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Quotes: Clemson 56, Duke 20
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 11/03/2012
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Duke Head Coach David Cutcliffe
On this game and how it leads into final two games:
“I felt like in the second half I felt like the most important thing we could do was play a clean game and execute in all three phases. Come out offensively and execute our offense, protect the quarterback, run it a little better and we couldn’t do that. Defensively, it was a little bit more of the same. What I told them afterwards was at this point there is a lot left to do, but the number one goal is getting better. We’ve had eight quarters of struggling coming off the heels of the North Carolina game. It was just a short two weeks ago there was a lot of celebration going on around here. This can still be, and is, a special Duke football team. This 2012 version as it winds down has some great seniors. There’s a winning season hanging out there for us. There’s a winning ACC record, something that hasn’t happened in a while. But none of that is going to happen without the number one goal of just getting better, just playing like a clean football team that knows what we’re doing, how to do it. We can do that. We’ve done that all season long and there’s no reason to play it any differently. We’ve got to look at personnel, got to look at scheme, got to look at everything we’re doing to do what we do as well as we possibly can do it.”

On the importance of senior leadership and the team finishing strong:
“They have to be a part of it. We’ve got great people. Walt Canty did a great job in the locker room just a few minutes ago. This is important to everybody here. This isn’t about just this team, it’s about our program. Our seniors certainly want to have a great senior year. I told them that they’ll remember this for 30 years and you do. There is so much riding on the line. We’re going to have a couple days off. The players will be off Sunday and Monday and then we have to go back to work Tuesday and at that point in time we’re going to be focused on getting better. And because of the style of offense Georgia Tech plays, we’ll be very focused on Georgia Tech as well, but we can’t lose focus on Duke getting better.”

On what the team will work on during the bye week:
“We’re after 10 games and I know you saw tonight that we’re very beat up still. So we’re going to have to have a combination of healing – we can’t go out there and beat them up and scrimmage. We’re not going to play for two weeks from today so we can get better. You don’t have to bang and hit to get better. We’ve got to learn our assignments defensively against that offense and get that scheme in fully this coming open date. We’ll work to Thursday and give them Friday and Saturday off. They’ll go to school on Friday, but they’ll have Friday night and Saturday to relax a little bit and they need that. Then we’ll come back Sunday and go to work and start our normal game week. But we’re going to accomplish a lot on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at our practices.”

Duke WR Jamison Crowder
On the team’s performance against Clemson:
“We wanted to bounce back after the Florida State game and come out and just compete. As a result, though, we didn’t compete as well as we should have. Now we just want to bounce back and look forward to two weeks from now to Georgia Tech.”

On his career-long 77-yard reception in the first quarter:
“I had a post route and I just wanted to eat up his cushion and I was able to do that on the route. [Quarterback Sean] Renfree threw a good ball and I caught it and I just wanted to make sure he didn’t catch me so everything worked out.”

On his role within the Duke offense:
“It’s a nice offense – you get your opportunities. I took advantage of some opportunities tonight but also I missed some opportunities. I had a couple dropped balls that I want to work on – just concentrate more and focus more. Our offense, it gives you a lot of opportunities as a receiver to make plays.”

On what the team wants to accomplish yet this season:

“We just want to compete. Clean up the mistakes that we made tonight and look at what we did wrong tonight and make sure we correct those and carry those with us, work on what we need to work on and try to execute these last two games.”

Duke CB Ross Cockrell
On how the team will approach the bye week and final two games of the regular season:
“We still have a lot to play for. These last two teams are in our division, so we’ve got two division opponents coming up and it’s going to be big next couple of weeks for us.”

On what he can take away from the loss to Clemson:
“Our leaders have to play like leaders on the field. On the back end, I didn’t play as well as I could have against these guys. So that’s what needs to happen – big-time players need to step up and play big time.”

On how the program has progressed:
“This is definitely part of the journey. So we need to show the young guys what we need to do on the bye week to continue to get better, to continue to improve. We can’t go in slouching in practice Tuesday through next week, so we’ve got to get ready for that.”

On the importance of finishing the regular season strong:
“We started out strong and what we always say is, ‘It doesn’t matter how you start – it’s how you finish.’ So we have two games left and we want to finish strong.”

Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney
On the win:
“I’m proud of our team. These guys just continue to respond and get better. I’m proud of them for finishing tonight. This is kind of the end of our road season and it’s only the second time in 15 years we’ve had four road wins. I’m real proud of our guys for that. You win games on the road and you have a chance to be a real good team. It’s not easy to win on the road, in this league or any league for that matter. I’m proud of them. Offensively, just we knew we were going to have some opportunities, but you got to finish those plays. The guys finished plays throwing and catching. I think it’s only the second time ever we rushed over 300 and passed for over 300. A lot of records tonight … Tajh [Boyd] set the all-time touchdown record. Dalton Freeman went over 3,000 plays in his career tonight. But I’m going to tell you what, the credit goes to that offensive line. They were outstanding. They came to play. They protected our quarterback and just really gave us an opportunity to be successful and have balance, and the balance was really critical. That really opened some things up overall offensively. [We] did a poor job with the turnovers. That’s the first game in a while we lost the turnover margin, so that was disappointing. A couple of them were kind of flukey, but give them credit for that. The positive was, none of them hurt us. Our defense got stops and got the ball back. Speaking of defense, I was a little disappointed in the first half with the two big plays. Just really poor cover and technique right there but they came back in the second half and held them to three points. This was an offense that can really score on people. I was proud and how they played in the second half. Held them to 86 yards rushing and we talked about we had to take something away. We were able to do that. The thing I’m most pleased with is the four sacks. That’s two weeks in a row now I think we’ve had a total of nine sacks. We’re just generating a lot more pressure. Guys are winning matchups, and it’s different guys … [Vic] Beasley and Josh Watson and Tavaris Barnes. You’ve seen a lot of guys get in there at the quarterback. [I’m] Just really proud of the production there. Special teams was solid, but again just a great win. We’re 8-1 and we’ve got 21 days left in this season. It’s going to be a big challenge for us. We’re excited to be able to finish our season back home in the valley. But we’re going to have to continue to stay focused and stay committed and just try and win one day at a time. Again try to have a great finish. These guys have done a good job of responding to whatever we ask them to do. We’ll put this one to bed and get ready for a great opportunity versus Maryland. If we can find a way to win this game, it will set a school record for wins in a row at home. It will be a great accomplishment for this football team. I’m proud of the consistency that I’m seeing from these guys. Played a lot of guys. Whenever you can develop your depth and your talent, especially your young talent, it’s just so important. We got a chance to get a bunch of people in there and that just really pays dividends for you from a morale standpoint and a development standpoint when guys have the opportunity to play. Again, great win.”