Happy days are here again, but will they last? Whittingham held his weekly press conference and discussed the Louisville game and Utah's next opponent, San Diego State. This is what he had to say.
The offense played well. But how much of that was Louisville's meager defense? If Utah can have another offensive performance like Friday this Saturday, they might just have turned the corner.
I'm glad Whittingham isn't ignoring some issues on defense. The Utes looked great in the first half on the defensive end, but really struggled stopping Brohm in the second. And while Louisville has a fantastic offense, that is no excuse for Utah allowing them to go off like they did. Luckily, Utah had just enough in them to stem the tide.
Sakoda has clearly been the MVP of this team. It does suck, though, he missed his first career PAT. But I think he more than made up for it with that 46-yard field goal that pretty much put the game out of reach.
That meltdown at the end of the first half nearly cost Utah the game. If the Utes had been able to get a touchdown, or even a FG, that would pretty much have ended any chance of a Louisville comeback. But since they didn't, the Cardinals got within one score of Utah twice in the second half and that one score was only 6 points -- meaning a touchdown and extra point would have won it for them. Hopefully the team can get their mismanaged sideline issues fixed for this doesn't happen again.
On San Diego State
Typical as in...bad?
San Diego State got a nice win on the road against CSU, but the Rams are awful. Now it's up to Utah to not UNLV up this game.
On the first half of the season
We're 3-3 and we don't have all the answers, and we have some deficiencies that we need to clear up. But, lately, I've been encouraged by what I've seen from the team.
On offense, things are heading in a positive direction across the board. On defense, I didn't say this earlier, but they did an excellent job against Louisville's run game. They turned Louisville into a one-dimensional team, and we got them out of whack. I think our defense is tackling better now, but we need to get better at our pass rush.
Most fans thought Utah would be 3-3 at the halfway point, but not many expected Utah to go 3-1 in out of conference play. And if they did, I'm sure none thought they would be 0-2 in conference play. If Utah can finish the season 5-1 or better, I will feel pretty good about this year. And while TCU, Wyoming, New Mexico and BYU all could be losses, if Utah plays up to their talent level, they should win most -- if not all -- those games. If they continue their sporadic play, they probably won't win more than 6 games.
On returning to conference play
Utah needs this win. If they don't get it, well then damn 'em. But I'm confident they will...so we'll see, I guess.
Obviously Whittingham is optimistic, but he sounded very optimistic after the UCLA game, too. We know how that turned out. Regardless, go Utes!