Santa Clara, Calif. • Kyle Whittingham was royally ticked about what might have been a blown call near the end of Utah’s 10-3 loss to the Washington Huskies in the Pac-12 championship game at Levi’s Stadium.
The Utes were attempting to, at a minimum, tie the game up in the closing seconds after they had driven into Washington territory, needing a touchdown, something they had failed to achieve up to that juncture.
Quarterback Jason Shelley delivered a pass to Siaosi Mariner, who was hit by Husky defensive back Byron Murphy. Whittingham thought the contact came too early and was upset when the ball fell incomplete. His demonstrative behavior on the sideline made his displeasure clear.
The coach’s postgame comments made it clearer still.
When he was asked afterward about being fired up at the non-call, he said: “Wouldn’t you be? Did you see the same thing I saw? I don’t know how I can say anything without getting fined, but I’m used to it.”
Whittingham said he got no explanation on the call.
He went ahead and complimented his defense. He complimented his team’s resolve and resiliency. He complimented the ability of his team to overcome adversity this season and he expected them to prepare conscientiously for whatever bowl game to which the Utes get invited, knowing it won’t be the Rose Bowl.
“This is a tough group,” he said. “We’ve had to move on from a lot of stuff this season, and we’ll continue to come back. We’ve had bowl games where guys take it seriously. They do a great job in preparation, and I don’t expect this year to be any different.”
And he added: “Am I going to get fined or not? Probably not. I don’t think so.”