The Utah Utes are definitely down after Saturday's blowout loss to Arizona State, but all is not lost, they insisted Monday.
Utah quarterback Jon Hays, running back John White and defensive end Nate Fakahafua all admitted the disappointment of Saturday's 37-7 loss to Arizona State is lingering.
Having a few extra days before the Utes begin preparations for USC should help, Hays said.
The Utes are off until Thursday, when they'll resume practice for the Trojans, who visit Oct. 4.
"It's tough, but we have to put it to bed," Hays said. "We have two days, then we have to get ready for USC."
Fakahafua said the defense was prepared, but still surprised by the way ASU dominated them.
"For a team to run over us like that was embarrassing," he said. "We need to fix it and we will."
As bad as the loss was, White pointed out that Utah lost its first four league games last year then won four in a row.
"We'd like to get this thing going quicker this year," he said.
The pivotal game in 2011 was a 34-10 loss at Cal. After that loss the team had some player only meetings and rededicated themselves to the season.
The Utes said they needed to do something similar before playing USC.
"We should be better," White said. "We have great athletes and great coaches and we should be able to do great things."
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham, who said his team "was taken to the woodshed," cited blown coverages as the Utes' biggest downfall.
To that end, the Utes have moved senior Reggie Topps, who is also the starting nickel, ahead of Moe Lee at cornerback. The Utes replaced Lee with Wykie Freeman after Lee made some early mistakes, but Freeman later left with a leg injury.
Whittingham said the corner position might not be the only change the Utes make before USC.
"We have to rethink everything we are doing and make sure we have the best players on the field at each position. Some players will step up and we will see what happens in practice this week."
Former quarterback Jordan Wynn will participate in two ESPN studio shows in Charlotte, N.C. on Tuesday, Oct. 9.
Wynn will do a segment on "College Football Daily" at 11 a.m. MDT and will be a guest analyst on "The Experts" at 12:30 MDT with Andre Ware, Mike Bellotti, Mark Schlabach and Tom Luginbill. Both shows will be on ESPNU.
Defensive end Joe Kruger (foot) and safety Eric Rowe should return to the lineup when the Utes play USC. Rowe has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury.
Whittingham said the injuries were a factor but no excuse for the way the Utes played.
"It didn't help our cause but injuries are part of the game," he said.