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Duke football press conference quotes

Posted Wednesday, September 7, 2005

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Durham, NC - Duke head coach Ted Roof along with players Ronnie Elliott and Phillip Alexander sat down with the media Tuesday at the Blue Devils weekly press conference. Roof and the players talked about last week's East Carolina game and the upcoming Virginia Tech game, set for a 12 p.m. kickoff at Wallace Wade Stadium.

Coach Ted Roof

Opening Statement
“As disappointing as last weekend was, I think there were a lot of positives. It is something that we have to put behind us and move on. We certainly can’t let last week’s ball game cost us this week’s ball game but at the same time we have to learn a lesson from last week because if we didn’t it would be shame on us. It is obvious that this particular football team right has very little margin for error with where we are and want to build our program. We have to be opportunistic and take advantage of the opportunities we make for ourselves or are given by the opposition. At the same time, we turned the ball over four times and gave up a couple of big plays but still had a chance to win at the end so I think there is some progress but it is still disappointing. We have to learn from it and grow from it and get ready for Virginia Tech.”

On positives from first game
“We played very physical. We played extremely hard and much better on third down offensively than we were last year. We ran the ball better. Out of the 57 plays, 21 were for zero or less for ECU’s offense and 39 were for three yards or less. However there were seven plays for 198 yards so they got almost two-thirds of their offense on seven plays so there is no secret what we have to do there. The entire focus is on execution. Execution is something that involves every position and that is what we need to focus on.”

On Running Backs
“We are going to play both Cedric (Dargan) and Justin (Boyle). Cedric had a virus and missed practice last Thursday and Friday. We are trying to make sure we can keep them fresh for the entire ball game. Cedric is our starter and Justin ran hard so we just have to make sure we take care of the football. Both of them are going to play and we need both of them to be productive.”

On Marcus Jones
“Marcus had a nice catch for us and played a lot. As he matures and develops we will play him more. We tried a couple of deep shots to him that were incomplete. His role is growing and growing as the year progresses. He is still a quarterback that happens to be playing wide receiver. We aren’t trying to diminish his role at quarterback but trying to enhance his role within our offense because he is one of our best athletes.”

On Virginia Tech
“They are very physical and they don’t really have too many weaknesses. They take care of the football and they are sound in the kicking game. They are very talented and well coached. It will be quite a challenge this week to be able to do this.”

On last year’s game
“It started off well and then they hit a couple of big plays. We kind of just hung in there from then. Our margin of error is small. They certainly earn enough and we just can’t give them anything. We can’t give anybody anything because that is where we are in building a program.”

On Patrick Bailey
“I was excited about him. He made a couple of big plays. That was a great play he made over there on their sideline tackling the guy and knocking the ball loose. He plays his guts out and I have a lot of respect for him. He is going to do nothing but get better as he feels more comfortable with the position. He is one of those guys who wants to know every single thing and if he doesn’t know it right now he is disappointed in himself. There is a growing process when you move to a different position but he is a great young man and will be a really good football player before he is done here at Duke.”

On having few penalties
“The operation was good as far as not having the delay of games, the too many men and all the other things that happen to teams during the first week of the season. That is something we coach just like we coach blocking and tackling. That is winning and losing and gets back to the margin of error thing.”

Phillip Alexander

On the loss at East Carolina
“It ate at us a lot on Sunday. We watched the tape and saw all the opportunities we had. We watched the tape and made the corrections. It was a bitter loss but we have to move on.”

On feeling after the game
“Everybody was real disappointed. We saw the opportunities that we had and we really didn’t play that bad. As a whole we just had a couple of mistakes that ended up costing us the ball game. If we eliminate those mistakes we will put ourselves in better position to win more games.”

On frustration of giving up third down conversions
“We just didn’t execute like we should have. They hit a couple of deep ones on us but we bounced back and got off the field. Going in to this week, we are just hoping to eliminate those mistakes and play a complete ball game.”

On Virginia Tech
“They are very athletic and big up front. They have good skill position players and they have a very talented quarterback. They are a good team and we will have to practice real hard to be able to be in the game with them.”

Ronnie Elliott

On Virginia Tech
“I look back at the tape from last year and it was nip and tuck with them until we started doing things like we did last game like turning the ball over. They made a play here, a play there, and blew it open. We aren’t going to be able to win the game if we turn the ball over.”

On matching up physically with Virginia Tech
“I think our coaches have done a good job of putting the right players in position to match up physically with anyone.”

On new offense
“It was kind of different going out and playing in the new offense. At the same time I thought that we were well prepared. I thought that going in to the game there wasn’t anything different that I would have wanted us to do. I think we practiced the game plan time and time again and everyone knew what to do. I think it was just a matter of executing better.”

On making progress
“I think we ran the ball well with both Justin and Ced. They both ran hard. I think that when we passed the ball and we were in rhythm that we did a good job. I thought the offense was pretty much in sync. We moved the ball well and converted a lot on third downs. We did a good job of giving East Carolina a lot of different looks to keep them off balanced. I think other than the turnovers we made great strides on the offense.”

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Duke football press conference quotes
Duke head football coach Ted Roof
photo by Gene Galin

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