Co-captains for Saturday.
Lederman, King, Hatcher, and VO.
Complete injury report Thursday but Kromrah out. Duke not deep with experience LBs, so not good news.
Duke very focused on State's pass rush, especially stud DE Willie Young. Duke will "move the pocket, get help" on Young.
Duke must have the ability to run in order to keep the NCSU DL honest. Duke OL concentrating on improving the "little things," techniques, slight tweaks, still trying to get better.
State is making major changes at DB this week but Cut doesn't expect any scheme changes.
State burned Duke last year on kick returns. Duke has to do better in that area.
Duke not pleased with pass rush v. VT but Cut ackowledges that Duke's undersized DBs need "to compete for balls" better.
Hatcher and VO came in for praise. Cut says that Hatcher was one of the sickest players on the team this summer and missed a lot of conditioning. Described Hatcher as "workhorse," "warrior," and "tough guy."
Says VO is 100%.
Cut says Duke has had great effort for last six quarters but effort isn't enough. Duke needs to combine effort with better execution, better awareness of down and distance (3rd and 34, anyone). Duke needs to develop "mentality of winners."
Talked to Thad. He practically glowed talking about Desmond Scott and the depth of Duke's recruiting corps.
Duke hasn't talked about its 11-game losing streak to State. King says he didn't even know the game was on ESPNU until we told him. Focus.
We have been effectively kicking to the corners all year. I think those are our first 2 OB.
"This is the best of all possible worlds."
Dr. Pangloss - Candide
But on a positive note, does anyone else realize that Mr. Snyderwine made more FG's in the one game on Saturday than Duke made the ENTIRE season the year before Cut took over? Despite the early troubles this year in the Richmond and Army games, the kicking game has made great strides under Cut!
I haven't heard any quotes directly related to the kicks out of bounds. In fact, I would be amazed to find out they were done on purpose. No doubt we were trying to kick away from the super return man, but NOT to kick the ball out of bounds.
Per coach Cut, OB kicks were not intentional. VT just judged correctly and they rolled out. The grounder was also a mistake.
In the post-game quotes, Cutcliffe was very upset with giving them the ball at the 40 twice, and then at the 38 on the grounder. It was in no way intentional.
The two that went out of bounds did so at about the 5 yard line. They were clearly just hooked (both went out of bounds on the left sideline, kicking out of the horseshoe).
Great to see Snyderwine connect on the 4 FGs. I expect the kickoffs to improve as well. In fact, Duke has covered kickoffs well for the most part this year. I believe I read in one of the pre-game notes that we ranked fairly high in the ACC and nationally on lowest yards per return.