SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – It has been over a week since Utah’s thrilling 43-42 win over USC, and the Utes are eager to get back on the field.

Coming off a bye week, the #14 Utah football team is preparing to face Washington State Thursday night in Pullman. Head coach Kyle Whittingham is happy the way the schedule worked out.

“I think this is the ideal scenario,” Whittingham said. “If you have a bye, to have it come on a Thursday so you get an extra couple of three days, then you get an extra couple of two days the next week. Sometimes you can get a little bit stale waiting the full two weeks, so I think that if you were to map it out and say this is exactly how we want it to play out, I don’t think it could be any more beneficial.”

Whittingham says his team need the extra time to prepare, because despite their 4-3 record with three losses in its last four games, the Cougars can still be a dangerous team.

“Washington State is a good football team,” Whittingham said. “They’re playing very well on defense. In fact, they’re number one in the conference in points allowed, which is really the most important statistic, defensively. Offensively, very similar to the scheme well saw ten days ago against the Trojans, which I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing for us. But there’s a lot of carryover.”

Whittingham hopes that the good vibes his team got from beating USC in the final minute at Rice-Eccles Stadium will carryover to this week.

“We’d love to keep that momentum heading into this game,” he said. “That gave us confidence on offense, and hopefully we can build upon that.”

One thing Utah wants to build on, is the running game, which has been lacking of late. Tavion Thomas has not taken over the backfield like he did last year, so the Utes have used a slew of backs, including Micah Bernard, Ja’Quinden Jackson and mainly, quarterback Cam Rising to run the ball.

“We’re not as productive in the running game as we have been in years past, Whittingham said. “But on the other side of that, we’re throwing the ball pretty darn good. So as long as you’re getting it done one way or the other. But we seem to be at our best when were running the ball effectively, which opens up the play-action pass game.”

Utah (5-2, 3-1 Pac-12) and Washington State (4-3, 1-3 Pac-12) will square off at 8:00 p.m. Thursday night.