Duke head coach David Cutcliffe
“It is good to be back playing football. It is funny how an open date makes you feel like it’s been forever since we have played. I thought it was very obvious Sunday evening when our team came back. They were excited to be back; energetic. I thought our practice was outstanding Sunday. I thought we had another good day this morning. I think our guys realize that they have a great opportunity in front of them, as well as a great challenge. Both of those should motivate you to prepare well. If you don’t prepare for a team like Georgia Tech, you will have a very difficult time. At this point, I think they are very excited about both, the challenge and they are very aware of the opportunity.”
How does a bye week benefit Duke?
“We had about eight guys that would not have played Saturday, that would have normally played if we had played. The two game stretch took a toll on us. We had guys that were already banged up and they got to the point to where they were worse. Being able to rest some people, has gotten not everybody, but a large number of people back out there. Juwan (Thompson) hadn’t played; Kenny Anunike hadn’t played. You get him back, Brian Moore back, Perry Simmons -- there are a lot of people involved in this that are critical to our success. I wish we had a few more. We are still hoping, as the week wears on having guys get a little closer. We are much better served by having an open date.”
On the secondary
“We are not stabilized there. We are rotating a lot of people there. Ross (Cockrell) and Lee (Butler) can play there if need be, so we just have a lot of circumstances to where we can wait to see that unfold a little further.”
Did you learn anything from Georgia Tech’s game against North Carolina?
“Obviously, we already know that Georgia Tech is very difficult to defend. You can’t give them a short field. You see that Thad Lee has made a difference; his ability to get the ball downfield throwing the football so accurately. They average 29.7 yards per completion in that game and a little more than five yards per rush. One completion was equivalent to five or six runs. You can’t have that approach and feel good about it.”
On having bye week prior to Georgia Tech
“Well we don’t get that choice. That is kind of the way it fell. We haven’t had one yet, prior to playing Georgia Tech. I think probably the best way to play an option team is to open up with them. You get to spend a portion of your spring practices and August to prepare. The next best scenario is to have an open date.”