Al Golden: Duke post-game comments

Read on to see everything head coach Al Golden was saying following his team's 49-14 win over Duke on Saturday.

Obviously, I'm proud of our effort today. I thought we really prepared hard this week and it showed in the game. I think we ran scared all week. We really weren't trying to figure out who we were playing or how we were going to playing, and it was really just about getting better and I think we got better this week. Clearly we played a lot of people in this game even before eight minutes to go in the fourth quarter. So we played a lot of people and found out a lot about our team and clearly we're excited about the opportunity we have moving forward.

On Lamar Miller reaching 1000 yards rushing…
I didn't know. That's great. I'm proud of him and the offensive line in general. They're sitting there with an eight- and nine-man front all game. I thought he ran really hard. Clearly, he finished his runs better than he had been the last few weeks. He was trusting and not really pittering his feet in the holes. I think he made a lot of progress with that.

On how he improved…
We had to hammer it in. He was pressing, I think he was trying to hit home runs and not hitting singles. He was hitting singles today and then the big ones came later in the game, which they should if you wear them down. Again, the offensive line played really well. I really felt they played their best game. We'll see on film. Especially Seantrel Henderson, I think training camp is over for him now. He looked like Seantrel should look so hopefully that will prove itself in the film.

On Mike James having a good game…
Mike did a good job. He looks like he's running as good as he ran all year, physically. I thought that was good. He trusted his feet a couple times. Instead of stuttering in the hole, he just trusted it and hit it and it paid off for him. And Mike always does a good job catching the ball out of the backfield so it was good.

On Stephen Morris getting looks…
It's something we've been working on for a couple of weeks now. Stephen's fast. He's legitimately fast. And obviously he's got a big arm. So it's not like if he's in there, it's just one dimensional and it's going to be a wildcat run, that's not the situation. I thought he did a nice job and the one ball he threw was spectacular. I wish he came down with it, the one to Travis that was incomplete. He did a good job, you know, it gives us another dimension if we can continue to grow that package.

On going to FSU next week…
I'm excited. Undoubtedly, it's an exciting opportunity for us. It's going to be a challenging environment, we all know that. And obviously, they're playing really well. That being said, I'd like to say that today and tomorrow, and then go back to work. We're trying to teach the team a process that will work game in and game out. And they have better focus and really practiced better this week and they brought it to the game, and that's what we're trying to do.

On what they found out about the team…
We were embarrassed by the way we played, to be honest with you. We didn't play well at all last Thursday. We didn't. In all three phases. We did some really bad things in the game. We gave up explosive plays on defense and penalties. We didn't convert enough on offense. We were hurting. That was a bad performance. The guys, instead of sticking around and moping, they got back after it. A lot of guys grew up this week. They really did. It wasn't easy, there were tough practices. Seantrel grew up. Malcolm Bunche grew up. Dyron Dye grew up, he played his best game. Mike and Lamar did a nice job. Phillip Dorsett is getting better every week. On the defensive side, Denzel played a lot today, he's getting better. Chick is growing up. Ray-Ray looked like he was a little more comfortable today, so that's good. We have to keep moving forward.

On Futch being down…
It'll be Cain and Denzel. Those will be the guys. We'll have to examine it based off what Florida State is doing. But the early assessment is that he'll be all right. We'll know more by tomorrow night when I talk to you guys, but I think he'll be alright.

On Jim Otto being around this week…
We're very fortunate. And again, because of our lineage, not being a national championship team for a decade, a lot of our guys right now, the Ed Reeds and the Ray Lewises, they're getting towards the time where they go into Hall of Fames and that sort of thing. We have Russell going in this year. But I think to say to the team that this guy is the best center that ever played the game, I think that's special. He shared some great words with them. And it really matched up to what we were saying all week. Just enjoy the journey. Forget about the future. Don't worry about the past or the expectations of the past. Just focus on today and get better every day, so it was great.

On which young player stood out…
It may not be young, it may just be that some of them are inexperienced. Dyron I thought fought through it. He was a little nicked up, but he fought through it. I thought that was good. Dorsett's been steadily getting better week after week. Denzel wasn't perfect, but he's getting better. There were a lot of guys that did a nice job. You guys have been talking about Seantrel so long that you forget he's a sophomore. I think he played his best game and I think Bunche played well equally. So it was good.

On what he told Lamar after the last three games…
It starts with Terry and Jedd. I'm over there at warm-ups and Alonzo Highsmith is telling him that too. I think he listened to Alonzo. But really just hit it. Just get downhill and hit it. The home runs will come. Just trust the track, the aim point, your landmark. Keep hitting singles and then the singles will turn to doubles, and eventually you'll hit the long ones, which he did.

On how tough it is to get young kids to buy into the process and not really on their own abilities…
It's hard. But you have to do it. Otherwise you just stay in the cycle. As John Wooden said, you're constantly leaving it up to fate if you don't adhere to a process. If you don't turn your choices and your approach into habits, then week in and week out, you're flipping a coin. You can't do that anymore in college football, you can't. I hope we learned that last Thursday, again Virginia played really well but I'm not responsible for Virginia I'm responsible for Miami, and we did not do the things that we needed to do all the way through that game to win that game. Hopefully, that will be a lesson for our guys that the process will deliver you.

On Jacory protecting the ball…
Again, I don't know any other Jacory. I just think he's playing really well. He's making good decisions. It looks like he's going to get sacked and he throws it out of bounds. How good is he playing right now? He's playing really well. He's managing the game. He's not getting sack or turning it over. He's finding a myriad of receivers, guys out of the backfield, tight ends, wide outs, he's throwing deep balls, shallow crosses, corners, the quick fade, we have a special name for it, to Streeter out there. He's doing a really good job for us.

On seeing the results from the guys having Friday, Saturday, and Sunday off…
I think so. I don't think there's any question about it. It was tough now. We had a tough Tuesday and we had a real tough Wednesday. I told the guys that that's my responsibility. I probably laid off them too much over that three week period and I feel like I'm chiefly responsible for the way we played last week. I really believe that. We're not far enough along where we can lay off of them. We have to keep them focused and improving every day. So we went physical, but we had to give them those days off because it was seven weeks in a row. If we did anything good over those three days, we resisted temptation to say, "Hey we're not going to play like that, get your pads on and let's go outside." We resisted that and I think it worked for us.

On converting the fourth and one…
That's it. It was a challenge for us all week. We were six of nine so we did a good job today on third down. Our fourth down conversions have been pretty good. I just told the offensive coaches this week not to give them a way out. We're going to call this play, this play or this play and they have to block it. So we trusted them and they got it done. If we constantly try to scheme the situation, then the onus never goes to them to make it in short yardage. It's hard to sleep at night if you tell a team to go fourth and one and you don't think they can get it no matter what.

On Morris being out there to use every offensive weapon available…
I think that's a great point. I've been saying it for a couple of weeks now, how much he is improved and how well he is doing. It's nice to have him because he can run and he's got a big arm. He and Jacory get along so well. It's always about the team with them. If I'm a politician, I'm not putting Steve in because right away, half the votes are cast in the stadium to not take him out, but I think that's the best thing for the team right now.

On how much he will play from here on out…
We'll see. We'll take a look at it on tape. Again, it's dictated by what the defense gives us and how we think we can attack them. So that's how it will be dictated.


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