Quotes: Duke 47, Tulane 13

The Blue Devils met the media following their big win over the Green Wave on Saturday.

Duke Head Coach David Cutcliffe

On the game being a battle:

“Well we battled ourselves maybe a little too much. Tulane did some good things. They ran the ball well and they were better up front than we thought they were just based on tape, but we still battled ourselves. At the same time, look at what our team created and energized. We took the ball away from them. They didn’t throw it effectively for any part of the ball game. We hit that quarterback a lot, a lot and applied a great deal of pressure and we knew going in we were going to do that. Offensively, we ran the football again. We were very very physical in our blocking. They kind of jumped things up defensively. They jumped their entire defensive front and played a whole different front from about midway through the second quarter on and our guys managed that. The kicking game was huge. We punted the ball well. We kicked it off well and covered it well. On punt return we returned it when we had a shot. They didn’t punt it very high. We also created a touchdown with our punt return unit. We returned kickoffs when we got the chance well enough. The things we didn’t do were penalties and we turned it over offensively and didn’t tackle as well defensively. That would kind of be summing up the day and that’s why if we don’t battle ourselves, if we don’t turn it over, we tackle just a little bit better and we don’t get the penalties we have this could have been an extremely dominant win.”

On the defense being resilient and fighting the entire game:

“When you realize they ran 95 snaps…It was hot. It was one of those hot hot ball games and we’re a little thinner there than we’d like to be. We played a lot of people. But still, 95 snaps, 375 yards and 13 points, you call that day a success. And we scored on defense.”

On how he feels about the team moving into ACC play:

“I believe and know we will be at our best and have to be as we head to Miami on the road. We’re going to check our wounded and see where we are. We have to be a fresh team Sunday. It’s a great night and it’s hard as a college student. Campus is a little crazy, but it’s a good night for them to get some rest. We’re going to feed them tomorrow twice and have a light workout, but we have to have a great week, correct mistakes and build on what we’re doing extremely well.”

On having so many former players in attendance:

“It was great seeing so many and all the way back to Coach Wade’s last team, the Orange Bowl victorious team from 1954 was here. A lot of ’94 guys for obvious reasons and still a few ’89 and everything sprinkled in between. After the ball game it was a treat for me to get to see Patrick Manelly who played more snaps than anybody in the history of the Chicago Bears and did it flawlessly. Peyton Manning and I talked a lot about Patrick. They came out at the same time and what a career he has put together. Peyton actually told me he wrote Patrick a note because he had been such a professional and such an inspiration as a professional football player. Really proud to see Patrick Manelly, and all of Duke should be very very proud of Patrick Manelly and his career and who he is.”

Duke Quarterback Anthony Boone

On what can be improved following today’s game:

“Go back to the drawing board tomorrow and see what we can do to execute. Tough road game coming up in Miami, ACC play, so we’re excited about that, but it’s definitely good to get this game behind us and move forward from that.”

On the progression of games played and what Tulane did differently:

“They ran different coverages, different fronts, just trying to create havoc any way they could to stop our offense. Our offense has multiple answers, so they tried to give us multiple problems, but our defense did a really good job today of trying to really get after their quarterback and really take care of us by creating turnovers.”

On learning more about this team after four games:

“No matter what, we find a way to win. We find a way to crunch down in times when we need to crunch down and we find a way when there’s crucial times to get a stop or get points on the board. We do that, whether it’s offense or defense or special teams.”

On running the offense with strong options at running back and receiver:

“Our guys up front do a great job of pass protecting, and they do a great job of run blocking. The backs do the rest and the receivers do the rest for me – they get open and they catch the football. And that’s all we ask for, is guys taking care of the football and guys running the ball hard. That’s all we ask for from our backs, our O-line and our receivers – everybody who touches the ball on our offense, we just tell them to take care of the ball and do what you have to do.”

On how he has matured after playing so many games:

“A lot of it just comes from making a lot of mistakes. You live and learn through experience. That’s kind of what it is at quarterback, growing pains. There’s a lot of things that you can do to get you prepared, but the ultimate test is definitely the growing pains.”

Duke Kicker Ross Martin

On getting into a rhythm:

“Obviously it’s great to get any kind of field goal, but our first and foremost priority is getting touchdowns. PATs are the main focus – I hit six today versus one field goal, so PATs are extremely important. Field goals are great. It’s good to get at least one a game or two a game, so it was good to get that.”

On working hard over the summer to start strong this season:

“I’m feeling great. Right now I haven’t missed a field goal, so I want to keep that going as long as possible. At the end of the day, it’s one kick at a time, so you take a kick and whatever Coach calls for, you’ve got to make it.”

On breaking Duke’s all-time points record in the game:

“The amount of points I’ve gotten over the two-and-a-third years really is a testament to how good our team has gotten. Obviously, we’re producing on the defensive front and we stop teams. We’ve gotten more touchdowns in the last couple years than ever so that also adds up in the PAT category. You don’t want to leave any points off the board. Any opportunity you get, you’ve got to make those.”

Duke Safety Deondre Singleton

On what the Tulane offense presented:

“I felt they did everything we scouted for. They came out running the same plays we had seen them run earlier in the year. They didn’t really throw anything new in there – just ran the same plays they had success doing in the past.”

On defending the read as a safety:

“It’s kind of tough because my read is based on the No. 2 receiver, so I have to make sure he’s not going out for a pass. I’m always pass first, obviously, so it’s kind of tough to get a run block on him, especially when they have two backs in the backfield. When he goes, I have to make a decision – either he’s going to come in and crack me and I’m going to have to push up, push through the crack or I’m going to have to get outside. So it’s kind of tough.”

On the cohesion of the defense after four games together:

“The first four games we’ve had a lot of success. I think Coach is very proud of us and how we’re playing. We’re not a team that quits and we’re always going to be good in the fourth quarter. As we say on defense, the fourth quarter is our quarter.”

On how the younger members of the defensive unit are maturing:

“We’ve gotten a lot better after the first four games. We’re yet to have given up a receiving touchdown, so I think that’s something to be proud of.”

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