Cutcliffe talks of the upcoming Miami game

[private]Duke Coach David Cutcliffe spoke to the media during his weekly teleconference Sunday evening.  The Blue Devil Nation was on hand to bring you his thoughts on the upcoming game with Miami.

Opening statement -

Coming off an open date I’m still not sure what our health is going to be like just yet.  It’s unfortunate with just five games to this point.  Our first business is Miami and the second is getting our guys ready to play seven games in a row.  Miami is playing a lot of young and very talented players.  IMO, they are the most athletic team we’ll see.  It’s a huge challenge for us.  It seems like forever since we played and we are looking forward to the ballgame.

On the Miami defense holding Central Florida to 4 yards rushing and 74 total yards -

I have looked at that game and all the others.  It’s not a fluke – they’re that good.  They play a lot of people, they are extremely good up front, the linebackers and the secondary.  They actually took Central Florida and made their offense look inept. 

On practices in the off week -

Our practices have been good.  We’re coming off a bitter defeat.  Our attitude has been good.  We’re hungry and we had some enthusiasm and got better.  Again, we have some people that were out.  I won’t get into the specifics of that until Thursday and we will then evaluate where we are with our team.  We wanted to see why we weren’t a very productive offense.  We made some tweaks in the running game.  Of course, I’m not sure if anybody can run the ball against Miami. I think we are better than we are.  We practiced running the football and becoming more physical.  I think you have to be a physical football team at this stage in the game and we worked hard at that.  We had a lot of live work which is high risk for us with no more depth than we’ve got, but we hopefully got better.

On Duke playing three consecutive games on ESPNU -

I think it’s been good for us.  There has been a lot of people talking about Duke Football.  We have brought attention to game day.  I’ve had a number of letters and e-mails from people around the country who are seeing Duke Football for the first time - lot of comments from Coaches around the country have been saying we saw you do this and we saw you do that.  So, it’s been good for our program.

On the support for Duke Football -

I think people will be here.  I think there will be a good crowd here and I think there are a lot of people excited about football here at Duke again.  We will have a good football program.

A little bit and that’s one thing I’m conscious of.  I will have a light workout on Monday and on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday we’ll get into game speed.  We should be ready, rested and focused coming off the off week.[/private]