Whittingham: Utes Take Another Step Forward In Pac-12 Play

Oct 1, 2022, 6:37 PM


Whittingham discusses what his team can take away from their lopsided win over the Thunderbirds. (Photo courtesy of Michelle Bodkin)

(Photo courtesy of Michelle Bodkin)

SALT LAKE CITY- Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham was overall pleased with the Utes’ effort against Oregon State, noting they took another step forward. While Utah had a pretty good grip on the game, the stats didn’t exactly show that in all phases. However, the throw game and interceptions were highlights for Whittingham, despite acknowledging a need to get the run game going offensively.

Utes Efficient Passing, Taking Away The Ball

Offensively, Cam Rising was masterful passing the ball around to all of Utah’s various receivers. In fact, he targeted nine different players in the throw-game despite being without one of his favorite targets in Brant Kuithe due to a season ending injury.

“Offense did a great job throwing the football, taking care of the ball,” Whittingham said. “Cam made a bunch of timely plays. Extremely happy with- didn’t throw for as many yards as I originally thought we did, but we were close to 80% completion percentage. We really had some clutch catches.”

“Our efficiency throwing the football on offense was our biggest positive,” Whittingham continued of the passing effort. “We didn’t throw it for a ton- maybe 200-yards-ish, but it was a very effective and efficient 200-yards. No drops- well, we had one drop, but it was a tough catch. We protected the football, we only had one turnover so that was a big positive.”

Defensively, it was all about cornerback Clark Phillips III who snagged three interceptions, one that set up a score to start the game, and one pick six. It was the first time a Utah defender had three interceptions in a game since safety Robert Johnson put the Utes on his back against Colorado State in 2009. Whittingham says Phillips III is a force out on the field largely due to his wheels and study habits.

“He’s got exceptional quickness and speed, first of all,” Whittingham said. “He’s not the biggest guy, but he’s built well and he’s physical when he needs to be. Speed and quickness is his big thing along with film study. Nobody studies more film than Clark and that leads to big plays.”

Whittingham was also happy with how the defense just hung in there even when things looked rough. Their resiliency and improvement in the second half really stood out to him.

“Pleased with the way our boys responded in the second half,” Whittingham said. “We didn’t play poorly in the first half per se, but it wasn’t our best football. Way too soft in the run game in the first half, we played much better run defense in the second half.”

Fixing The Run Offensively

Despite the positives of the game, Whittingham acknowledged the Utes need to get better running the ball. The run game, usually a strength, was the one glaring negative according to Whittingham, and will certainly be a big focus ahead of Utah’s upcoming trip to take on UCLA next week.

“Disappointing thing offensively was an inability to run the ball,” Whittingham said. “We could never really take over the line of scrimmage which is something we typically do. That was a negative for us.”



  • Utah Utes Scoreboard

  • Utah Utes Team Leaders

  • Utah Utes Standings

Utah Utes


Michelle Bodkin

Spring Ball Review: A Look At Utah Football’s Running Backs

Today’s focus is on another group that has produced a lot of NFL talent for the Utes- Utah football’s running backs.

17 hours ago

daniel schneeman...

Brian Preece

Locals In MiLB: Former BYU Cougar Making Triple-A Case For Big League Promotion

Daniel Schneeman is on fire at the plate this season for last-place Columbus, putting himself in position to make his MLB debut this summer.

2 days ago

Pac-12, Annual Revenue, Logo...

Michelle Bodkin

Pac-12 Shares Record Financial Results From 2022-23 Fiscal Year

The Pac-12 Conference shared their financial results from the 2022-23 fiscal year noting they brought in record gains.

5 days ago


Michelle Bodkin

Former Utah Football Player Greg Newman Has Passed Away, Family Raising Funds To Study CTE

Former Utah football standout defensive lineman Greg Newman has passed away according to a GoFundMe put out by his family.

5 days ago

kai roberts utah...

Michelle Bodkin

Utah Baseball Ends Time In Pac-12 On High Note With Win Over Oregon In Pool Play

The Utah baseball season has likely come to an end at the Pac-12 Tournament going 1-1 in pool play with a win over the Oregon Ducks.

5 days ago


Michelle Bodkin

Utah Basketball Mourns Loss Of Kenny Gardner

The Runnin' Utes are mourning the loss of larger-than-life former player Kenny Gardner who passed away at the age of 75. 

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Follow @kslsports...

KSL Give-A-Thon

The KSL Sports Zone, KSL 5 TV, FM100.3, 103.5 The Arrow, and KSL NewsRadio have teamed up to raise money for the kids being served by Primary Children’s Care!


KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.


KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

Follow @kslsports...

The Road Home Mediathon 2023

The KSL Sports Zone and KSLSports.com are proud to support the all-day Mediathon 2023 at the Road Home, an annual tradition to raise money and other essential items for the Road Home, a Homeless Shelter.

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.

Whittingham: Utes Take Another Step Forward In Pac-12 Play