Reigning MWC Player of the Week DeVonte Christopher was one of three players who attended the weekly press conference.
Sept. 7, 2010
On behalf of our players and coaches, we want to extend our sympathies to Wyoming and coach Dave Christensen with the tragedy they experienced this past weekend. It's something that hits close to home and they are in our thoughts and prayers.
As far as the Utes, it was a good way to start the season. We got a win against a very good Pitt team with a great running back, receiver and a physical defense. We didn't play our best game, we had a lot of miscues, but I am proud of the way our players responded. They battled and fought and found a way to win at the end. We had two Mountain West Conference players of the week - Brian Blechen in his first Division I action and DeVonte Christopher in his first opportunity to play extensively. Congrats to those guys. We are 1-0, but it was one game, and we had a lot of deficiencies in that game. We have our work cut out for us and a lot to work on this week.
Looking at UNLV, they looked on tape like a much-improved team. The game against Wisconsin got away from them in the second half, but they played with them in the first half. It's going to take Coach Hauck some time to get his players recruited and do what he wants to do, but he showed in the way that they played that he's going to do a good job there.
On facing UNLV after a tough Pittsburgh game:
It's our first conference game, and our first goal is to win the MWC. All we have to do is remember a few years back when we didn't play so well, and we have no chance of overlooking this game.
On UNLV not naming a starting quarterback:
It doesn't affect our prep. We saw them both on tape Saturday and they are both capable. They both have their own skill set and things they do well. We anticipate seeing both anyway, so we will prepare for both. There is not a big difference between the two.
On DeVonte Christopher:
We knew he was a talented kid when we recruited him, and we always believed in his ability. Last year he was stuck behind some good receivers and there was not a lot of opportunity for him. He got that opportunity and made the most of it in the last game. He has completely bought into the position change and is working hard in practice, and that is the key. If you work hard in practice it will translate to the game, and that's what happened.
On the play of Tony Bergstrom and John Cullen against the Pitt defensive ends:
They did a great job. Bergstrom has played a lot of good football for us. He is one of the best tackles for us and a mainstay on the line. What Cullen was able to do was impressive. We knew he was talented, but to line up against one of the top defensive ends and allow no pressure and no sacks, was a great effort by John. There was great preparation by John and he was ready for the challenge. The offensive and defensive lines controlled the game in my opinion. What we did against the run game was manifested by the line play. We held a great running back to his lowest single-game total.
On things to clean up:
We have to take better care of the football. You are not going to win a lot of games with three turnovers. That is addressed all the time, we just have to do a better job. When you have a punt blocked, you have an 82-percent chance to lose. We had too many sloppy penalties. In order to win you need four things - talented players, a great effort, you have to be a playmaker and you have to play smart, disciplined football. We have to clean up the fourth category.