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Quotes from Kyle Whittingham's Weekly Press Conference
Opening Statement: Looking back, I thought the Louisville game was our most complete game of the year. We played solid in all three phases of the game. It was our most solid performance of the year. Colorado State is much improved over last year. They have a tough loss to Idaho, which I think is one of the most improved teams in the country, so it's not as big an upset as it may appear. CSU is known for playing hard-nosed, physical football. They are experienced up front on their offensive line. Their quarterback is second or third in the league in passing numbers. Defensively, they are much improved and have a lot more size and athleticism. They will be regrouped and ready to go. Coach Fairchild has done an outstanding job there and he will have them ready to roll.**Injury update:** The bye week has helped with some bumps and bruises. Walter Watts re-aggravated his knee and is questionable for this week. Sausan Shakerin (Shak) is also questionable (wrist and shoulder). Everyone else should be ready to go. Matt Asiata is having surgery today.
On the running backs: Shaky Smithson will move into the No. 2 spot at running back with Shak out. He took a lot of reps at running back last week and has experience as a running back in junior college. Shaky is bigger than a lot of people think - he has good size, is exceptionally quick and is a mixture between Eddie Wide and Matt Asiata. He is not a pure power guy, but he doesn't rely solely on speed and quickness.
Between Eddie, Shak, Shaky and Ray [Stowers] that's what it looks like the rest of the way. With Matt out we have to get a little more creative on how we distribute the ball now.
We have a lot of bodies at wide receiver, with Shaky donating most of his time at running back we shouldn't have a major drop off.
On playing on the road: It wasn't our best game at Oregon - they are proving to be a pretty good football team. If you want to win championships, you have to win on the road. The flipside is that we have four of our last six games at home.
On playing after a bye week: We have had a good run after bye weeks. If you study the entire country, most teams probably do well after a bye week. They have extra preparation, time to heal and get fresh. Our guys do a nice job of focusing, concentrating and continuing to improve during a bye week, much like a bowl situation.
On the team members who were affected by the tsunami in Samoa: They are doing good. Still, that's an extremely tough deal and they are working through it. We give them all the support we can give them. It's hard. In some ways the best therapy is to get back into things, but we are sensitive to what happened and what they are going through.
On the defense: We have a relatively large defensive scheme compared to most other schools. We played more base defense against Louisville, rather than our pressure packages. Our run defense was much more stout than in previous games. We were more consistent than we had been in the three games combined prior to that. Against Louisville we blew very few assignments, that's really what it boiled down to.
> Utah (3-1, 0-0 MWC) returns to action on Saturday, Oct. 10 against Colorado State (3-2, 0-1 MWC) in Ft. Collins, Colo. Kickoff is 4 p.m. in Hughes Stadium and the game will be televised live on the Mtn. Radio is KALL 700 AM (kall700sports.com).
> Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham is 2-2 in conference openers, with wins against San Diego State (2006) and UNLV (2008), and losses to TCU (2005) and Air Force (2007).
> Whittingham's teams are 4-0 coming off bye weeks, beating Wyoming (2005, 2007), Colorado State (2006) and New Mexico (2008).
> Utah has won the last three meetings against Colorado State, dating back to a loss in Ft. Collins in 2005, and is 53-22-2 all-time against the Rams.
> Whittingham earned career win No. 40 with Utah's 30-14 win over Louisville on Sept. 26. He is 40-15 in his fifth year as head coach.
> The Utes need two wins to reach victory No. 600 in school history. Utah's all-time record is 598-418-31. The Utes are one win away from victory No. 50 in Rice-Eccles Stadium, where they are 49-16 since the stadium opened in 1998.
> Utah finished its non-conference slate with a 2-0 record against the Western Athletic Conference (defeating Utah State and San Jose State) and a 1-0 mark against the Big East (Louisville). Utah was 0-1 against the Pac-10, falling a touchdown short at Oregon (31-24).
> Utah lost the MWC's leading rusher for the season when senior Matt Asiata injured his knee against Louisville on Sept. 26.
> Utah leads the nation in opponent third down conversions, allowing just 10 on 52 attempts (including 14 straight stops to start the season) for 19.2%.
> Utah is 248-153-14 all-time in the month of October and 6-5 on October 10.