Kyle Whittingham explains what went wrong for Utah in loss to Oregon
Kyle Whittingham said Saturday’s 35-6 loss to Oregon at home was as thorough a beating as his Utes have received in years.
Whittingham called the Ducks a complete football team and gave all the credit to Dan Lanning and his group.
“Size, quickness, athleticism, depth, all sides of the ball. They took it to us,” Whittingham said. “The two emphases were to win the line of scrimmage and to win the turnover battle and we didn’t do either of those.”
Utah was outgained on a per-play basis 6.7 yards to 3.7 yards. They lost the turnover battle. They went 5-for-15 on third downs. They managed just 12 yards of offense on 10 plays in a third quarter that saw Oregon really blow the game open.
It was about the line of scrimmage. Oregon, Whittingham said, was the more physical team.
“We very rarely get out-physicaled but today we got out-physicaled,” Whittingham said. “If I had to say what was the single biggest problem in the entire game, that was it.”
Utah didn’t run the ball well, but it also saw Ja’Quinden Jackson hobble off. Injuries continue to play an outsized role on the year Utah is having, but Whittingham didn’t want to use that as an excuse.
“Nobody cares if you’re injured. I never want to play that card,” he said. “Whatever guys you’ve got, you have to figure it out and make the most with what you’ve got around.”
Whittingham was pretty intentional about keeping the attention on what Oregon did and what Utah failed to stop.
“I don’t want to diminish what they did today at all because the score wasn’t indicative — the game was a mismatch,” Whittingham said. “It was worse than what the score indicated.”
Now, with four games remaining — one of them against Washington — and a Pac-12 title game spot outside of their control, Whittingham wants to see a response.
“Good teams respond and we will respond,” Whittingham said. “Sometimes you get knocked down on your butt in life and you have to pick yourself up and come back, and regroup, and just figure things out and get things going the next week. That’s where we’re at right now.
“We’ve got a lot of football left. We have to regroup, pick ourselves up, and get back on track.”