Kyle Whittingham and the Utes steal signals, according to Lincoln Riley.

During the USC-Utah matchup in Week 8, the Trojans held up a screen in front of Riley while he signaled in plays to the offense. It was the first time they’d done that under Riley, and the assumption was that it was in response to the latest NCAA probe into Michigan for an elaborate sign-stealing operation.

Riley was asked about it last Thursday and said that it had nothing to do with Michigan. While signal stealing has “been going on forever” in college football, Riley believes Utah to be particularly nefarious for it.

“(Utah is) an opponent we’ve played against multiple times and an opponent we know that does a good job trying to grab signals,” Riley said of the reasoning. “Just a way to try to protect a few of the things we do.”

Whittingham was asked about signal-stealing at his news conference on Monday.

“If your signals are being stolen in-game, that’s your fault,” the Utah head coach said. “If they’re that simplistic, that easy to read, and that easy to decipher, that’s a you problem, that’s not our problem.

“That’s like telling your guys, ‘Hey close your eyes when you come out in formations so you don’t know what the formation is.’ You want every bit of legal and above-board advantage that you can get.”

Utah is 3-0 against USC since Lincoln Riley took over the program. That includes a one-point win in Salt Lake City last year, a two-point win in L.A. this year, and a 23-point win in the Pac-12 title game last December.

“I would never ever personally feel that someone doing that to us is out of line,” Whittingham said.