David CutcliffeDuke Head Coach
"At half time, our coaches did a great job of keeping a cool head and making good judgments. I went to our team and said that the best part of this is that we have practiced so well. If we weren’t prepared, we would have had no chance to come back. We are an extremely well prepared football team and we had a great week of practice. The same way we got behind 22-7, we can take this game. I went through a list of what we had to do for kicking, offense and defense. Our players and staff executed the second half so well that all I had to do was get out of the way, and that is the honest truth. I couldn’t be more proud of what we were able to do coming back fr0m 22-0 and, more importantly, winning the second half 28-0."
On Anthony Boone:
"For Anthony [Boone] it was hard, he just couldn’t find his rhythm and I just kept trying to relax him and he came out of the chute in the third quarter. I said, ‘We will establish a running game, get back to doing what we do, just play football, nothing spectacular.’ And he settled himself and played well. And the people around him played exceptionally well. A lot of people contributed to this win."
On the fourth down conversions:
"I liked the response of the staff and the players, so I made my mind up that we would do everything we could to win this game. I felt like anything on the plus side, fourth-and-nine and less, we were going for it. Anything within fourth-and-two, we were going for it. I just made my mind up to do it, and thankfully it paid off. You could be saying, ‘why did you do that.’ It doesn’t always work out. Fortunately, the players and the coaches executed."
On the ACC win:
"We have come a long way and everybody realizes that. It is extremely difficult to go down 22 to nothing on the road in a conference game and then come back and win by 13 points. I think our guys believed that we belonged. Quite frankly, we were an irrelevant football program in this league, and I think they realized that they earned relevance. We earned relevance and we will see what we can build it to from here."
On the defense in the second half:
"Defense today is so hard to play anyway and people adjust and do this or that. I think our coaches do a great job of adjusting and settling them down at half time. I think our guys are learning that they are going to make plays and you just need to make more. You need to understand, defensively and offensively, that it is a 60-minute game and you just keep playing. If your playing is good and your preparation is good, you’re going to get a feel for an offense once you’ve seen them for a little while."
On rallying themselves:
"In our last 20 games, we have a winning record now over time. It may not sound like much to some people, but that is when you start believing you should win. Not ‘can’. There is a big difference. When you start believing you should win, that’s when you start winning. This ‘can’ stuff is bull. I have never liked that. Of course you ‘can’ win, but I hope we are believing that we ‘should’ win."
On the rest of the schedule:
"You need to see how we respond on Sunday. Like last week, we play really well and win, and we came back and were hungrier on Sunday. Today we played a terrific second half. Are we going to come back tomorrow hungrier and ready to prepare? It is not going to make a difference down the road if you don’t prepare better, if you don’t energize yourself. I am a big believer in showing up at the stadium well prepared. It is not an accident, it is work and it’s planning and they have to participate. Hopefully this grows that. That is what you want to see from wins like this."
Duke Junior Quarterback Anthony Boone
On the second half success offensively:
“We just went out there and executed the plays that we had drawn up. We didn’t change anything, we didn’t go out there and try to do too much, we just executed the game plan we had from the start of the game.”
On Virginia’s second half play:
“They came out, had the same plan. They just want to go out there and execute their plan too, it’s just our plan was a little bit better, we were able to execute a little harder, and we got the win.”
On the atmosphere of the game:
“It got loud at points, like third downs. It’s fun to play on the road, and it takes more focus than it does to play at home. This is a great environment and we enjoyed it.”
On Duke’s fourth down success:
“It’s like playing a triple option team. It keeps the momentum on our side, and keeps the ball rolling for us. The [Virginia] offense is up, ready for a change of possession, and then they have to sit right back down. It’s a big thing for a team to convert fourth downs.”
Duke Senior Cornerback Ross Cockrell
On Duke’s mindset:
“We came in with a lot of energy. We didn’t play our best football. We had a lot of penalties, we were giving up big plays on defense, and that stuff hurts. He [Coach David Cutcliffe] came in and settled us down. He gave a good second half speech, and we went from there.”
On finishing the game:
“One of our statements, mantras, or whatever you want to call it is to finish. We’ve been doing that since the spring, going into the summer in our workouts. We carried that over into the season and it showed today.”
On the decision to go for it early in the second half:
“It shows that he has confidence in us. That’s what you want. You want a coach that is going to be confident, that is going to take risks, and Coach Cutcliffe has proved that time and time again. Today the defense stepped up, did what we had to do in the second half. We made plays today.”
Duke Junior Tight End Braxton Deaver
On the turnaround of the offense:
“Once Anthony (Boone) gets into his rhythm, he’s really hard to stop. That was obviously present when we started throwing the ball well. He just gets into a groove and he is hard to beat.”
On the fourth down he broke for a 47-yard touchdown:
“When the call came in, I said ‘hey don’t get smashed by somebody,’ because they brought almost the house on the play. I was able to miss somebody and get out. I caught the ball and there was nobody out in front of me. I’m not the most vertically fast guy in the world, but I had a whole cavalry out in front of me blocking and they did an unbelievable job so I could get into the end zone.”
Virginia Head Coach Mike London
On the second half:
“Obviously we were very disappointed in the way we played in the second half. In the first half we had 22 points and they only had seven. Our guys played well. They were one for seven on third downs. In the second half, we couldn’t stop them. We couldn’t move the ball and make drives. It was very disappointing.”
On handling players when they were down in the second half:
“That is human nature. You also have to be able to push through and be encouraging as well. You have to be able to be able to go up to a young man and encourage him. You have to bring them back. You have to hang on to them. It's a challenge but it's why you coach and why you teach.”
On miscommunications today:
“There were some communication issues with substitutions and clock management. It wasn’t handled properly and has to be handled better. You saw the end result. Those are the things in the second half that led to things that get exaggerated because we are frustrated and they are frustrated. It affects points and affects field position. We have to eliminate those things. There was poor handling during the game and it is disappointing and discouraging.”
On Watford’s accuracy issues:
“We have to make sure and he has to make sure that when guys are open, you have to hit them, whether it’s the touch that is required or whether it’s putting the ball where it needs to be. We will have a chance to go back and look at the film and Steve Fairchild will have a chance to look at it and correct those errors. You saw it today. He has to play better and he understands that. He played well enough in the first half, but he didn’t in the second half.”
On Duke’s fourth down touchdown:
“We had either a breakdown in coverage or communication. Those are the types of plays that can’t happen. Obviously, it was a fourth down touchdown that changes the outcome of the game. In the first half, we handled that, but in the second half, it was not played too well. We have coach and teach them. We have to execute. We need to handle adversity better.”
On resilience of team:
“It’s challenging. It’s tough. These are young men and they have to deal with this. We have to block out distractions and we have to move on and move forward. These guys are students and athletes and they want to win. We are young enough not to know that when adversity appears, we have to respond and bounce back from those things. We didn’t do a good job of that, particularly in the second half. We have to coach them better. I have to do a better job. All those things are encapsulated when you are on a team that is learning how to win and overcome adversity. We are going to keep doing that.”