Mark Richt

Richt Talks Duke

Read on to see everything Mark Richt is saying about Duke.

Opening Statement…

“Let’s talk about Duke. Coach Cutcliffe has done an awesome job there. Just the things that have happened since he has been there have been tremendous. I’ve got a high level of respect for Coach [Cutcliffe]. I knew him way back when he was at Tennessee. He has always been one of the best quarterback teachers in America. He’s keeping that up, matter of fact, with this young kid [Daniel] Jones. I know their starter got hurt and Jones probably had to play a little sooner than they wanted him to. 6-5, 210 [-pound] redshirt freshman, very athletic. I watched him a little bit in their game against North Carolina, and he was doing a super job running the ball, especially in the red zone. You have to be real careful about that. He’s throwing the ball well – 2,500 yards passing. They’ve got a bunch of really good receivers. [T.J.] Rahming has 60 catches for over 600 yards, he’s doing a great job. They’ve got a couple of other guys in the 20s – their tight end [Erich] Schenider, and [Johnathan] Lloyd and [Chris] Taylor, their receivers, have got in the mid-20s to high-20s [in catches]. And then [Anthony] Nash, the senior receiver, also has 20 catches, sohey spread the ball around real good. Their offensive line is led by Casey Blaser, the right tackle, and Tanner Stone - two seniors doing a really good job for them. We share a lot of tape with everybody in the league. You might be watching somebody’s defense and you have to decide which offenses you want to watch them against…you don’t really want an eight-game breakdown, it’s almost too much film to watch. So you grab the ones that are the most meaningful, and I always want Duke’s offensive film versus anyone we play defensively, because of the respect I have for Coach Cutcliffe and his offense, and the style of ball that they play.

“Defensively they have a couple of guys leading the team in tackles – both of them are close to 100. You’ve got [Ben] Humphreys, the middle linebacker, has 98 tackles already. [Joe] Giles-Harris has got 94 tackles already, their, what we call, the ‘WILL linebacker.’ They got a veteran group in the defensive backfield. They have four returning starters back there, a couple of seniors. They’ve got a senior as their nickel back, [Corbin] McCarthy. They’re a very outstanding bunch of defensive linemen, guys who really play hard and get after it.  I’m very impressed in that way.

“In the kicking game, their punter [Austin] Parker is averaging almost 41 yards per punt. [Ryan] Smith, their return man, is averaging 10 yards per return. That’s what you kind of set as a goal, so they’re doing a good job there. They’re averaging 25.8 - almost 26 - yards per kickoff return. Shaun Wilson is doing a great job in that regard. As far as extra point and field goals, they’ve been struggling a little bit – [AJ] Reed is sitting here with 3-out-of-9. But he has a long of 38 [yards].

“One thing I failed to mention, as I do like to talk about, is our Scout Team Players of the Week from the week before. For NC State, on offense was Jack Allison, on defense was Jared Hardie and on special teams, Jake Romp. I always like to give those guys some love for the work that they do with us. We truly cannot function without them. Another thing I want to mention, this is something I’ve heard and I believe it - we’ve had over 50,000 fans in each of our home games this year. Miami has never had a season where there were 50,000 for every game. Let’s get over 50,000 in this game and set a record. That only can be done by the fan base, so we hope you guys will be there to support us and support these seniors again, and send us off in the right way. The way our new stadium is set up, we can create a lot of noise in there. Sometimes all it takes is one time for that offensive linemen to flinch, to be off-sides…I don’t know if crowd noise was a factor, but NC State had a 4th & 1 going for it deep down in our territory. They could have scored a touchdown right there, but they flinched. Now it’s’ 4th and 6 and they chose to kick a field goal, and that was a game-changer. It turned out we maintained a 7-point lead instead of the lead cut down to where we could lose, just on one snap of the ball. That’s very important. With that, I’ll open it up for any questions anybody has.”

 

On the impressive play of the offensive line, despite multiple injuries…

“The guys that jumped in there did a good job. [Kc] McDermott playing tackle ended up doing a nice job. [Tyler] Gauthier, at left guard, did a good job. Gall, at center, did a good job. You just never know how a certain combination may work out for you. I think Coach [Stacy] Searels is doing a good job, too, of keeping these guys on their toes. If you were able to watch him all day and in every practice, you’d see them getting coached. They’re getting coached hard. They’re getting coached own by down, play by play. It’s about doing things right, every snap. When they don’t do it, he’s going to let them know. There was a little bit of a revolving door today – guys were getting sent to the scout team because they weren’t physical enough or maybe they weren’t playing hard enough. If you don’t want to play Miami-type offensive line, go on over to the scout team. They’ve done a good job the last three games for sure.”

 

On how much he has been able to evaluate freshman quarterback Jack Allison…

“It’s hard to get a lot of work, but they get some work. Malik [Rosier] has gotten more work, being the second-team quarterback. He has gotten a lot more reps than Jack, at this point. Jack is getting a little bit of reps here and there, in a pass skeleton, our 7-on-7 drills. Obviously he gets work on the scout team. He’s also in the meetings with the quarterbacks and getting a chance to learn everything and taking quarterback tests and all that. We’ve been traveling him most every game. All those experiences, we think, are important for his growth.”

 

On having more of an emphasis on running the ball moving forward…

“I don’t know. I would think yes. Brad has scampered for a first down here and there this year. He still got it. I ran for my life more than he did. I remember a guy named Alphonso Carreker. You all remember that name? He didn’t sack me 10 times, but I know he hit me at least 10 times in a game. He kept reminding me what his name was every time. I was like, ‘I got it memorized by now, you don’t have to tell me.’ I wasn’t much of a runner myself.”

 

On what he has seen from George Brown Jr…

“George has been getting, really, a good number of reps with the [second-string] offensive line, just to get him work, to get him coached by Coach Searels, get him used to our system. Normally with a guy that is not eligible, you wouldn’t give him reps with the [second] unit, but it just shows how thin we are, period. It just shows we’re trying to find some answers for the future. He’s getting reps. He’s learning. He has a ways to go physically – he has to get stronger and things like that. But what’s been happening all year for him has been invaluable. We’ll get some opportunities during bowl practice, too, to give him and some other guys some work. Getting back to Jack, Jack will get a lot more reps during that bowl time than he normally would in-season.”

 

On how many recruiting classes he foresees it taking to build the depth he wants…

“I don’t know. My guess is it would take a couple to get the depth you’re hoping for and you’re looking for. We are, for the first time in a while, able to go to 85 scholarships - that in itself is going to help us. When people talk about depth, you’re talking about guys that you think are able to play and are ready to play. If everybody has 85 [scholarships], you have depth. You have people there. But do you feel comfortable putting them in a game, is what most coaches are talking about when they say we lack the depth that we need. We’re at that point right now. In some positions, we’ve been very fortunate not to have anybody get banged up, so it didn’t show up as glaring need. We’re probably one guy away or two guys away in a couple of positions that could get scary in a hurry. We’ve been very fortunate.”


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