Whittingham: We Have To Be At Our Best To Win On Saturday
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The University of Utah will face their second road challenge in Pac-12 play this season when they travel to Corvallis to face the Oregon State Beavers on Saturday.
The road hasn’t been too kind to the Utes since joining the Pac-12, just like most teams. Even when a team goes on the road and “should” win handily in the Pac-12, that isn’t always the case. For example, Washington was ranked No. 15 in the country and Stanford was 2-3 when the Huskies went to Palo Alto last Saturday. Stanford pulled out the upset win and changed the landscape of the North Division.
Utah lost their first Pac-12 road game this season, losing to the USC Trojans 30-23 on September 20. Now that they face the Oregon State Beavers, who are in the middle of a rebuild in the second season under head coach Jonathan Smith, Utes head coach Kyle Whittingham knows that his team needs to be at their best to win in Corvallis.
“Anytime you go on the road in the Pac-12, it’s a challenge. Any week is a challenge, but particularly in the Pac-12,” Whittingham said at his weekly press conference.
Since joining the Pac-12 in 2011, Utah is 16-21 in conference road games and 19-18 at home. That goes to show how difficult it is to win in the Pac-12. The Utes were picked to win the entire conference in the preseason media poll back in July, but that doesn’t matter to Whittingham.
“If you’re not ready because this league is so balanced that just because you’re picked to win the South doesn’t mean it’s you and everyone else,” Whittingham mentioned. “It’s a very competitive league week in and week out so we just take the same approach every week that we’ve got to be at our best if we want to win the game. It’s the old cliché of anyone can beat anyone and that’s proven each week.”
Utah’s best road record in a single season was in 2014 with a 4-1 mark.
The Utes will face the Oregon State Beavers on Saturday at 6 p.m. on the Pac-12 Network.