David CutcliffeDuke Head Coach
“I’m very proud of our players, and I’m thankful to our players. The reason I’m thankful, and I told them, this is a week of Thanksgiving, obviously. You can’t help but to be thankful for the young people, so many of them and not all of them here. Not just the people that were the travel squad. So many young men doing exactly what you ask them to do as well as they can possibly do it. When you get right down to what you want to train young folks to do, it’s that: be where you’re supposed to be, doing what you’re supposed to be doing as well as you can possibly do it. That’s our one team rule, and that means on the practice field, in the classroom and socially. I have never been around a group of young men that have done that better.
“That made them champions, that’s part of who they are. They are good football players. We’ve got some better players than people might think…[we’ve got] some good athletes, some good speed, good ball skills. We’ve got a lot of weapons. We’ve got weapons in the kicking game, we’ve got weapons on defense and we have weapons offense. But all that said, the reason they’re Coastal Division champions is who they are. [I’m] very appreciative of our staff and all of the support people that surround Duke football. It’s the best group of people, including the entire Duke football family – best group of people I’ve been around. I’m not saying this now. I’ve said this, and those of you that knew me when we were 3-9 [know that]. The last thing I’m going to say before I let you ask questions…I told our team this: the beauty of what this team is right now regardless of what the results would have been today…it was a very close football game. North Carolina played very well. It could have gone either way. But regardless of the results, they still would be who they are. Don’t get so caught up in the results in your life that you start doubting who you are. They would still be exactly who they are, so remain true to yourself in that regard as we move forward.
“We’ve got a big football game in Charlotte. We are honored to represent the Coastal Division. There are a lot of good football teams in the Coastal Division and we’re very honored to be the representative in Charlotte, and we’re very honored to be a part of our great conference’s championship game in Charlotte. I am expecting to see thousands upon thousands of Duke fans in Charlotte. I’m calling you out right now -- take advantage of this opportunity.”