Cutcliffe Tuesday Quotes

Head coach David Cutcliffe met the media on Tuesday as his team enjoys a bye week

Opening statement
"Yesterday ended the career of a very good friend and 17 years of baseball – Todd Helton. He got a hit on his last day as a major leaguer which was important to me. He was in the city of Los Angeles and I was texting back and forth with him last night. That's a ballplayer and an athlete that was a great teammate and great competitor. He played the game with a bunch of enthusiasm. I'm happy that Todd walked away with getting a hit on his last day."

"Our ball game(vs. Troy) was another game where our guys laid it on the line, kicking, people covering, returning. Our defense played extremely hard. Our offense played hard. We were very physical up front. Where we are right now is at an open date and trying to become what we're going to become. It's always a work in progress; each team. It's been a little unique. We've been a little more erratic than we've been in the past but we have a lot of big things happening and good things happening along with it. The toughest thing in sports is to maintain a performance level that's at the top of your game from wire to wire. And our sport that's 60 minutes. So avoiding loss yardage plays on offense that get us behind the chains, down-and-distance. Or giving up an untimely first-and-10 on a third down or giving up an untimely explosive or play that's a little too easy for the offense. Or our specialist not performing at a level as good as they have in the past or what they're capable of. It's kind of been the story in five games. It's left us 3-2 with a lot to build on. So that's where I see that we are, and we've got a great opportunity this week to rise above that and try to be a team that can put an extremely high level of performance in a game for 60 minutes."

On the improvement of the defense in the second half
"I think we challenged the (Troy) quarterback to execute more. It starts with that. There was certainly more pressure on him. Our coverage, we contested more from that standpoint. They really hadn't hurt us badly in the run game, even in the first half. We gave up a few too many easy runs. We did adjust some of that and that helped. But the biggest thing was making the quarterback try to execute at a level where he was a little bit more uncomfortable, whether it was open receivers. We didn't always do it but we did it so much better that they just couldn't put points on the board and then they got themselves in some bad down-and-distance and we put them in some bad down-and-distance. And when you can do that, you've got a real good chance for a stop. And that's what I mentioned before – our offense really is rarely stopped unless we put ourselves in a bad down-and-distance. That's part of that consistency we're looking at and we need to make some more of those big plays defensively and we need to get the ball. We've got to force some turnovers. When you're letting people into every possession in a kick, that's hard as well. That's our goal, whether it's a field goal, an extra point or a punt, that beats the heck out of the fact that you're turning the ball over."

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