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Whittingham quotes from weekly press conference

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Yay, it's game day! But before we get to that thread, we've got some stuff to finish first.

A three game winning streak and a chance to make that four tonight against TCU. That was the topic, along with Utah's victory over San Diego State, during Whitt's weekly press conference.

It was good to get into the win column in the Mountain West Conference. It was a solid football game for us. We had good offensive production, and I think we controlled the football well. Brian Johnson played completed more than 75 percent of his passes, he managed the game and he moved the football.

It wasn't a bad game from Brian Johnson, but obviously the coaches were content with sticking to the ground game. I don't expect the Frogs' defensive line to rollover like San Diego State's did.

Darrell Mack is turning into someone that we can count on, and our offensive line did a good job for him. We got 280-plus running yards and you can attribute that to the play of the offensive line.

We had a lot of offensive production.

Mack has been one of the biggest keys on offense. Utah is now 4-0 when he goes for 100 or more and 0-3 when he does not. If Mack has success on the ground like he has the past three weeks, Utah should be in good position to win.

Our defense was the story of the game. That was the best game they played all season. They held San Diego State to seven points and just over 200 yards of offense and to 12 first downs - all were season lows for San Diego State. Our defense only missed four tackles and that has been a barometer of how well we play.

Utah's defense has played far above what anyone expected heading into this season. I can't say enough about how they've come together. Hopefully it continues and the offense keeps improving.

We have a short week before we play at TCU on the road, and on national TV. In watching TCU, it's easy to see why they were picked as one of the favorites in the Mountain West Conference. They are very talented and have a lot weapons. They got off to a slow start but they are starting to find their offense, and that was evident in their win over Stanford last week. A tough opponent like TCU is always a challenge that we look forward to.

TCU is going to be a tough team that's difficult to peg, just like Utah. They're coming off a good win against Stanford, but have struggled recently. I expect a rejuvenated Frogs team that isn't going to just wilt at any sign of adversity.

On the defensive play over the last two weeks

Our pass coverage was suspect against Louisville. Our corners, Brice McCain and Sean Smith, played a lot better against San Diego State. We held Kevin O'Connell to under a 50 percent completion percentage and under 200 yards passing. And, when do that against a team that's committed to the passing game, that's good defense.

That could have something to do with the fact Kevin O'Connell is not a very good passer. But what do I know?

Run defense

We got Gable Long back and he's our big run-stopper on the line. We moved Koa Misi to the outside, and the whole team is just tackling better.

Tackling is important. I still have nightmares about the missed tackles in that UNLV game.

Oh the horror!

Kyle likes BJ

We'll see how healthy Brian Johnson gets as the season progresses. Corbin Louks brings a lot of the same things that Eric Weddle brought to the team at quarterback. Corbin brings another element to the game, and it's just one more thing that opposing defenses have to prepare for. We have a different offensive package that we run when he's in the game.

I expect to see him the rest of the way. There's no guarantee that we'll see Corbin every week because the situation dictates his play. But, I like the package we bring to the game with him.

As for Brian, his health will dictate when he's ready to run more.

Johnson is still playing hurt, which is why Louks has played so much. But even injured, BJ is still the best quarterback in the Mountain West (and yes I actually do believe this).

The pains and gains of Thursday games

It's a double-edged sword. Our kids are going to miss two days of class. Then, we return at 4 a.m., on Friday and we expect them to get up and go to class that very morning. If I had my druthers, I would like to see less play on Thursday night. But, it's also good exposure for the program and a good recruiting tool.

So, from an academic standpoint, I'd like to see less Thursday games. From an exposure and recruiting point of view, it's a positive.

But hey, it's still better than Sunday games, right? I'm sure you all watched the Nevada, Boise State game Sunday night. Oh wait, you didn't? Well don't worry, 98% of the country didn't, either.

Thursday games are ok, just as long as they don't fill the entire schedule.

History tells you that if you have three losses, it's tough to win a league championship. I'm trying to think to our days in the Western Athletic Conference and I can't remember a three-loss team winning that championship in that league either. So, three losses puts you in a situation where it will be difficult to win the league title.

But, every week's a big game for us. All of our games are conference games from here on out. I know it's an old coach's cliché, but it's applicable to us and this team: We have to take it one game at a time and then we'll go from there.

History tells me no team is going to win the Mountain West with 3-losses. So it's more than tough, you probably stand a better chance of deciphering a Bush rant than you do of seeing a 3-loss MWC team win the Mountain West. Yes, this game against TCU is big. Not just because it means a chance at the MWC crown (winning out would give Utah a tie), but it also can save the season, since there isn't really a tough game on the schedule until BYU.

We plan to increase the number of Texas players on our roster each year. We have about 12 on it right now and we want to top out at about 25 players from there. But, playing at TCU is a great recruiting tool. We tell every recruit that we'll make a trip to their home state every other year.

Texas players = quick, strong athletes. Utah's defense is faster and that is a direct result of the new recruiting methods being used by this coaching staff. Hopefully they can coach these kids, as well!

Whittingham said see ya' sucker, took off for Fort Worth and hopefully has his team ready to kick some Horned Frog ass. Fry it up on the grill and have ourselves a good ol' fashion southern trailer trash barbeque! I'z bring da possum!