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Kyle Whittingham vs. Weber State 2021
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Kyle Whittingham Wants To See His Team ‘Rise Up’ Against San Diego State

Head coach Kyle Whittingham of the University of Utah Utes walks the sideline during a game against the Weber State Wildcats September 2, 2021 at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – After an upset loss to rival BYU on Saturday in Provo, Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham wants to see a lot of improvement from his team this week.

Kyle Whittingham said after the loss on Saturday that he would’ve bet his house on Utah winning the line of scrimmage and that wasn’t the case.

As Utah wraps up non-conference play this week against San Diego State in Carson, California, Whittingham knows his team will need to play much better than last week in Provo.

“They handled Arizona with no problem at all,” Whittingham said. “I mean, it was not even a contest. It was impressive to watch that tape and see how they operate. They got three good backs. They have a quarterback who who does a great job running that offense. They got a couple of tight ends that they really like and they got some wide receivers that are playmakers and the offensive line is physical. We are going to see every bit as physical an o-line this week as we did last week which means we have to rise up and play much better.”

Happy With The Play Calls?

Much was said after the game from people other than Whittingham and those inside the Utah program, that the play calling was not great. Too many predictable plays being called and not executing. Whittingham was asked about just that.

“It was kind of two different issues,” Whittingham stated. “On offense, our main issue was mental mistakes. We didn’t get beat physically, we blew assignments way too often on offense, particularly up front. Defense was the opposite, we were assignment sound, but we just got physically moved around and worn out. I didn’t think our offense got beat up physically. In a typical game, you have about a dozen drives, in this game, we had 10 drives. When you don’t count the one play kneel down at the end of the first half, I don’t count that. So other than that, you had 10 other drives when the first two are turnovers and the third one’s three and out. The beginning of the second half is a three and out and then you have a critical holding call and some blown assignments, there’s not many drives left. Your chances to score are so minimized. Another reason why the turnover margin is so critical, because when you turn the ball over, you’d essentially given a drive away. We got to maximize drives, and we got to be better, assignment wise offensively.”

Utah and San Diego State will battle on Saturday, September 18. Kickoff is at 5 p.m. MDT on CBS Sports Network.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com, Co-Host of Faith, Family and Football podcast with Clark Phillips III and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASports.

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