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Cutcliffe: "We need 4 quarters from offense"

Duke head coach David Cutcliffe met the media this week for the weekly teleconference and discussed where his team is as the Blue Devils prepare for Army.

OPENING STATEMENT: Huge week. Again. We’re playing an extremely physical football team. That’s kind of been the mode. We knew that going into this stretch. And now you’ve got an Army team that’s extremely physical on both sides of the ball. They do an excellent job of running the option, but they do an excellent job of breaking that system some. They hit you with a lot of power. They’ve got weapons at quarterback, they’ve got weapons at fullback, they’ve got weapons at slot back and at receiver, and they do a good job of using them all offensively. Defensively, they’re strong. They have a lot of people playing at a high level. They are aggressive. 

Q. On Showing improvement: 

COACH CUTCLIFFE: We need four quarters from our offense of being as consistently good as we can. I knew that without seeing the tape. That’s why I wanted to get on the practice field. It’s been critical that we’ve won games that maybe in years past we wouldn’t have won. We’ve been resilient. We’ve had a chance to win every game that we’ve played. I felt like we should have beaten a good Northwestern team. So you have something to build for. And that’s why all of us should be excited right now about the opportunity this week to get better. 

Q. On Jeremy Cash: 

COACH CUTCLIFFE: Jeremy is a guy that is capable – and we all know he does – of making a boatload of plays. What I wanted to see from him is managing this game. He doesn’t have to try to make every play. You’ve got to be where you need to be constantly and not feel like you’ve got the weight of the world on your shoulders. That’s part of being a captain, that’s part of being a leader – understanding the schematic big picture of the defense. Not only being a player on the field but being a coach on the field. I think he’s done all of that exceptionally well. I think he knows our defense in and out. That’s helped him this year become an even better player after being an All-American the year before. 

Q. On Army West Point: 

COACH CUTCLIFFE: I admire everything about the athletes and the students. The first thing I can tell you, when I’ve been up there, when you not just look at the football players on the field, but you look at the cadets in the stands, then you understand commitment – commitment to country. Some of them will be infantry. Some of them will go on to be Rangers. Different things that put you in harm’s way. That’s the seriousness of what it is up there. The football end of it, these guys play as a team. It’s not just playing hard, it’s playing as a team. That’s what it is, whether you’re at any of those academies. You are a unit, not just an individual. I admire that. The old saying, it’s amazing what you can accomplish when no one cares who gets the credit – they’re the epitome of that. 

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