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Matt Piper and Kyle Goon
Matt Piper and Kyle Goon cover University of Utah sports teams for The Salt Lake Tribune. Matt Piper is on twitter at @matthew_piper, Kyle Goon is on twitter at @kylegoon

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Whittingham: Utes better, but so are Pac-12 opponents

As difficult as it was for Utah fans to suffer the loss to Oregon State, get used to the losing feeling, there are probably many more losses in the Utes' future.

Utah coach Kyle Whittingham admitted as such during the Pac-12 teleconference call on Tuesday, noting that he feels this team is better than ones the Utes have had in recent seasons and has "closed the gap" on Utah's competitors in the Pac-12.

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However, he said it might be hard to judge the progress because the league has improved too. Translation, Utah fans better be happy with improvements and don't worry so much about the team's record.

Whittingham said he feels good about Utah's recruiting which makes or breaks, teams' progressions, but Utah still needs depth and more talent, particularly in the secondary and receiver spots.

The Utes have been hurt there, particularly on the defensive side, with injuries and signees who didn't pan out.

Some fans might take Whittingham's comments as defeatist in nature, but I don't think that is the case at all.

Whittingham has said all along the move to the Pac-12 would be a multi-year venture and he hasn't wavered in that assessment.

However, some Utah fans may not have realized how painful that venture might feel.

- Lya Wodraska

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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