The Utes were handed their first loss of the season in Berkeley, failing to score from the 1-yard line at the end of the game against Cal. On Monday head coach Kyle Whittingham spoke to the media about the loss and the need for a short memory as they’ll host Arizona this Saturday.
The Wildcats come to town having beaten Utah in four straight contests, utilizing a strong rushing attack to get past the Utes.
“We’ve been watching the last four years of film… last year we played them the best, but in previous years they’ve gashed us,” Whittingham said. “We just got to do a better job of assignment football. It’s almost like playing Air Force because of the read option. So we just got to do a better job of playing assignment-sound football.”
Though it wasn’t the final outcome Whittingham would’ve liked, he did like some things his team did against the Bears last week.
“We controlled the football, chewed the clock up 42 minutes. Thirty first downs. Zero turnovers. If you’d have told me going in those three things would happen I would’ve said we would win going away,” he said.
There were some stumbling blocks, however, that sent Utah back home with a 4-1 record instead of 5-0.
“Faltering in the red zone, something that’s shown up this season quite a bit. We were 3 of 6 on touchdowns in the red zone. Had we completed that last drive and been 4 of 6, there’s the difference in the game.”
Whittingham said the red zone has become a big enough issue that the playbook may be adjusted accordingly.
“We think we maybe need to be a little more creative down there, add a few things,” he said, “which we will. Figure out ways to punch it in rather than stall [out].”
One thing Whittingham knows for sure, there’s no time available for his team to hang their heads. They’ve got to get right back at it this week.
“We need to bounce back. You’d like to win every single game, but when all is said and done there might be one team in the country who goes undefeated, if that. Responding from losses is part of being a good football team and being able to rebound and not let a team beat your twice. We’ve got to put it behind us and get ready for the next team.”