Cut: Duke not living and dying with one game

Duke head coach David Cutcliffe met the media on Sunday night for his weekly Sunday night teleconference. Here’s a notebook from the call…

For the first time all season, Duke spent the week after the game against Miami recovering, enjoying the first of two byes. The next comes at the end of October after going on the road to face Georgia Tech and then Virginia.

This first week off came at an opportune time for the Blue Devils as the team needed the time to heal some bumps and bruises that had begun to fester through five weeks, and it allowed the coaches extended preparation times as they look toward Georgia Tech’s triple option offense.

- Cutcliffe was asked about the game with the Yellow Jackets and why Tech has proven so difficult a matchup in recent years for the Blue Devils. The Duke head coach believes the biggest challenge with the Jackets is the way they shorten the game for both teams with offensive possessions.

“You’re not going to stop them from running the football, you have to slow them down,” he said.

- As Duke prepares for that, they have freshman Nico Pierre running the scout team in practice. The scout team consists of redshirt freshmen, graduate assistants, and walk-ons.

- In order to be fully prepared, the Blue Devils have practiced in full pads on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday during the bye week.

- Concerning the 2nd bye week in October, Cutcliffe said the practices would not be as physically demanding in preparation for the long November run of five games.

Following up on the health of the team, Cutcliffe indicated that quarterback Thomas Sirk would get some light work on Sunday and hoped to have him and others who have been out back fully by Tuesday of this week.

- When asked how Anthony Boone had responded to the bye week, Coach Cutcliffe said that Boone is a veteran quarterback that won’t live or die with one play or game. He said that Boone had been upbeat during the week.

- Cutcliffe also shared his views on the state of the Blue Devil team and topics surrounding college football. He said he was able to catch a few of the games on tape from Saturday. When asked what he thought about all of the upsets that occurred on the first weekend of October, he said that he saw there are a lot of good teams in college football, but maybe not a dominant team.

- Coach believes top-25 polls should not be cast until the first Saturday in October is completed. He also mentioned he would be nervous if he were on the selection committee for the four team playoff at the end of the season.

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