“Alright, my hats off to David Cutcliffe and his football team. They played a heck of a football game. We got out coached, we got outplayed, and that’s my responsibility.”
What was different after the first two possessions offensively? You scored so easily and after that it was kind of a struggle.
“No different. They didn’t do anything different defensively. We just didn’t make any plays. Every time we would make a play then we would shoot ourselves in the foot on the next one or something would happen. There was no consistency whatsoever.”
Did it come too easy in the beginning?
“I have no idea. Human nature is sometimes when you score you have to worry about that happening and maybe that’s what happened with our guys. But again, that’s on me, that’s my responsibility.”
Did you talk to Mitch (Trubisky) after that last interception and ask what he saw?
“On that last interception? No, I haven’t had a chance to talk to him yet.”
From your vantage point, could you see what maybe he thought he saw?
“All I saw was that he was on his back so I didn’t know what he saw there.”
After T.J. (Logan)’s kick return, was not scoring a touchdown there really devastating?
“Sure it was. There were plenty of opportunities, we had the ball down at midfield and didn’t get any points. I think there were two series in the first half and then there was another series in the second half I remember where T.J. has that big return and you don’t get anything there. You can’t do that and win football games.”
What was the defense unable to do that kept them on the football field?
“We couldn’t stop the run. We couldn’t stop the quarterback run. They were like 7-of-15 or something on third downs going into that last series. We couldn’t get off the field.”
It seemed like the defense was so close to making big plays several times – just missing interceptions that could have turned the game around.
“Yeah, it definitely could have. They made more plays than we did. I’ll put it as bluntly as I can, they made more plays than we did.”
Elijah (Hood) wasn’t on the field a whole lot in the second quarter. What was the deal with that?
“I’d have to ask Larry and those guys what was going on. There was a point there where we weren’t running the ball efficiently enough that we felt like we were going to need to throw it. We were a little bit worried about getting farther behind. That happened and I never felt like we were able to get him into… he was running hard now. There’s no doubt about how he was running.”
There was a point in the second quarter where Khris Francis got a couple consecutive carries. He normally doesn’t get the ball early in the game like that, what was the reason he was on the field?
“I think we had two backs on the field at that time, I believe, when he got the ball.”
Normally he doesn’t carry early like this, what was the call?
“It was probably a check according to what the defense was giving them.”
After the way the offense executed last week and in the first two series today, how surprising was what came afterwards?
“It was really disappointing. We need to play much better offensively to have more success than we had tonight. We need to play better on defense. I can’t say that either side played well enough to win. I don’t think that either side did today, offensively or defensively.”
Was there anything that Duke did defensively that frustrated you guys or gave you problems?
“I don’t really think they did anything scheme-wise to create problems for us. They got off blocks and made tackles and intercepted two balls. The one that they batted, the guy was wide open. We had a good drive going and were running the ball and throwing it efficiently and the guy batted the ball up. It’s just one of those things.”
What did you think when you got the ball back with under two minutes and a chance to win?
“I thought we were going to go down and score.”
What do you attribute the main offensive struggles to other than general lack of execution?
“Besides general lack of execution I don’t know what I’d say. What we were doing fit the scheme and we had answers for everything they were doing, we just didn’t make any plays. We had a few dropped balls that were just routine plays that we’ve got to make. Doesn’t matter if they’re competitive catches or not, you’ve got to make the play.”
You came close to breaking that interception streak. Is there any explanation for the opportunities to keep falling through the guy’s hands?
“I don’t know what the answer to that is. We’re getting our hands on some balls and it was kind of the way we played the entire night. Nobody could make a play.”