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Coach-Speak: Utah's Kyle Whittingham and BYU's Bronco Mendenhall Sum Up Holy War

Zach HardingContributor ISeptember 24, 2011

Coach-Speak: Utah's Kyle Whittingham and BYU's Bronco Mendenhall Sum Up Holy War

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    What follows is a summary of what both Holy War coaches' Kyle Whittingham and Bronco Mendenhall said following Utah's 54-10 victory over BYU in Provo's LaVell Edwards Stadium last Saturday.

    As to be expected, Utah coach Kyle Whittingham was exceptionally pleased with the way the Utes executed and performed in Saturday's version of a Holy War Massacre, calling his team's output a "complete team effort," while BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall spoke of issues to address in the run game and regarding overall game-long execution.

Utah's Kyle Whittingham Praises Utes for "Team Effort"

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    Here is a compiling of Utah coach Kyle Whittingham's comments concerning the Utes' play against rival BYU last Saturday and what he thought about the victory in terms of team effort, turnovers and the lack of a need for the game to always be a close one:

    "This was a great effort by our players. We were a pretty good team [Saturday]."

    "Through three games our defense has been very opportunistic. Creating takeaways is a great quality to have. I've always said that turnover margin is the most important statistic in the game aside from the final score."

    "This was a nice win for our program. It was a team effort start to finish, which is a team mantra of ours. No matter what happens in the game we want to keep playing hard and do what we're supposed to do, and we did that [Saturday]."

    "One of our points of emphasis [last] week was that this game doesn't always have to be close. I guess our guys took it to heart."

    "We preach every week, regardless of what happens, whether we're up 14 or down 14, to just keep playing at that high level."

    "Our guys really hung in there and credit the players for how hard they played. They responded well to the disappointing loss [the week before at USC]. They had their minds in the right mode throughout [the last] week of practice and came out with so many great performances [Saturday]."

    "We just kept doing the same things in the second half that we were doing with a few tweaks here and there with coverages, and by the way, I cannot give enough credit to our assistance coaches. Game plans were phenomenal. Now, it all boils down to players; it always does, and they're the ones that have the final say in execution...of that game plan. But both coordinators, both staffs, our offensive and defensive sides of the ball did a great job preparing for this game."

BYU's Bronco Mendenhall Addresses Cougars' Execution Issues

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    BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall took the blame for the way his team performed, or failed to perform, against Utah in its 54-10 loss last Saturday and discussed issues in execution and preparation along with the critical nature of turnovers in the game. A compiling of his comments follow below:

    "We were out-coached, out-played and out-executed from beginning to end. They were the better team today and they played that way."

    "The turnovers were the critical difference in the game."

    "I intend to bounce back and hopefully I can provide that example for our team. If you're in coaching, then one of the greatest challenges is to help a team bounce back from that. That's what our intention is. I'm anxious to see not only how the staff but the players respond. My responsibility is to coach them in a way and lead them in a way that they will respond. I'm determined to do so."

    "With as poorly as we played (against Utah), the gap to get closed and the timeliness to close it, that urgency right now is everything that I felt from the third quarter on, is to get the team from where they're going to need to be, to respond, and respond soon enough. That's going to be a real challenge, but I'm looking forward to it. We certainly haven't gotten through to the players yet in terms of playing the way that we can. I've got to do a better job with our staff to help them in whatever way that I can (to) get our players to perform at a level we're capable of. We're not doing that yet."

    First-year offensive coordinator Brandon Doman added the following after his offense gained a mere 11 yards rushing against the Utes:

    "As difficult as this is, as hard as this is, I don't know how to quit. I don't know how. So we're not going to do that. We're going to continue to fight and battle and search for the answers to help these kids be successful. I think it was pretty clear that we can be pretty good. But that's not any fun to 'can be pretty good.' For me as a coordinator, I've got to find a way to help these kids … They'll come back. These kids are resilient. They're unique young men. They'll bounce back and be ready to go. But now I've got to give them a plan that's going to work."

    "I just don't think we're very mentally tough right now and we're not executing well. The kids play like they're prepared to play. They're not prepared to play great right now."

    "It's a great frustration. It's hard to be good when you're not running the football effectively. And we haven't been very good at it this year. I thought we were good at it, but we're not. The most important thing in the run game is who's carrying it. That's first. Then the second thing is the scheme. I'm not so sure either of them are right right now."

Utah Highlights of 2011's Early Version of "The Holy War"

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    Utah surprises everyone with its blowout win over BYU, 54-10, on BYU's home turf in Provo last Saturday. Utah capitalized off of seven BYU turnovers (six fumbles, one interception) and reeled off 47 unanswered points starting with its first-half-ending touchdown drive on a pass from QB Jordan Wynn to TE Jake Murphy that gave the Utes a 14-10 advantage heading to the locker room.

    Utah then commenced the second half with a 59-yard touchdown strike from Wynn to true freshman WR Dres Anderson and that was the beginning of a 40-0 scoring edge for the Utes throughout the second half of play which culminated in a 54-10 thrashing over the Cougars.

    Utah went into its bye week this week on a high note after the statement blowout victory, but has quickly put the win behind it and began preparing Monday for Washington, its next Pac-12 conference matchup.

    The Utes host the Huskies in just over a week on Saturday, October 1, at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City at 5:00 p.m. (MDT). The game will be shown on Fox Sports Net, also known as Root Sports in some areas.

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