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Kyle Whittingham: This team is better this year than it was last year, despite the record

Audio, video and a transcript of the Utah football press conference

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  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Nov. 11, 2013 4:27 p.m.

    Both Utah, and BYU can win out, and win a bowl game.--Unless they play each other.

  • Wookie Omaha, NE
    Nov. 11, 2013 4:34 p.m.

    Enough excuses. It is time to hire me as the new OC or HC.

    Go UTES!!

  • Ken Sandy, UT
    Nov. 11, 2013 4:35 p.m.

    I agree completely. The first two years we weren't in most of these games. This year, we've done what Oregon, ASU, and many others did in beating Stanford. We took ranked OSU, ranked ASU, ranked UCLA down to the final play.

    Back in 2008 we had several narrow wins(Michigan, Air Force, Oregon State, New Mexico, TCU). Those close wins were wins, but I'm realistic to admit we got several lucky bounces that helped us out, more lucky bounces than unlucky bounces. This year for whatever reason, we've gotten more unlucky bounces. Point is, any team that beats Stanford and comes within a play of beating 3 more ranked teams is doing a lot of things right. Are there things to fix? Of course. But things will change again like they always do, and next year I bet we make those few extra plays and get a few more bounces our way and we'll become a great Pac 12 program.

  • sammyg Springville, UT
    Nov. 11, 2013 4:41 p.m.

    At 1-5 at the moment compared to last year's 3-6 final conference showing and knowing that the Utes should have been bowling last year had Hays been given the reins???

    This team is better this year? It doesn't look like it.

    How about coaching, is it better this year?
    Has Dennis made things better this year?

    I think Coach Whit is 'losing it'.

  • jpjazz Sandy, UT
    Nov. 11, 2013 4:41 p.m.

    Better than last year? That's coachspeach for we were Really bad last year. When Whit says that they need coach better, he is setting the coaching staff up for a major coaching change next year.

    Mr Eccles and the Utah faithful will demand changes if they can't win 2 or the last 3 games. Go Utes!

  • Kralon HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA
    Nov. 11, 2013 5:00 p.m.

    After watching the games I have to admit that Utah does seem better this year. If they can keep improving, a big if, then they will do well in the future. Go Utes!

  • Rockarolla West Jordan, UT
    Nov. 11, 2013 5:12 p.m.

    THis team is better than last years team??? I guess that is what a coach who is trying desperately to keep his overpaid job says. Time for Whit to move along. I hear Dixie State may have an oppening soon.

  • SSmith Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 11, 2013 5:30 p.m.

    If the team is improved over last year and the record is the same, then maybe the problem is with the only other factor--coaching.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Nov. 11, 2013 5:36 p.m.

    Just think....if they get any better next year they won't have any victories at all.

    Talk about spin, Kyle.

  • SCUte Rock Hill, SC
    Nov. 11, 2013 8:07 p.m.

    Selective hearing or selective reading? Coach W said the team is no better than its record.

    Yes - they have improved over last year! But a loss is still a loss and I don't think Coach W is counting moral victories. He knows what the future will be.

    Also consider we swapped out Washington and Cal on the schedule for Stanford and Oregon - that is tough! A lot to ask these kids who still are a small step behind Pac 12 talent across the board. We are close and I am going to stick with it for at least another year before I call for the drastic changes that will set the program back two years.

    Go Utes!

  • CO Ute PARKER, CO
    Nov. 11, 2013 9:09 p.m.

    If you don't see that this team is better than last year you are only looking at the record and not going any deeper. ASU blew us out the past two years, not this year. OSU beat us handily last year, this year went to OT. UW was replaced with Stanford (so to speak). UW ran all over us last year, this year we beat Stanford. Last year, loss to USU; this year a win. Beat the Y at home last year, beat them in Provo this year and were never behind. Seems like there is some progress after all.

    Let's see how the last two games pan out and if we can give the Ducks some kind of a scare (doubtful).

    One other thing. According to Sagarin, the Utes have played the most difficult schedule in the country so far. Anyone that expected 2-3 more wins against that schedule is not being realistic.

  • ekute Layton, UT
    Nov. 11, 2013 10:01 p.m.

    Sammy and tosmart,

    Come and support the Utes, then your questions and opinions will have merit. Why don't you ask your AD why the best that byu can do the next 3 years is the poinsettia bowl?

  • USNGary San Diego, CA
    Nov. 12, 2013 12:48 a.m.

    Ek this article is about utah, not BYU. Off topic. Talk about obsessive.

  • SSmith Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 12, 2013 5:53 a.m.

    @ekute

    Are you seriously slamming BYU's bowling when Utah has not been nor will go bowling?

  • Eddie Would Go FPO, AE
    Nov. 12, 2013 7:13 a.m.

    This year's Utah team is definitely better than last year's version. Anyone who thinks otherwise either isn't paying attention or doesn't understand football.

  • Ed Grady Idaho Falls, ID
    Nov. 12, 2013 8:30 a.m.

    "...we were a better football team this year than we were last year. The record does not reflect that."

    To paraphrase the great Bill Parcells, you are what your record says you are.

  • ekute Layton, UT
    Nov. 12, 2013 8:49 a.m.

    ed,

    Works for me...9 of 12, 4 in a row.

  • Ed Grady Idaho Falls, ID
    Nov. 12, 2013 9:10 a.m.

    ekute:

    If you're implying that Utah is better than BYU, then you have a uncanny grasp of the obvious and irrelevant. Remember, Utah fans don't frame their success against BYU anymore. You do remember, right?

  • Samurai Jake Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 12, 2013 9:44 a.m.

    @ed grady:

    Can you say 'flip flop!' Can you say 'hypocrisy.' I suppose whatever works, works.

