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Kyle Whittingham: "Solid game overall, all three phases. Offense was productive. Sputtered a little bit in the red zone at times. Still a work in progress in that respect. Run game was much more efficient in the second half, which is something that we came out with a purpose and intent to do that. Defense, I felt like it was lights out and they ended up with almost zero yards rushing, maybe a few yards, it was negative yards for most of the game. So, the run defense was outstanding. Had we not had two miscues in kickoff coverage, we gave them great field position twice. Could have had less points given up, it is just how it is… Special teams, another game that's four weeks in a row there really was no impact on game-changing plays, they really swung the game. You talk about field position, we lost a couple of times but crowded the ball a few times… Our field goal kicker continues to be perfect, so that's a positive but Brant Kuithe is probably the big name of the game, we'll find out more tomorrow but it doesn't look good. I'll have a report on Monday at the press conference. I just felt horrible for the kid. He's such a great teammate, he's a leader, he's a captain. He came back another year to be with this team and help us win, so we'll hope for the best. It's not definitive but like I said, it doesn't look good."

Question: What are your thoughts on the red-zone miscues?

Kyle Whittingham: "Well, we had a false start at 4th-and-one, and 4th-and-six pushed them right to the field goal situation. I think that might have happened twice. I can't remember; I'll have to watch the tape but overall for the entire year we're pretty good. Our percentage is still pretty good, touchdown percentage but it's always a work in progress and it's such a critical element to the game. A key facet of winning is being efficient and effective in the red zone both ways, offensively and defensively. That's something that we spend a lot of time on."

Question: How did you think Devaughn Vele played?

Devaughn Vele, Utah Utes Fall Camp.

Devaughn Vele, Utah Utes Fall Camp.

Kyle Whittingham: "He's a guy that I've been talking about since last spring. [And] you've seen his impact on the game. He's a tremendous athlete and he's done a great job returning punts for us as well. We didn't have a lot of them tonight, only one for 16 yards but he's a very valuable member [of the team] and one of Cam's go-to targets."

Question: How pleased are you with Karene Reid's performances so far?

Kyle Whittingham: "Very pleasing, the guy is distinctive, tough, student of the game. Much more athletic than you think. He can run, change direction and always a good position. Between him and our true freshman Lander Barton, those two are holding it down in the inside linebacker spot and hopefully Diabate will be available next week. We thought there was a possibility of getting him this game but it wasn't quite there so next week may give us another core linebacker, but those two guys have done outstanding." 

Question: Is there confidence in Ja'Quinden Jackson making the move to running back?

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Kyle Whittingham: "Yes, he's a natural, he did play running back in 8th, 9th and 10th grade full time. Maybe 10th grade is when he transitioned to quarterback, but he has the background and he's explosive, a big back at 230 pounds. Just shy of that, he's fast, got really good vision. He makes some runs in practice and cuts back which is really impressive. The rest of this season we expect gives us another viable option at running back. When Chris went down, you're a guy short, if anybody could fill the bill and we decided to give him a shot and he embraced it and said absolutely with his mentality and his skillset. What you saw tonight was just a taste of what he could bring to the table. [Until] further notice he is a running back, we'll re-evacuate that at the end of the season."

Question: Are we seeing Cole Bishop take his game to the next level?

San Diego State Aztecs running back Jordan Byrd (15) runs the ball against Utah Utes safety Cole Bishop (8) in the second quarter at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

San Diego State Aztecs running back Jordan Byrd (15) runs the ball against Utah Utes safety Cole Bishop (8) in the second quarter at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

Kyle Whittingham: "He's an absolute phenom at safety. He's everything you look for, so athletic, great in coverage, great blitzer and tackler. He's the whole package. He's got size at 6-2, 225 pounds. So you're seeing one of the best safeties in the Pac-12 and in the country."

Question: Do you feel like you're starting to see the shaping of your defense?

Utah Utes defensive tackle Junior Tafuna (58) reacts to an interception in the second quarter against the Southern Utah Thunderbirds at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

Utah Utes defensive tackle Junior Tafuna (58) reacts to an interception in the second quarter against the Southern Utah Thunderbirds at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

Kyle Whittingham: "They're starting to get into sync and I think you've seen the last three weeks now we went through some progress. But as the season progresses there will be challenges down the road. After that first game we were so disappointed so they've answered the bell for three weeks in a row."

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