UTAH UTES

Kyle Whittingham On The CFP Rankings Show: We Have A Great Deal Of Confidence In This Team

Dec 4, 2022, 2:19 PM | Updated: Dec 7, 2022, 9:42 am
Kyle Whittingham - Rose Bowl Press Conference...
(Photo courtesy of the Rose Bowl Game)
(Photo courtesy of the Rose Bowl Game)

SALT LAKE CITY- Against all odds, Utah football won their second-straight Pac-12 Championship and Rose Bowl appearance on Friday night in Las Vegas.

Not many people gave the Utes a chance against (at the time) No. 4 ranked USC who was certainly College Football Playoff bound. Utah put a stop to that conversation with a 47-24 beatdown of the Trojans. Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham jumped on the CFP Rankings Show Sunday afternoon and credited his team for having a great deal of confidence in themselves.

 

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We Have A Great Deal Of Confidence On This Team

Both times the Utes have played the Trojans in 2022 they had been down by 14 points. In the game in Salt Lake City, Utah roared back, winning the game by one-point off of a gutsy Cam Rising two-point conversion with just seconds left in the game.

In the game on Friday, Utah tied the championship game up by halftime and gave USC the boot in the third and fourth quarters for a definitive win. Whittingham credits his team for having a great deal of confidence in themselves to get them out of the holes they faced against USC and into their second-straight Rose Bowl.

 

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“First of all, they handle adversity,” Whittingham said. “We talk about that all the time as far as not flinching and just continuing to play through whatever comes your way. We have a great deal of confidence on this football team and a real belief in each other, we believe in our process, we believe in the coaches, the coaches believe in the players. I think we have a lot of positive mojo going on in our program. There is no quit in them at all.”

Why Utah?

As Whittingham mentioned, there is a lot of positive mojo surrounding the Utes. The nation has become a little more attuned to it over the past four or so years, starting in 2019. Those in Salt Lake City know a little better though, having witnessed the growth of a program and head coach that has largely flown under the national radar until recently.

 

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“We have a great culture here at the University of Utah,” Whittingham said of why athletes should consider Utah. “Our players love each other; they get along with each other. I believe we are the most diverse team in America. We are almost exactly 1/3 African American, 1/3 Caucasian, and 1/3 Polynesian. I don’t believe anyone in the country has that blend of players to that degree. Also, it’s beautiful up here in Salt Lake City here in the Rocky Mountains. Us and the Jazz are the only show in town up here in Salt Lake. Great fan support. We’ve been sold out for 10 straight years at Rice-Eccles Stadium. We have a lot going for us, plus, you’re going to win a bunch of games if you come.”

Back In The Rose Bowl

Utah put on a show last year in the Rose Bowl taking Ohio State to the wire, 48-45, but ultimately coming up short. Whittingham said the Utes are excited for the opportunity to be back, playing against a really good Penn State team with hopefully a slightly different result.

 

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“Our guys are excited to be back in the game, first of all,” Whittingham said. “It was a great game last year, came right down to the wire. Ohio State played exceptionally well, particularly on offense and got the win, but we’re going back with another opportunity to try and get a win. Penn State- we have a lot of respect for those guys. Coach Franklin has done a great job there. We’ve already started watching the film and they play outstanding defense and they are just a really balanced, well-coached football team. Our guys will be excited about the challenge and opportunity. We’re looking forward to the trip.”

Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @BodkinKSLsports

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Kyle Whittingham On The CFP Rankings Show: We Have A Great Deal Of Confidence In This Team