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Press Conference: David Cutcliffe

Duke football coach David Cutcliffe talks with the news media on Monday. Duke (1-5, 0-3 ACC) takes on Virginia Tech (5-2, 3-0 ACC) on Saturday.

Opening Statement

“We had a good practice Sunday night, and I was extremely impressed with our players. They’re spirited; they refuse to hang their heads. We’re so close in so many areas, and I’m hoping that’s part of it. We’ve made more than enough mistakes to last an entire season. We all know that, and it’s resulted in the record we have. We went back out there today with a lot of intensity and a lot of contact. They are willing to do what it takes to get better and as long as they maintain that willingness, we have the ability to take this team and turn things in our direction. We obviously have a huge challenge going to play an extremely talented Virginia Tech team. We worked very physically today in practice to prepare for a very physical Virginia Tech team when we go to Blacksburg. We need a good solid week’s worth of work, and I think we will get that and get on the bus Friday expecting to play well.”

In reference to team feeding off quarterback’s ability to overcome adversity

“I don’t think there is any question that a quarterback is considered a leader naturally on a football team, not just because of their position, but because of their commitment. All players realize how hard that the quarterback has to work, particularly in this day in time to prepare mentally and physically. So it puts you in a position that your team depends on you. Sean is challenged. He is a big boy and he is taking that challenge on. He is not running away from it. He understands the responsibility, and out squad has confidence in him. I can’t make that happen, nor can he. Ultimately what it comes down to is performance on game day. He can’t fix this in one day, but rather one play at a time. Great habits ultimately produce great results.”

In reference to confidence and the defense “swagger”

“People use the word swagger a lot now. I said this earlier, but the science of winning is total and thorough preparation. Winning and being a winner is more important than swagger. Sometimes swagger involves display. Display without preparation becomes trash talk, and trash talk gets you beat. I want Duke Football to have a swagger, but I want it to be backed up by a competitiveness and a preparation. It’s easy to get knocked off a high horse if you’re not careful.”

In reference to Virginia Tech

“I didn’t watch James Madison because that was a different set of circumstances. I watched Boise a good bit. That was a great football game, and Virginia Tech didn’t play poorly at all against them, Boise’s just good. They have improved significantly offensively. You knew that Bud Foster was going to grow his defense up a bit.”

In reference to Duke’s wide receivers

“I don’t think we’ve digressed, I just don’t think we are playing as well as we can be. I think we’ve had too many drops in critical times. I’ve gone back and looked at that, and that bothers me. It’s not a one man show when it comes to errors and mistakes. I don’t want to do any finger pointing, but I think our receivers can and will consistently play better. First thing I want to see and do is block better.”

In reference to traveling to Blacksburg and turnovers

“Any time you go on the road, particularly in your league, one of the best ways to help yourself with the home crowd is to create turnovers and create mistakes. And (in 2008) we were able to do that for a half. These guys have been up there and they know how big a challenge it is. Turnover ratio at minus-11 is killing us. That works both ways. Were certainly taking it away enough, and we’re giving it away too much.”


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augusta free press news


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