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Cutcliffe: "Our Team Is Excited"

Duke head coach David Cutcliffe participated in the weekly ACC Coaches' Teleconference and said his team is excited about the opportunity to play Miami this weekend in Prime Time.

Q. On playing Miami 

COACH CUTCLIFFE: “I think our team understands the challenges. We’re pretty familiar with Miami and their ability. A year ago, they played extremely well at home and did a lot of things to take us out of the ballgame. We have a lot of respect for them. I’m looking forward to seeing how our team will improve and compete against a team that has so many dimensions. This is a program we know. They’re going to do what Miami does, and they do it well. We’re going to concern ourselves with Duke. We have a lot on the line ourselves.” 

Q. On the win over Virginia Tech 

COACH CUTCLIFFE: “It’s the kind of game that playmakers have got to make plays on both sides of the ball. You saw Jeremy with a sack and some tackles for losses and guys made big plays on defense; guys made big plays on offense. That’s how Virginia Tech is going to challenge you. And so there is growth in that. It’s not a news flash – down the stretch with people we’re getting ready to play, we better have some people make plays. One of the reasons we played well early was that we converted third downs. [Sirk] was unbelievably accurate and good in that regard. And then to quarterback us through four overtimes, and put ourselves in position to score in each of those overtimes, that’s a task that’s not easily done at quarterback. Without a mistake – no turnovers. Definitely he’s made progress, like you knew he would.” 

Q. On Duke’s increased depth 

COACH CUTCLIFFE: “I’m loving seeing guys contribute. They’re practicing better. It’s going to show up on the practice field. I want to know what they’re going to do based on how they practice.” 

Q. On Max McCaffrey 

COACH CUTCLIFFE: “Max is a leader at practice. He absolutely had a great game. Those catches were as good as I thought they were. The first touchdown catch was incredible – sandwiched and hit hard by two defenders. He blocked well, he competed, he ran routes when he knew he wasn’t going to get the ball. It was special. I’m really proud of Max – he’s playing like a senior should play.” 

Q. On hosting Miami this week 

COACH CUTCLIFFE: “What a great atmosphere – to get to play Halloween night. You kind of earn that, you’ve been playing well so you get selected to play in a primetime slot on television. I think it’s great for the Duke community, Duke crowd. I’m excited, looking forward to it. I know our players are. And then you take the history of Miami and its program, and you’re playing them on national television on Halloween night – what a challenge that is and what an opportunity that is. Based on their energy this morning, I think our team is really excited about this challenge.” 

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