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Whittingham quotes from weekly press conference

A win changes the entire landscape of a season, especially when it comes against the 11th ranked team in the nation. A happier Whittingham discussed Utah's victory and looked ahead to UNLV in his weekly press conference

Solid performance against UCLA. I thought we had guys step up. We talked about that early in the week, how needed guys to step up and get some thing going in the right direction.

Offensively, take your pick of several guys who did a nice job for us. Tommy Grady, Darrell Mack, who was the Mountain West Conference Offensive Player of the Week. Offensive line as a whole did an outstanding job. The unsung hero was Caleb Schlauderaff. A redshirt freshman guard, he had to step in when when (starting left guard) injured and ankle and had to come out. Caleb played rest of the way and had an outstanding performance in his first significant playing time.

Solid is putting it lightly, more like amazing. 44-6 is complete domination and hopefully it rolls over into this week.

I think Utah had such an impact defensively because their offense stepped up and gave the defense rest. The offensive line also performed great and I'm glad Utah found a running game.

Defensively, we had guys flying around. We were able to get good pressure on the quarterback. We had five sacks and five takeaways, and when you come away with 10 impact plays, things are going to be pretty good for you. Robert Johnson was the Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Week. An outstanding performance in his first start as a Ute. He had a phenomenal play on the goal line that was probably the turning point of game.
 

This was probably the best defensive performance I've seen from Utah since their win in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl. Now they just need to keep it up against UNLV.

We had a lot of positives in this game. Our fans were outstanding. I've been here a long time and that may be the most vocal, energetic crowd I have ever seen. The players fed off of that. They caused UCLA several miscues. Between the MUSS and the Ute faithful we had outstanding home field advantage. Rice-Eccles is quickly becoming one of the most difficult places to play in the country.

Fans were great, though it was funny seeing the crowd grow in the second half. I guess people saw how the game was going and quickly bolted down to the stadium. Even UCLA said the stadium noise was an issue and caused some problem on offense.

We jump back into conference play this week with UNLV. It's nice to win but UCLA is one game. We can't get caught up in ourselves, we have to get right back to work and get ready for UNLV and get our conference record evened up. They had a good game against Hawaii last week and played Wisconsin very tough week before and beat Utah State before that. We're excited to get back into conference play and got to be able to build upon what we did well against UCLA.

Just what I want to hear. UCLA happened last week, it's now time to focus on UNLV. Utah loses Saturday and no one will care about the Bruins. Though I question Whittingham's statement on how they had a good game against Hawaii. Unless you consider losing 49-14 a good game. Though the Rebels did play Wisconsin tough, but so did the Citadel, not really sure what the hell that means.

On BJ:

As of now the status is gradual return, which means we'll take a look at him. We'll watch him throw today and watch him throughout the week and see how he's progressed. With Tommy (Grady) playing the way he did the second half of Air Force and on Saturday, we can be a little more conservative in bringing him back. The longer we can delay his return, less risk of there is of re-injury, so want to make sure we do the right thing.

I expect to see all three of Utah's quarterbacks Saturday night, with Grady pegged the starter. I'm not sure UNLV knows what's about to hit them.

On Corbin Louks:

He will be a part of our package each and every week. He adds a similar spark as the (Eric) Weddle packaged added last year. Corbin knows the offense, it's just a matter of us picking what segment of plays we want to construct for him. He added a big spark in the touchdown pass, from true freshman Louks to true freshman Dallin Rogers. Eight true freshman really contributed for us, they bring a lot of passion.

It will be interesting to see what they do with Louks. He definitely adds some diversity to this offense and will throw in a few wrinkles.

On UNLV:

They have similar offense to us, a spread attack with four wide receivers on the field. Ryan Wolfe and Casey Flair are very good players, Aaron Straiten is a dangerous player also. Their quarterback, a redshirt freshman, Travis Dixon has done a nice job, he is their guy. That's really their strength, the four wide receivers.

Defensively, Beau Bell is the heart and soul of their defense. He gives them a tremendous advantage. He's all over the place. You have to be very aware of where he's lining up, he always makes an impact.

UNLV's offense has struggled this season, only scoring 50 points in their first three games. That's an average of 17 PPG and I think they're going to need more than that to beat Utah.

Whittingham seems cautiously optimistic and hopefully the players aren't overlooking the Rebels. UNLV can make this a game and if they do, it could turn ugly quickly. But I think Utah has too much power on both sides of the ball and that should be enough to propel them to victory.