"Obviously this is a very important game for our football team. It is an opportunity certainly to bounce back off of two frustrating and disappointing losses.
"After meeting with the team yesterday and going through the film, I mean, we've said this many times this year, I think our kids, probably the best thing we've got going for us inside this building and inside this program is reality.
"Coaches and players all the time tell the truth we talk honestly and openly to our players when they play great we tell them, when they don't play as well, or, and when we make mistakes as coaches, if we overestimate things that we think they can do, if we make bad calls, I mean we're all in this thing together.
"I think our kids do a good job of looking at film, they listen, I think they are conscientious about trying to improve and to eliminate the mistakes, and certainly there ‘s certainly enough areas of improvement that we've got this week that we need to make over the last two week's performances
"We said it yesterday, you're not going to win, I don't how talented you are, I don't care how gifted you are, I don't care how much you practice, if you turn the ball over six times you're going to lose and you're not ever going to give yourself a chance to win. From that standpoint we've certainly got to do the things, the formulas that have helped us win to games this season are pretty simple.
"We've taken care of the football, we've played very good on defense not giving up big plays, and this is a big challenge because I will tell you this is a very, very dramatically improved Duke football team Their defense, especially the front seven, secondary is very good, but the front seven, their linebackers are lightening fast, they run, they fill, they make plays.
"One of the things that was so extraordinarily impressive was the turnovers that they created against Virginia Tech last week, they play the ball in the air very well you see balls tipped guys make plays they're covered very well and their defensive line unlike a lot the teams that we've played, they've got a lot a depth. They will play anywhere from six or seven different defensive linemen, and they really have the ability to put the pressure on the quarterback and control the line of scrimmage
"Last week's game without Thaddeus Lewis was a little bit difference, in that Asack, they didn't attempt to throw the football as much as they had maybe in previous games, but they gave Virginia Tech a lot of fits with a lot of the read option and the triple option, they sprung some new formations on Virginia Tech that really enhanced their ability to run the football and then while the game was very close because of the turnovers they were able to stay in that mindset, so this will be a big challenge for our football team
On expecting Thaddeus Lewis to return:
"I think you have to. Obviously you look at five six or seven games very quickly, I mean we break down probably the last four or five as far as putting them in the computer, but you assume he's is going to , we watched the nature of the injury against Clemson, I think it is like play seven or play eight in the game ,and you go on the assumption that he will probably be back, but you never know."
On UNC's starting quarterback:
"Again, I going to go back to the statement that we've been using, is, we're going to play the guy who gives us the best chance to win this Saturday, and we're going to watch both of them practice tomorrow in practice, get them both of them prepared tonight watching film. They came in and they watched a lot of tape last night, they'll watch it again today.
"Some of things, and I alluded to this yesterday, that there were some mechanical things that T.J. didn't do well in the game that I think really hurt his performance, and I think that's one of the things that we need to make sure that, you know with the speed and the tempo of practice, gives you the idea to evaluate, is, you know, can that get corrected?
"It's like a golfer, a guy that hasn't played in a while you go out and you watch and you're hitting the ball all to the right and you say, well, your elbow is flying away from your body or whatever the technical mechanical thing is for a quarterback, and just you've got to get some of those flaws fixed, and it's awfully hard to try and fix some of those things in the course of a ballgame.
Confidence of the quarterbacks:
"Neither of the quarterbacks played particularly well, but they also had some help in that, you know, balls that got batted up, I mean certainly Cam's interception that was returned to down the one yard line was certainly victimized by the fact the ball got tipped up in the air which is usually what happens when balls get batted up by receivers, alert defenders generally make plays on balls like that, but All the field position, the horrible turnovers we had certainly didn't give any of the quarterbacks an opportunity to kind of get into sync and get into rhythm."
Boosting the team's confidence:
"We just talk about reality. Sitting in our team meetings, you know when our kids look at the tape, they know what the standard of accepted performance is. There is no gray areas. It is not like, well we're going to play to this level because Brandon Tate's hurt or Zach Pianalto is out, or any of those things. Hey look, this is what it is. I mean this is reality of Division One College football - you're going to play and we're going to expect the guy, the next guy in is going to play to that level of performance and get guys to make plays.
"And we didn't play well, I mean, when certainly balls that were dropped by our receivers last week that certainly doesn't help confidence of the (quarterback), the person that asked the question about confidence, confidence is kind of a two-way street.
Recent third-down conversion problems:
"I think clearly that when you look at third down. I mean, and this will probably be a pretty true statement from now for the next ten years, I mean how you convert on third down is how; obviously, do you play on first down, sometimes second down, but mostly on first down, because f you're having success running the football, play-action passes, mixing in some drop-back passes, and you can keep second down to "manageable," when you get into problems is penalties, sacks, negative plays that all of a sudden now it is second and fourteen then it becomes third and maybe you make five, but it is still third and nine it is extraordinarily difficult for us, and I would suspect just about any team, it is difficult to convert third down and longs, and so we've got to do a much better job of managing our success on first down.
"Just the running part of it, fumbling the ball two out of the first four plays, I mean we run the ball the first play of the game and make twenty-four yards, come back, you know, and run another play and have some success and then fumble, boom, they get the ball come back, then the very first play of the second possession you fumble, then all of a sudden you start to doubt, okay, gosh, what's up with the fumbles?
"And you start to get away from, and I said it yesterday and I told the players, you get away from your identity. I mean that's kind of who we were in the games that we've been successful, we have protected the football 'and taken care of it the football and it has keep us in makeable manageable down and distance situations.
On Tom O'Brien's statement that N.C. State is the best program in the state:
"Last Saturday they were the best football team, there's no question about it. I think that before you, before anybody can anoint themselves, I would say that there probably needs to be some time invested into the programs and then we'll see what happens."