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Oct. 1, 2016

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Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall Quotes
Oct. 1 – Virginia Game
Head coach Bronco Mendenhall

Opening statement…
“I had a really nice conversation [with David Cutcliffe], not only before but after the game. He’s a class act in every way. College football needs more people and coaches like him. It’s a privilege to compete against someone like him who runs an amazing program that’s so well aligned with what the school represents. I’m really impressed by who he is as a man and as a coach. I’m really proud of our team today in taking another step forward. I think that you could argue that each game has been a step forward in some regard. We had to do some hard things today. Duke was mounting a comeback. The execution appears to be improving. The culture as we all know was the emphasis to begin and the execution, at some point, would catch up, and it’s starting. We’re not done, but it’s fun to see the players happy. It’s fun to see them see that it’s coming. It’s fun to see them see the plan that’s in place, and it’s fun to see them believe in each other. I like seeing people develop, and it’s happening in front of us all. That’s pretty cool. Jordan Mack, a first year, makes a critical play, sacking the quarterback. Bryce Hall, another first year playing corner, and going almost the entire game does a really nice job. Micah Kiser is everywhere. On the offensive side, [Albert Reid] had a really nice run at the end, a courage run, where he wasn’t going down and he was reaching for extra yards to get us to where we could run out the clock. Kurt Benkert extended plays, allowing us to move the ball in big chunks. Nick Conte continues to be a weapon. Those are my initial takeaways.

On breaking the team’s road-game losing streak…

“Here’s the thing. I didn’t hear about it much. I didn’t know how many games, but really chose, right from the beginning, to not acknowledge it. That just makes it bigger. We believe that preparation is preparation, home or away. That was the message. If you do that, it doesn’t matter where you play, because the preparation will hold. That was the message to the team from the very beginning. I certainly feel that they felt it was a bigger thing than I did, because they have been a part of it, and I haven’t. I think that’s an advantage that they’ve been a part of it and I haven’t. To us, it wasn’t some insurmountable thing, and I think that helped bridge the gap.”

On the defensive progression…

“The biggest mistake that I’ve made with this defense…we’ve run it for 13 years, basically, with a lot of success. Every year, in the summer, we look to make it better. The worst mistake I made was making improvements based on a team that has a defense that’s been playing it for years and years, so putting the improvements on top of that. That was too much too early. We only did it one game, which we all remember. Richmond doesn’t even feel like this year. It was too much, too soon, and it was completely my fault. That went away, the plan changed completely for Oregon. After that, we took even more out, and then it’s sequentially being built. I’m still getting to know them. They’re still getting to know me, and I want to get it so everyone can see the progress. This is just the beginning, but it will look consistently like that, as a UVA defense.

Duke University
Head Coach David Cutcliffe Quotes
Oct. 1 – Virginia Game

On his takeaways from the game…

“Inconsistencies that ended up being fatal. Some of these have been there but haven’t shown up. Virginia did a better job of taking advantage of our inconsistencies and turning them into big plays, really, on both sides of the ball. So I basically told our team we got out-everythinged and rarely does that happen. But that’s a fact. You can pick a million things, but I said no players or plays beat you when you play this way. All of us. So you better start looking at this tomorrow. I told them to go to bed early and get some rest because when we get back our work needs to be quality.”

The mindset of the players coming off of the loss…

“Reality is something all of us have to deal with. I’m sure there are some shattered feelings. I always watch people’s eyes in the midst of these moments, but I’m not very sympathetic to anyone who can’t handle these things. We have a responsibility to handle them, starting with me.

“I’m going to handle this. I’m not going to hang my head. I’m not going to run from anything. I don’t expect anybody in this program to do that. I’m anxious to see. I didn’t say much downstairs. There will be more to say tomorrow when I know a little more detail of what I’m going to see on that tape.”

Virginia’s defensive line effort and blitz game, particularly middle linebacker Micah Kiser

“We busted some protections where he was left scott free. We’ve thrown a lot of the balls in the tackle box and they just stopped rushing certain people and jumped. And they’re tall. They’re 6-6, they’re 6-5, long arms and it’s not a bad ploy.

“Daniel [Jones] is a big tall guy at 6-5-plus, but there were no throwing lanes. They do a good job. They did it at BYU where they see a lot of throwing in their old conference and they did a good job of jumping. We were trying to use our hands and talking to our offensive linemen about getting their hands down.

“We didn’t do a good job of attacking them some in the protection portions where you need to attack, not wait, not sit and look at him. Like I said we got out-everythinged. That’s just a portion of it.

“By the time tomorrow afternoon comes around and I’ve gotten in front of them at 4:00 p.m., there will be a laundry list of things people are going to get better at.”

Duke University
Player Quotes
Oct. 1 – Virginia Game

50 – Austin Davis – RJr. – C

On the offense’s preparation this week…

“Our main focus this week was trying to build off of that [Notre Dame] win, but the main thing was not to live in the past. Our goal was to attack and make sure we were ready for Virginia and prepare for it and not live in the past.”

On helping to settle down quarterback Daniel Jones during the rough stretches…

“We’re 100 percent behind Daniel. I know he’s going to do the best he can for our team. As long as we protect for him, he’s going to do the best he can. So we’re with him 100 percent. He’s our quarterback. The offensive line has his back, receivers, running backs, whole defense has his back. We’re behind him.”

On whether Virginia’s defense did anything different than what was seen on film…

“Hats off to Virginia. They played a good game defensively. They were able to bat down balls, make us throw into certain situations and ultimately it was a very good defensive game. They had a good scheme and hats off to them – they played a great game.”

On the turnovers…

“The turnovers are something we have to work on as an offense. It’s surprising we had six turnovers in that game and were still in the game until the final minutes. So if we can build off that and work to eliminate turnovers, we have a lot of great potential.”

93 – A.J. Wolf – RSr. – DT

On his evaluation of the game…

“At the end of the day, we felt we matched up well. They just ended up making more plays than we did. They did a good job. I’m sure they had a bunch of passing yards. We didn’t really get to the quarterback as much as we could have and should have. They made some plays.”

On getting off the field quickly in the fourth quarter…

“You just try to do your assignments every single play. We did execute them finally. We ended up getting some three-and-outs, which we know we’re capable of. It was disappointing we couldn’t do more of those, but that’s just how it is.”

On containing Virginia quarterback Kurt Benkert

“It’s just an assignment thing. Every play we account for having contain. A few times he just got out of there and we didn’t hold contain. And it’s just about execution play to play. If we just executed the plays correctly, we would have been good there.”

17 – Daniel Jones – RFr. – QB

On the team’s chances in the fourth quarter…

“That was a big opportunity for us. We need to capitalize on those situations. Defense did a great job getting off the field and giving us a chance. That falls on us for converting those into points.”

On whether Duke quarterbacks Thomas Sirk and Parker Boehme said anything to him…

“They’re helpful. They’re watching the game and they obviously know what we’re trying to do so they see things. Just like the coaches, they’re able to give input.”

On the sack in the end zone…

“We just got pressured. We need to learn from it and be better. Obviously we can’t afford to give up those plays at such a crucial point in the game.”

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