UTAH UTES

Whittingham Proud Of His Team, Complimentary Of Florida

Sep 4, 2022, 1:20 PM
Kyle Whittingham - Utah Utes vs. San Diego State Aztecs...
Utah Utes Head Coach Kyle Whittingham on the field during a college football game against the San Diego State Aztecs played on September 18, 2021 at Dignity Health Sports Park in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

GAINESVILLE- Obviously winning is better than losing, but it’s hard to be too upset if you lose after giving it your all for 60 minutes. That’s what happened to #7 Utah in their season opener against Florida in the Swamp. They gave it everything they had, and came up just short 29-26 in an epic battle in SEC country.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Utah Football (@utahfootball)

Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham was in good spirits about his team in his post-game press conference while also acknowledging there are “no moral victories”. What was clear is Whittingham has a deep admiration for his current group of players and sees they are so close to making that next jump. Sometimes a close, heartbreaking loss is just what a team needs to put the pedal to the metal.

“I’m extremely proud of our football team,” Whittingham said. “I know there are no moral victories- I’m not trying to paint that picture. We’re way past that, but when you talk about a group of guys who just compete till the bitter end, show toughness, grit, determination, resolve- you name it they showed it. We just came up short.”

Florida Is Legit

There were a lot of question marks about Florida heading into Utah’s matchup Saturday, but not because of a lack of talent. The questions really stemmed from curiosity about how quickly new head coach Billy Napier could change the culture of a team that was clearly left in shambles last season. The answer appears to be night-and-day different after just one game, although it also helps to play in front of a crowd that is capable of sucking the souls out of their opponents too.

Whittingham has been very complimentary of the Gators from the jump, and after Saturday night’s loss was no different.

“Give credit to Florida,” Whittingham said. “That’s a good football team. The cupboard was not empty when Dan Mullen left. They have some great athletes starting with the quarterback. He’s a terrific player and if he stays healthy, they are going to win a bunch of games this year.”

What Doesn’t Kill You, Makes You Stronger

Utah faired better than most in The Swamp, especially for a first game out where everybody is knocking some rust off. In Whittingham’s estimation he and his staff have a much better idea of where the Utes stand playing a team like Florida than they have some of their other season-opening opponents in the past. That measuring stick makes working on getting better a little easier.

“You can win a game against a lesser opponent and have a bunch of things that are masked because you’re so superior physically and athletically that it hides itself,” Whittingham said. “A game like this will expose everything we’ve got to work on, where our deficiencies are. I don’t regret playing these guys. It was a great opportunity for our university, for our team and it’s not like we were sitting here wondering why we have to play these guys. We were excited to play these guys.”

  • Utah Utes Scoreboard

  • Utah Utes Team Leaders

  • Utah Utes Standings

Utah Utes

Devin Lloyd - Utah Utes vs. Arizona State...
Michelle Bodkin

How Will ASU Respond To Losing Herm Edwards, Other Game Day Info

The million dollar question this week is how will ASU respond in a big game after releasing their head coach and moving on with interim head coach Shaun Aguano?
2 days ago
Morgan Scalley - Utah Utes...
Michelle Bodkin

Report: Morgan Scalley Receives Significant Raise In Contract Update

Utah defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley's received another significant contract upgrade.
2 days ago
Sun-Devil-Stadium-Arizona-State-Football-Utah...
KSL Sports

Week 4: How To Watch, Stream Or Listen To Local College Football

Week 4 of the college football season is here and the locals contests include an in-state matchup between Utah Tech and Southern Utah.
3 days ago
Cam Rising - Utah Utes vs. ASU...
Michelle Bodkin

Three Things To Watch: #13 Utah Vs. ASU

The #13 Utah Utes will be back on the road since their season opener in Gainesville, this time flying to Tempe to take on an embattled ASU team.
3 days ago
Devin Kaufusi Utah Football...
Jeremy Mauss

Kaufusi: Utah’s Defensive Motto Is Relentless, Smart, Nasty, Ballhawks

Utah's defense had a huge game this past weekend by shutting down San Diego State 35-7 to improve to 2-1 on the year.
3 days ago
Utah Campus - College...
Michelle Bodkin

Student Arrested After Nuclear Threats Over Utah Football Game

A University of Utah student was arrested Wednesday after making threats to detonate a nuclear reactor on campus if the Utah football team lost their game to San Diego State last weekend.
3 days ago
Whittingham Proud Of His Team, Complimentary Of Florida