Cutcliffe Tuesday Quotes

Duke head coach touches on QB situation and his team's prep for Georgia Tech

Opening Statement
"It's a challenge because it's a completely different style of offense than in the past. They do the best job consistently of creating problems with big plays; great play action pass team particularly with a quarterback like Vad (Lee). He has such a strong arm. He can go downfield with the ball. They always have big, tall receivers that give you opportunities to out-jump you. It's difficult. They've gotten better and better through the years of getting the slot back and the fullback out in route; a huge challenge for our defense. We've got a lot of work left to do."

"Offensively, it's always different when you lose your starting quarterback who's been there all along. I would say this about today's practice and even Sunday – I thought Brandon (Connette) and Parker Boehme both went out there and just went about their business, full-speed. And it's what I expected. It is a challenge for Coach (Kurt) Roper in timing and scripting. You've got a guy that's a true freshman. You've got a guy that's been in the system but he's different than Anthony (Boone). We got a lot of looks at a lot of things. I'm pleased with where we are and what we're doing, but it's just like any other injury. In football when you have those on either side of the ball, people have to step up."

On Brandon Connette
"Brandon throws it well on the run. He runs the football well. There's a lot of things he does different than Anthony."

"We miss our Anthony. He was our starting quarterback for a reason – he was our starter. But at the same time I can't tell you how thankful I am to have a guy like Brandon Connette. Whether you consider him the two or the three, who knows with (Thomas) Sirk in the mix. But he comes in and he leads us to 21 points in the second half. And we don't miss a beat. We don't have any cadence issues or getting the signal from the sideline. There are a lot of college football teams that this early in the season, if they have to go to their backup, would have a struggle functioning. Brandon didn't even think twice about that."

"We knew he could throw the football when we signed him. He had a rocky start throwing the ball, which we thought he might in camp. We literally saw him get better every day. He took all the number two reps. He wasn't getting all of that sometimes in the past. He'd been somewhat of a situational quarterback, which you don't practice in that way. Interestingly at camp, he was not only playing quarterback with a lot of energy, he was doing a lot of the phantom things as well during that time. Unfortunately all of that is kind of out the window now, but he's going to get better and better."

On Garett Patterson
"Garett is a really good athlete. Not a ton of football experience. He's played behind some good players – Lee Butler and Tony Foster and of course Ross (Cockrell). He's seen some good people come through here. You've got to have great resiliency and confidence to play corner. I think he's grown a lot. You're going to get beat some. You've seen Ross Cockrell suffer through it. But Ross has never changed. I think Garett is at a point now where his resiliency and his competitiveness matches his skill. He can run. He's a big, long corner and he's got really good feet. He's kind of learning how to manage his game. We talked a lot about that and Derek Jones has helped him a great deal, kind of building Garett's brand going into this year. He's making tackles when he's given the opportunity. Garrett's really, really fast and he's got excellent recovery speed."

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