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Coach Cutcliffe Teleconference Quotes

Duke head coach David Cutcliffe met the media ahead of his team's trip to Northwestern this weekend for the weekly teleconference. Here's what the Blue Devil leader had to say.

DAVID CUTCLIFFE: We're playing a team that we know quite a bit about, and they know a lot about us. Northwestern is an extremely well-coached team. Pat Fitzgerald's teams are going to hit you and they're going to make you compete. They obviously haven't started the way they planned or wanted. We haven't started the way we planned or wanted, so I'd imagine we're going to see two hungry football teams there. With that, I'll take any questions. 

Q. I realize that the Wildcats have had their share of struggles offensively in their first two games. Your thoughts about senior wide receiver No. 80 Austin Carr and what he has been able to accomplish early on. 

DAVID CUTCLIFFE: Well, he's a good player. They've got more than him. They've got weapons and they've got good football players on offense. They bothered us a year ago. They just had some inconsistencies like we have, being able to put the ball in the end zone when they're down there, being able to be consistent where you've got 11 people doing what they should be doing, but they've got a really good quarterback, good running backs, outstanding receivers. So we will have our hands full. I expect them to play extremely well, and that's what we'd better plan for. 

Q. And also, I think Coach Fitzgerald became head coach at Northwestern one year prior to your arrival at Duke. Your thoughts about what he has been able to accomplish with the Wildcats as their head football coach? 

DAVID CUTCLIFFE: Well, Pat Fitzgerald is first of all a great man. He's an outstanding coach. I coached against him when he was playing. He was an outstanding player, a Hall of Fame player, and he coaches the same way. I think they've had a nice consistent run at Northwestern. It is an outstanding program. Both of us are similar institutions. Your challenge is year to year having your team play up to the standards of your program. But Pat is a special football coach. 

Q. I know obviously you have Northwestern coming up here, but just to assess what you can say about Wake Forest's defense having played them.

DAVID CUTCLIFFE: Wake Forest has got an active defense. They are experienced. They attack -- the front attacks well, including backers. They do a great job at safety. Their coordinator coaches their safeties, so their safeties are like coaches on the field. They know what they're doing. They rarely make mistakes. They play hard. They're very gap conscious, and they cause a lot of people a lot of problems. 

Q. As far as your running game going forward, this past week 30 carries for 37 yards; 19 of those carries came from Daniel Jones. Just what you can say about the running game moving forward and who you expect to lead that. 

DAVID CUTCLIFFE: Yeah, it's obvious we didn't play very well in that regard. Part of it is not getting things done cleanly. Part of it is schematic. Part of it is just us making the decision the way we want to run the football. We're going to be better than that. I'm not going to let one game dictate who we think we are. We've got good backs. Maybe that's the better part of our offense right now, and we've got to get those guys involved and do a much better job of getting them involved. 

Q. I talked to Anthony Nash yesterday a little bit about his career. We all want instant gratification these days, but he's a guy that had to put in a lot of time before he became a significant player. Can you talk about his struggle to emerge as one of your top receivers? 

DAVID CUTCLIFFE: Yeah, I think -- I don't know if I would call it that he's ever had a struggle because he's played with a lot of good players, as you know. What he's done has been persistent, and persevering is something you learn at this level. Young players in good programs don't always see the field for the first couple of years. And then your response to that will dictate whether you're ever a player. Some of my favorite players, not just at Duke but all time, are people like Anthony that never quit. It tells you a lot about a person. 

I would get involved -- if I were in the mode of going into business with a startup, I would want Anthony Nash on my team because he knows nothing early should be easy, and every time it's difficult you should get better, and that's what -- he's a model for what young players coming into college football should mimic. 

Q. You told us yesterday that at practice Tuesday there were some inconsistencies that bothered you. Did it look better today?

DAVID CUTCLIFFE: Well, it looked better when I finished the tape. There was progress made yesterday. Loved it. There was more progress made today. Will it be enough? I don't know just yet. But there was some intention to get better today, and I haven't finished watching the tape. I have to come in and do this, they had to come get me because I'm loving seeing our guys work, and we are working. I think when the day is done -- I don't know if I'm ever pleased, but I'm going to be encouraged when we finish viewing the film of practice. 

Q. A couple players said after last year's Northwestern game that they thought you guys got out-physicaled in that game. Is that a challenge going into this game? I know before the season you said you wanted to be stronger and not have that problem. Is that a big challenge going into this game, being as tough or tougher than Northwestern?

DAVID CUTCLIFFE: Yeah, absolutely. And the reason they said that was because they heard it from their head football coach. So there's no question that was the case. Anybody that doesn't believe me I can sit and show them the tape, which we've shown them in a lot of circumstances already in the last two days' meetings. Yeah, it's going to be interesting to see how we respond to their -- they are a physical team. Their coach was a physical linebacker, and I just think often a lot of defensive football coaches, they establish those kinds of programs and teams. 



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