Tuesday Media Quotes

Head Coach Ted Roof, QB Thad Lewis, and several other Blue Devils met the media Tuesday.

Head Coach Ted Roof

On playing the younger backups on the offensive line:
"It takes longer to develop at that position than any other position. I think that's a sign of progress when you start rolling some linemen through there, which is what we've been able to do to this point. They've gotten better -- the backups and the starters in that crowd at the guard position are playing about the same amount. It's good to have competition, it's good for morale and it's good in case you get somebody nicked up, as we all know is what can happen in this league."

On Ronnie Drummer's condition:
"[It's] not great. I don't anticipate on having him right now. I hope so [to have him in a couple weeks]. I say that to the best of my knowledge -- obviously I'm not a doctor and rely heavily on our great medical staff, but the injury he has right now is very painful. Any time you start messing with those ribs. Those are painful."

On Clemson trying to establish their running game even more now that they've lost a wide receiver to injury: "They established [the running game] pretty well when they had him. We're talking about perhaps the best backfield combination in America. They both bring different things to the table -- different styles. They put them in a lot of different places and get the ball to them a lot of different ways. It's quite a challenge to be able to try to slow that machine down a little bit because this football team is as talented as what we've played -- very explosive in every phase. Just like the last two teams we've played."

On what the team needs to get out of the last month of the season:
"W's (Wins). We need to get ‘W's.' That's we need to get out of the last month of the season. What's that saying? ‘People remember November.' It's November, or almost. We need to continue to get better and improve and we have during the course of the season and we need to continue to focus on doing that and win."

On how important it would be to get a win at home and the excitement from Duke fans:
"Our fans have been so loyal -- we want them to experience some good times and have reason to celebrate out here. We're very appreciative of the fact that they've hung in there with us and stuck with us. We want to play well at home four our fans."

On the tough schedule that Duke has played this year (ranked as the fourth-toughest in the nation):
"You look at the strength of our schedule, it's one of the top 10 toughest in the country. Part of that is because of what's happened with this league -- this league has grown by leaps and bounds and come so far. Not just the quality of the football but also the physicalness of the play. This has turned into a very physical league. I know we've played some good teams -- there's no question about that."

Zach Maurides

On facing Clemson, which owns one of the top defenses in the conference:
"They are one of the best defenses in the ACC. They've got a lot of great athletes, but it's not very different from the defenses we've seen in the past few weeks with FSU, Virginia Tech and Miami. They've got a lot of great athletes, which means they're bringing a very good pass rush. For us, that means we've go to be great in our technique and not give them opportunities. To do that, you have to have great hand placement, great footwork, know your assignments and know where you're going. We use the point system, so we have to make sure everyone is on the same page with that. Really though, it's just about executing. We know how to do it, it's just a matter of being consistent."

On playing his final two home games at Wallace Wade Stadium:
"I guess sometimes I try not to let the emotional aspect get into my game because I want to stay under control and make sure I'm focused on the game at hand. These are going to be very big games for me though, because I'm not going to have this opportunity again. I'm running out of opportunity as it is, but I think what it does do is add a little bit more pressure to be perfect. When I look back on it, I want those games to be special. I want to make sure I did everything I could to help us win."

On the team's goals heading into the stretch run:
"It's the same goal we had at the beginning of the season: win every game. We've got four games ahead of us, and there's not one of them that we can't win. It's a matter of us playing the best that we can and playing to our potential. I think if we do that, we can walk away with a season we're proud, knowing that we've built a foundation for years to come."

Ayanga Okpokowuruk

On defending Clemson's running game:
"They're very good running backs, but like I said, we play good running backs every weekend. We're not going to change up our approach. We're still attacking every play and trying to make plays in the backfield every time. They're some good players and we have to be ready for that, but in the same breath, we're not really adjusting to anybody. We're just going to attack every time."

On having to make adjustments after a series of injuries to the defensive line:
"A lot of young guys have had to step up into some new roles. People have been moved around and I think we've adjusted pretty well. We've improved even though we lost some really good players. Even with the losses, some of the young guys have stepped up and showed they can really play."

On the team's goals for the remainder of the season:
"We're trying to win every game from here out. I know here's a lot of discouragement, especially people from the outside looking down on us. We never give up hope or faith in each other though. We still think we can win out and we still believe that we have that much talent. It's just a matter of going out there and doing it."

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