David CutcliffeDuke Head Coach
“The first thing I talked about with our team was Lee Butler. Lee suffered a knee injury that looks like it will require surgery. He has been a warrior for us five years, an extraordinary young man. I told Lee that things like that only happen to special people, because he’s capable of handling it. He is an incredible human being. Most of us couldn’t deal with what Lee has had to deal with in his career. We’ve got his back.
“I told our team, we’re in the midst of a significant season. We didn’t play poorly. As a matter of fact, we played good in a lot of areas. We played good on defense; they played better on offense. I know you find that strange, but let me explain playing this offense. We gave up very few explosives. We made some mistakes in the passing game, but not many. They had 20 third downs; we made them go the long way over and over again.
“Generally, when you play a team that runs this offense, they’re going to make a mistake. They’re going to fumble a snap, they’re going to fumble the exchange, they’re going to pitch one on the ground. They did not. I told Coach Johnson after the game that they played exceptionally on offense taking care of the ball. You’re not just going to shut them down.
“We’re still a work in progress. I loved the way we played; I thought we were all over the right spots from an assignment standpoint. We had somebody there all the time. I’d like to have tackled a little better at times. I’d like to have minimized the yards by the fullback. You would like a lot of things a little better.
“I told our offense early on that we’re in a possession game. That’s all football really is, but when they get minimized, that’s huge. We played good on offense, we just didn’t play great. When you miss a couple of beats in a game like this, it’s very difficult. That’s basically the story.
“I thought we played pretty darn well in the kicking game. Our young specialists played well. I thought our return game, most times, had a real shot. We probably outplayed them in that regard.
“But their offense staying on the field, playing as consistently as it did, we got behind the 8-ball.
“I told our young people that this game will teach us a lot about what we have to do, and we will be back in this position again. We’ll be back in November playing important football. Now you have to pay attention to all that went on and what we have to do to win these games in the future, and we will. We’ve got to work on becoming a bigger, stronger, more physical football team. All of those things were evident at times tonight.
“I told our seniors that I’m not down, I’m not frustrated. Sometimes the best efforts in life don’t pay off. We prepared well, you played extremely hard, you didn’t play poorly, but we didn’t win. It’s too significant a year to not prepare and play well against Miami. Our seniors are 5-1 in 2012 in Wallace Wade. I’m telling you, that’s hugely significant. We need to go prepare starting tomorrow night like a team that intends to win.”
Georgia Tech Head Coach Paul Johnson
“It was an exciting game. I’m awfully proud of our team. It was awfully similar to last week’s game, but there was less scoring because the drives were longer. We had some big plays. I’m proud of our guys. Tevin [Washington] played a great game. Vad’s [Lee] play was huge on fourth down getting the ball in the end zone. I thought he did some good things, but Tevin was more of the hot hand so we left him in. Defensively, it was similar to last week. We stopped them and we got some stops in the second half. Looking forward we’ll process this and we’ve got a tremendous challenge next week. We’ll do the best we can do.”
On being bowl eligible:
“That’s great. I’m excited for the kids and excited for the chance. That was one of our goals; to win a bowl game. You have to get in one to win one, so we have a chance to do that.”
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