Roof: Monday Media Conference Quotes

Head coach Ted Roof met with the media Monday afternoon to reflect on the season to date including the upcoming home opener against Maryland.

Opening statement

"We're excited to be coming home. It's been a long three-week road stretch for us and we're glad to be in our own stadium and playing in front of our own people this week against a very good opponent in Maryland. I feel that our players are going to be very excited to play and to compete this Saturday and to let it go. We need to put four quarters of our best football together in order to have a chance to beat Maryland and that's what we're going to try and get done this week."

On the quarterback situation

"I thought that early on our plan was to be conservative at the start of last week's game because so many teams go in there, fall behind and lose the game in the first quarter. We just didn't want to lose it in the first quarter. We were executing our plan and ended up with a lead after the first quarter, but then (Mike) Schneider got knocked out. Dap (Chris Dapolito) took the reins and I then I wanted to see Curt Dukes in competition. I wanted to find a way to get him the ball more and see what he did when he had his chance. And I thought he did some good things and provided a spark and some energy for our offense. We haven't made a decision about what we're going to do this week, but it's something we're going to discuss. Like always, it'll be determined on the practice field. I don't think one of the quarterbacks has really separated himself from the other ones yet and I'd like for that to happen. I'd really like to be a one-quarterback team, as I said before, but right now that's just not something that we're ready to do."

On Mike Schneider's condition

"He's fine. He took a pretty good lick. He was unconscious there. Somebody wrapped him up low and somebody hit him right under the jaw, just like you're supposed to do, and knocked him out. He's cleared and ready to go tomorrow, though."

On Curt Dukes

"When you're practicing, your third team quarterback doesn't always get a whole lot of reps. He doesn't rep the same things that the other quarterbacks do. But there was a situation where we were calling some things that he hadn't done in a while, since we couldn't keep calling the same two plays - they figured that out after a while. And he made some mistakes, but the thing that I was proud of was that he just kept going. He took it by the reins and ran with it, so I was pleased to see that. He made some decisions, because he was rusty, that he'd probably like to have back. I don't think you need to be negative with kids on game day. You ask them what they saw and you try to make corrections, but you want to keep them pumped up and keep them going, especially at that position. You don't want them to get tentative and afraid to let it go and throw the football. You try and correct it and once you make a decision, be decisive about it and let's go. He did some very nice things and you can certainly see there's some potential there."

On the team's numerous injuries

"We're not going to use that as an excuse, but we definitely want to get as many back as we can. A lot of them are day-to-day. And I think we're going to get some of them back; how many, I don't know. I hope all of them because we'd like to have our team fully healthy and ready to go on Saturday. None of these have been practice injuries. They've all been game injuries. We've certainly had our share of misfortune, but we have to play our way out of it. That happens to everybody, it's part of the deal and I'm not going focus on that. I'm going to focus on how we can improve and how we can get better so we can win a football game."

On the injuries to the receiving corps

"I think we're going to get some of those kids back. I think Deonto McCormick will be back. I think Senterrio Landrum will be back. I certainly hope so. Not just from an offensive perspective, but from a special teams perspective."

On fan support for the home opener

"I'm not under the impression that we won't have a good crowd. I'm not going to buy into that right now. I understand that it's a fifty-fifty proposition. We're doing everything we can to try and gather some support and get as many people here as we can. At the same time, we have to put a good product on the field. A good product so people will keep coming back and one that people want to watch. I feel very confident that our kids will be ready to play this week and be excited about playing in front of our fans and putting on a good show to keep them coming and get them involved."

On Maryland

"They're very well-coached. Ralph (Friedgen) does a great job and I'm sure they'll be ready to play. They're very disciplined and they're patient. Once they sense a crack or a soft spot, they'll keep testing that until you get your deal correct and they'll keep prodding and poking and go somewhere else. But the running backs are very productive. The thing about that football team is they're physical, as was Virginia Tech. But I think we're getting more physical, too. So like I said, we'll go after this week up-tempo on the practice field and try and get our guys ready to go to war on Saturday."

On finally playing at home after three straight road games

"You like playing at home because of the familiarity of being at home, but sometimes you like being on the road, too. There are advantages to that, as far as cutting down the number of distractions in terms of preparation. But I think three in a row is enough."

On Ralph Friedgen

"Ralph is very detailed in every facet of the game. From self-scouting to preparation to scouting reports to weight room to academics, he's very detailed and very thorough, and so is George O'Leary (under whom Roof and Friedgen both coached at Georgia Tech)."

On the special teams

"I was proud of what Matt Brooks did against Virginia Tech, coming back and knocking it through from 45 yards. I was proud of all our special teams. Virginia Tech is a team that prides itself on having not good special teams, but great special teams. I thought our coverage units were excellent. We protected the punter and we gained position on two plays: the fake punt, which led to our opening touchdown, and when they roughed the punter."

Assessing the Duke team

"I think we're improving. I've seen big strides. I think we have a lot of kids who have gotten some early experience in some close ballgames. We're not where we wanted to be, though. We'd like for the wins and losses to be a lot different, but they're not and that's where we are. Like I said, I'm not going to use injuries or youth as an excuse. We are what we are right now and we've got to do better."

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