"We had an opportunity on Friday to get back and grade the film and show the film to the players. They got a chance to have Saturday off, which was well-deserved with the two big Thursday night games. It gave them a chance to decompress a little bit. We got a little bit of an early jumpstart yesterday afternoon. Traditionally, instead of having to use the time on your previous opponent, you got an introduction into Duke.
"I will tell you this – Duke, as their record speaks, they are a dramatically improved football team. David Cutcliffe has down a great job generating offense. Thad Lewis is playing extremely well, throwing the ball well. You can just see evidence every single snap of his growth and development. The decision-making that he's been doing, the routes – they know how to attack defenses. They're doing an excellent job.
"Their defense – when you look at the ACC, they've got one of the best defensive lines in the ACC. They are very big, very physical. Fast, athletic linebackers. They don't give up big plays. And they play very, very sound in the kicking game."
On the Duke game not being at the end of the year:
"People have asked several times about the games within the conference [and] N.C. State and Duke being flipped or changed. And I think I would have to tell you that I don't really think it makes any difference when you play. Certainly with Duke, whether it's the first game of the season, the middle of the season or the end of the season. These are always going to be traditionally big games because of the proximity of the schools. Duke's playing very well – you could see that evidence last year. It was extraordinarily hard to beat them last year at their place."
Was the Virginia Tech win the biggest in your time at UNC?
"I don't know. Certainly, we've had some big wins. I think the wins over Miami have been big wins [and] I think the win over Notre Dame was certainly a big win. This clearly falls into the category as a very important game. It's an ACC game. It's against a team that was highly-rated during the course of the season and they're a very talented football team."
What did the Virginia Tech win do for the confidence of this team?
"It gave us a lot of confidence as a whole team that we can go into the toughest place out there to play and come up with a big win. Especially when adversity hit us in the middle of the game and we pushed through it. It gave us a lot of confidence in ourselves that we can play to the top level that we know we can."
On refocusing after the Virginia Tech win:
"It's kind of hard not to take more time with this win and savor it a little bit. But Coach [Davis] reiterated to us that the win we just had really doesn't mean anything if we don't win this next game. It doesn't really matter if you can't back it up with another win."
On Duke and taking them lightly two years ago:
"It's going to be a great game. Playing in games like this is fun. It's man against man. It's a man's game. So it's fun to go out there and play and you know that you're getting their best effort and you have to give them your best effort. And I think that we did that two years ago towards the end of the game, but we did enough things in the game during the time that we weren't doing as well. But once we got cranked up, we started playing good."
Did you feel like the Virginia Tech game was this defense's best performance?
"Defensively, no, not really, to be honest. I thought that we could have played better in a lot of situations. We were a little bit loose in coverage, I think. And we got beat deep on Thursday night against Florida State, so guys were a little bit timid, biting on double moves and stuff like that. So I think we could have played a little bit tighter in the secondary."