    I agree with Ken's comment. And to the other detractors, simply comparing win-loss records does not tell the whole story. Case in point - last year, the Utes lost to ASU, but a 37-7 rout versus a one point 20-19 defeat reflects two completely different Utes teams.

    The Utes are literally on the verge of breaking through. The win-loss record of this year's team is not indicative of how far the team has truly progressed. Throw in critical losses of Kenneth Scott, Jake Murphy, Westlee Tonga, and others, and who knows how different this season might have turned out.

    Looking forward to them carrying some positive momentum forward. They're playing their guts out. The ball will bounce their way very soon.

  • Veritas Aequitas Fruit Heights, UT
    Nov. 12, 2013 1:03 p.m.

    sammyg
    Springville, UT

    This team is better this year? It doesn't look like it.
    ===

    I disagree. I think the Utes are much better than last year. I thing it has to do with the new co-OC.

    If Utah were smart from an administrative standpoint, they should evaluate the coaching from top down.

    With a new HC, and lose BJ as co-OC, the Utes would be bowl eligible today, and in contention for the PAC South.

    The Admin just needs to decide if they want to win, or settle...

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Nov. 12, 2013 3:31 p.m.

    How comical!

    Every team in America with five or more losses are saying the same thing.

    Fire the coach, and get rid of the quarterback.

    Second law of Worf--for every victory is an opposite, and equal loss.

    Some people will be happy, and some frustrated.

    Sports go in cycles, and the utes will come around. BYU will have losing seasons, than turn it around again.

    Nothing to have a stroke about. Enjoy the ride.

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    Nov. 12, 2013 8:21 p.m.

    Utes offense is probably better than last years team, only because Wilson is one year better. But defense (especially front seven) is not as good as last years team.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Nov. 12, 2013 8:22 p.m.

    I actually agree with whittingham to a point. It doesn't matter if they are better if they cannot beat the teams they play however. What that shows is that the teams they play are still better than they are. Improvement is a subjective thing and it only applies if you are enough better that you actually beat the opponents you are trying to compete with.

  • JayDee West Jordan, UT
    Nov. 12, 2013 9:55 p.m.

    Reminds me of the positive affirmations from Stuart Smalley: I deserve good things. I am entitled to my share of happiness. I refuse to beat myself up. I am an attractive person. I am fun to be with....blah...blah...blah... and darn it, I'm good enough.

    Keep up the self-talk. You'll need it in big doses come Saturday about 5:00 P.M. Pacific Time.

    Utes and the Jazz, measuring success in new and innovative ways.

    Beat WSU and pray that there are enough open bowl slots after you manhandle the Buffs. If you get to a bowl and show well, then all these statements about being better may have some validity.

    Until then, don't be a Jake Heaps trying to convince anyone with platitudes and excuses...do your talking by winning two of the next three...then you WILL actually be measurably better.

    Best of luck, Utes.

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Nov. 12, 2013 11:37 p.m.

    Veritas Aequitas
    Fruit Heights, UT

    sammyg
    Springville, UT

    This team is better this year? It doesn't look like it.
    ===

    I disagree. I think the Utes are much better than last year. I thing it has to do with the new co-OC.

    ---------------

    I disagree. I think we are better but it has to do more with our PAC-12 defense. Without our defense we get rolled by UCLA, USC, Arizona, and ASU.

    The defense seems to have depth and talent and we were told, in the off-season, that the offense did too. Obviously we don't, specially at QB and RB positions.

    As far as coaching, we need to replace the OL coach Dan Finn and QB coach BJ. They failed, and need to be replaced with coaches with Big 5 experience.

  • poyman Lincoln City, OR
    Nov. 13, 2013 12:54 a.m.

    Whittingham is absolutely right... The way that you can tell that a team is better than the previous year is to simply look at the record... Last year Utah went 5-7... This year they are going to go, oh wait....

  • SEC Rules Seminole, FL
    Nov. 13, 2013 8:09 a.m.

    Keep Oregon's offense off the field. You guys have the defense to do that. Look at what you did against ASU !

    Run the ball right at at them. Wear them down. Play all four quarters, and don't turn the ball over. Win the time of possession battle and you will win this war. I'm not watching the Cougs play the Idaho Spuds...I'm watching you guys. (sorry Cougar friends - - - I'll watch the Notre Dame game.)

    Wow - - - beating them on the their home turf would be redemption for you guys. It would salvage the season and bring respect. Go Utes !

  • Steven S Jarvis Orem, UT
    Nov. 13, 2013 10:43 a.m.

    Utah as a whole is pretty similar to last year's team, but better overall. They have improved in some areas, most notably in scoring defense and kicking. They have dropped off the cliff in other areas like turn over margin. Utah fixes its turnover machine and they become scary good.

    I am going to enjoy watching Utah's defense versus the Ducks offense this week. I am not anticipating an upset. I am expecting the Ute D to compete and the Ducks punter to have to play like he had last week. The Ute D has proven itself as the best bright spot on the team.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Nov. 13, 2013 1:54 p.m.

    I have no idea what the score will be Saturday but I certainly expect oregon to win by a healthy margin. If utah can keep the final margin under 20 points they will have done a good job imo. The task just got a lot tougher when oregon lost, I think they'll be very motivated in this game and they are definately superior in talent to utah.

  • MyPerspective Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 16, 2013 10:05 a.m.

    Veritas Aequitas

    Exactly where I'm at, Veritas. It's time for Coach Whitt to evaluate which position coaches get to keep their job. Instead of bringing more coaches to teach the coaches who aren't performing, replace them with real coaches who have demonstrated expertise. Good grief, this is the Pac-12.

    Come on, Coach Whitt, you know what needs to be done...do it!