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Whittingham quotes from weekly press conference

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Coach Whittingham held his weekly press conference Monday where he discussed the TCU game and the upcoming conference game with Wyoming.

"Some keys to our victory ... Number-one, offensively, we ran the football very effectively, relative to the defense we were facing. They were giving up in the neighborhood of 70 yards a game rushing. I think they had not given up more than 80 for seven straight games. We put 130-something yards of rushing together, which was very positive. We defended the run, held them under 100 yards rushing. We took care of the football on offense. Only one turnover, although it was in the red zone and we've got to solve that problem. That's two weeks in a row we've turned the ball over in the red zone.

Utah's offense did play well against TCU's strong defense and they will face another test this week with Wyoming. The most important thing Utah needs to do is cut up Wyoming's secondary, which will be difficult. If they can do that, with a balanced running game, their offense should have what it takes to beat Wyoming. However if they fail to do this, it'll be a close, low scoring game that could go Wyoming's way.

"Defensively, we got three takeaways. We're second in the country in takeaways. Other than final score, that's the name of the game. I'm very pleased with how the defense is giving the offense the ball back and in short-field situations.

Utah's defense played well Thursday night, however TCU's offense has also been fairly bad this season. Saturday they face another below average offense, so the defense should do a good job at holding Wyoming to a low score, unless the offense turns the ball over.

Whittingham then discussed the game against Wyoming.

"Wyoming is a tough opponent and it is always a tough road trip up to Laramie. They're playing extremely well on defense. They are fourth in the country right now in total defense and first in the country in pass defense. They're playing hard on defense. Their scheme is very good. They're executing the scheme very well. They are coming off a good win against New Mexico at New Mexico. So they're feeling good about themselves right now. We've got to go up there, once again, and play with passion, play with emotion and play our best football to have a chance."

Wyoming's defense scares me a lot and if Utah's offense struggles, this could be a difficult game. It will be important for Utah to set the tempo early on offense, much like they did against TCU Thursday night. If they can score early, or at least move the ball, Wyoming may be backed into a corner and the Utes could be in for a successful afternoon.

"The scheme has changed very little, offensively. It is just different players. They've changed quarterbacks and gone with the lefty. You throw in their tape from last year and you throw in a tape from this year and there is very little change as far as play selection, routes that type of thing."

Wyoming is not a very good offensive team, so if the Utes do not turn the ball over, Wyoming probably won't put too many points on the board. However if the Wyoming defense forces turnovers in Utah territory, giving the Utes a short field, there is no reason why the Cowboys won't score enough points to win.

This is an important game for the Utes, as a 3-0 start in conference play would put them in the drivers seat for a conference championship. Wyoming however is a team that's very capable of winning. Their record is bad, but they've lost all 4 of their games by only a combined 31-points. I see either a really close game that goes either way, or a game much like 2005, where the Utes dominated.