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Quotes: Duke Football Spring Game
Sunday 03/31/2012  -  Duke Sports Information
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Head Coach David Cutcliffe

On the competitiveness of the Spring Game:
"We've got the players that can make plays on both sides of the ball, and that's the key. We want to grow that number. We split our squad up pretty evenly. They came up with big plays intermittently in the game"

On the play of cornerback Ross Cockrell and quarterback Brandon Connette:
"The defensive MVP - we gave one this year - was Ross Cockrell, and I thought he made the play of the game when he ran down Josh Snead and got that ball loose. That game was getting ready to change right there - huge play. And he made another touchdown-saving tackle and defended a lot of passes today. Offensively, Brandon Connette was the MVP because of so much production from him."

On the play of White team running back Eric Adams:
"I thought one of the guys that carried the spirit and what I call 'the torch' and kept it lit for this team today was a walk-on running back named Eric Adams, who I'm very, very proud of."

On his thoughts going forward:
"I thought our team stepped up and put together a good game. I told them August 5th, I hope we're a very healthy, conditioned, hungry football team. That's the next step."

On how he used his quarterbacks:
"We're going to do a lot of things. I'm anxious to evaluate where the production's coming from and how the production's coming. That's what it's going to be all about - scoring points. That's 100 percent of where we are right now, and I think we have probably one of the few teams in the country that have three quarterbacks that have played as much as these guys have played. They're good football players."

Redshirt Junior Cornerback Ross Cockrell

On the White team's defensive performance:
"Defense came out. We played fast. We played hard during the whole game. We created a lot of turnovers and turned them into touchdowns. That's going to be big for us this year. The pressure was on us from the very beginning. We had to make plays. We had to make stops, and we did that. We had players go down, and we had players step up which was the big thing for us. Defense is all about interlocking pieces. We had people step up. Tony Foster stepped up. Chris Tavarez stepped up and created a big fumble for us. It was great to see that all players can step up when they need to."

On the fumble he caused near the goal line:
"I don't know what happened. Receiver kind of ran me off a little bit. I turned around and saw (Josh) Snead running. I just tried to run down, and I saw him carrying the ball a little loosely. I decided to go for it. Luckily enough, I was able to get the ball out."

On the improvement of Duke's defense:
"We have to reach the next level as a defense. This was our first opportunity as a defense to take the next step, and I think we did that today. Now our assignment is to create turnovers. We had to two pick-sixes which was great. We had to fumbles recovered which is great. That's going to seal the deal for us."

On how the defense can improve:
"We have to know our assignments better. There were times where our running backs broke out on us. Brandon Connette especially had a very good game on us today, so we have to continue to get to know our assignments to continue to play faster for the season."


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