Weekly Football Press Conference

DURHAM, N.C. - Duke football coach Ted Roof sat down with the media Monday along with running back Justin Boyle and nose guard Vince Oghobaase to discuss Duke's game with Florida State (Saturday, 1 p.m., Durham, N.C.). Roof also discusses the Alabama game and the rest of the season.

Coach Ted Roof

On Eli Nichols "He's going to be gone for awhile, not sure how long. It's a real shame because he's been playing well and a real leader. He had put so much into his fifth season."

On the running game
"We have guys healthy and made some yardage after contact. The offensive line is developing and has to continue to get better. We have to have some success running the ball to win games, and this was first time we had sustained success. Clifford Harris added something as well at quarterback."

On keys to winning football games
"Red zone offense and defense, turnover to takeover ratio, and penalties all contributed to us not being able to close out the game."

On rushing defense success
"We're going to play people and success has been ability to keep fresh bodies in there. Having guys playing 80 to 90 snaps a game is formula for disaster."

On only playing eight true freshmen this year, as opposed to recent years
"The only way we will play more is if we are decimated by injury. We won't put them in for three or four snaps a game; that is not good for the long run."

On Florida State
"They have tremendous athleticism and speed. They are one of best programs in the country. Their ability for big plays is a big concern. They have lost games to athletic, speedy teams in Clemson and N.C. State, but I don't buy that they're down."

On moving forward from tough losses
"That's what the team talked about this morning. We need to build and focus on getting better. I don't know what else to focus on. We have to learn from each experience, especially ones against fantastic opponents."

On making adjustments and staying with a tough oppponent
"They (Alabama) made some adjustments in the second half and we tried to stay with them. There were four or five plays that if we had made, who knows what the outcome would have been."

On the Offensive Line
"The line is getting better and backs were running through tackles. Yards after contact are critical, and we need to win that battle. The O-Line is playing together and gaining experience in games. We need to keep getting better and I anticipate that happening."

Justin Boyle

On playing at Alabama
"It was exciting to play in a place like that. Every kid that comes to play football in college, that's what they dream of playing in."

On Saturday's loss to Alabama
"We were ready to fight; we were ready for a tough game. We just made a couple of costly mistakes that cost us the game. I think we had a good week of practice and you could tell everyone was excited and ready for that game."

On the running game in Saturday's game against Alabama
"I think that was our break out game for our group of running backs. We've kind of struggled as a group all season. We came out and we were eager to play well for our team. We put high expectations on ourselves as a group for this season and we've kind of struggled throughout the year. I think we really stepped up to the plate and helped our team."

On the play of the offensive line in Saturday's game at Alabama
"Our offensive line played really well. They played a great game and they opened up huge holes for us. They've been working hard every week in practice, just grinding it out. We had a real good week of practice last week and we could tell that we were going to have a good game."

On the team's attitude before Saturday's game at Alabama
"I think our team handled it pretty well. We came into the game and everyone was pumped up before the game. I think that really helped us. We've got to come out and keep fighting, keep preparing the way we know how and get ready for every game."

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