ago, when we were coming off a tough loss, with a short turnaround and we were playing TCU. The difference this week is that we're playing on the road. We have got to regroup. There is no shortage of work ethic on the staff or on the players' behalf. We're going to keep working, keep searching and trying to find answers. Job one this week against New Mexico has got to be possess the football. That has been our nemesis. That has led to our demise more so than any other factor, hands down. Protecting the football. That's what we've got to take care of. That's going to be our focal point - as it is each and every week - but even more so this week."

Regroup? That's the least of your worries right now, Coach. Your team isn't succeeding because you're not putting them in position to do so. Run the damn ball! Don't relent, shove that ball down New Mexico's defensive line. If you rely on Ratliff's arm he very well could have an average enough game to get Utah the victory, but he also very well could turn around and toss 3 or 4 picks that cost the Utes the game. You take care of the ball by going away from the problem causing the turnovers. That means either bench Ratliff or run the ball more than what Utah currently is doing.

Finally, Whittingham once again shows his support for Ludwig. Though I didn't expect anything less because Whittingham is not the kind of coach to call out his assistants in the media, which is actually good because that can create a lot of problems. But sadly, there is no reading between the lines with this one, Ludwig is Whittingham's guy and most likely will be unless Dr. Chris Hill forces Whit to fire his best friend.

"I've got a lot of faith in (offensive coordinator) Andy Ludwig and what he's done. People say play-calling and this and that. Those are the same plays we led the Mountain West Conference and were 11th in the nation (in total offense) last year. It is not schematics. I don't believe it is play selection. We've got to be better executing what is called. I am certainly privy to what's going on offensively and involved with understanding what Andy is doing and what's going on over there. Am I as involved there as defense? Absolutely not. Defense is my forte. But I have a lot of faith in Andy and what he does."

Once again Whittingham pawns the Utes problems off on the players. This is getting ridiculous, when will he realize both the players and coaching staff are equally to blame? That vaunted Utah offense last season still struggled when it mattered the most, putting Ws in the win column. This year's offense however has not adapted to its weaknesses and that's the biggest problem, not the personnel -- though I'll admit that is a huge problem as well.

I don't know what to think about Whittingham's press conference. It really bugged me how he didn't really say anything or take any blame for the problems this team has faced this season. Instead of saying the buck stops at his desk, he's throwing the players under a bus and when a coach does that, you know he's too stubborn to change. Too stubborn to realize that his leadership is becoming a hindrance on this program. If he keeps this up, there will be a player revolt much like what happened to John Mackovic down at Arizona.

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