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Duke's Ted Roof dicusses upcoming homecoming game against Navy

Posted Wednesday, September 28, 2005

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Durham, NC - Duke head football coach Ted Roof sat down with the media at his weekly luncheon Monday to discuss last week's Virginia game and the upcoming homecoming game against Navy, set for a 1 p.m. kickoff Saturday at Wallace Wade Stadium.

Coach Ted Roof

Opening Comments
“There’s a lot of football left. Thank goodness we have another game that starts Saturday. We’re anxious to get back on the practice field after what I thought was our most physical ballgame of the year. We played as physical as we’ve played since I’ve been here which there is a lot of positive in that. I thought our run defense against a very good rush offense was really good. The turnovers and where we turned the ball over hurt us. Once again, like most of the time, it came down to a game of field position. They had scoring drives of nine yards, one for thirteen yards, and one for 23 yards and that’s a recipe for disaster. If you look at the stats of the ballgame, like total yards and things like that, there was somewhat of a difference but not as big of a difference as the score might indicate. That, in combination with penalties and the kicking game, helped create the poor field position that we had. Defensively, we have to do a better job of getting off the field on third down.”

“On the positive side, Michael Brown had a fantastic football game and I thought Zack Asack came in and did some good things as well. We’ve got to find a way to win and we’ve got to find a way to do that this Saturday.”

On Freshman QB Zack Asack
“I thought he avoided some negative yardage plays, kept his vision down the field and delivered the ball to our receivers. He got some positive things going out of some potentially negative situations. I liked his poise. He didn’t get rattled and kept his poise and confidence. On the touchdown pass, it would have been real easy to take his first read because we had a guy open in the flat but he had enough confidence in his ability to throw the ball down the field and he hit Jomar (Wright) for a touchdown. Those are the things that I thought he did from a positive standpoint. It was good to see a freshman realize he was protected and wait for the receiver to come open. Instead of just taking the easy option, he hit the home run on that play and he executed. We have a lot of room for improvement with him but I was pleased with his poise and the way he handled himself.”

On Junior QB Mike Schneider
“I think so much of the focal point is on the quarterback position and the mistakes made at that position are magnified because he has the ball in his hands. It’s certainly not one person’s fault. The mistakes that don’t get brought out are some protection mistakes and people don’t understand if the right route is always being run. It’s not just one specific facet of the game, one specific player or coach, it’s all of us and we all have to do better.”

“When you watch what happened on the sideline after Zack went in, it would have real easy for Mike Schneider to sulk or go be by himself. But what Mike did, and I think this speaks volume of Mike Schneider as a person and as a member of this team, he went over in between series and was talking to Zack and telling him what he saw and helping him. That’s something that some people might not understand but that makes me really proud of Mike and the way he went about it in that role and having a team-first approach. That says a lot about Mike as a member of our team and shows that he is a leader.”

On Zack Asack’s Growth As A College Quarterback
“Like any position, especially for a quarterback with all of the decisions that a quarterback has to make, there is a big growth process and I think there’s a big curve that takes place. I thought that Zack grew as a college quarterback on Saturday.”

On Mike Schneider Putting Pressure on Himself
“Mike has a lot of pride and nobody wants our football team to win anymore than Mike does. At times he might put a lot of pressure on himself like all competitors do. Anyone that is a competitor puts a certain amount of pressure on themselves. Whether it’s making a four-foot putt to win a match in golf or whatever it is, there’s a certain amount of pride that goes along with being a competitor.”

On Navy, This Week’s Opponent
“Their offensive scheme forces you to be disciplined because they don’t block everybody, they read people. They read what you do and when that happens, they don’t need to have the perfect play call to take advantage of a mistake because they are reading people. If you make a mistake, they’ll take advantage of it. Their offense also isolates people on the perimeter. Saturday’s game was probably one of the best gang tackling games that we’ve had since I’ve been here. We’re going to have tackle very efficiently against Navy on Saturday.”

“They are also throwing the ball better. They’re doing a good job in the passing game which is another element that they’ve added to their offense. From their quarterback situation, two years ago they had a senior, they had a senior last year, they have a senior this year and they have a backup who’s a junior who will be a senior next year. They always have a guy who has been in that offense for a lot of years. That’s a big plus for their football team.”

Phillip Alexander

On the Virginia game
“We came out real aggressive and ready to play. I think that was the best half of defense since I’ve been here in the first half. We just couldn’t get that to carry over. We made some mistakes, and they capitalized on them. In a game like that, we have to minimize our mistakes to win.”

On defense getting tired against Virginia
“We have enough guys to handle a game like that, but defensively you don’t really get an opportunity to determine where you start. You kind of have to have that not caring attitude and play when it’s your time to go.”

On being disciplined while training for Navy game
“It’s my third time playing (Navy) since I’ve been here and the Navy week is back to fundamentals. The key is being pure in all your reads When you mess up they capitalize on it. They make sure that all eleven men are accountable for their responsibilities, so definitely in this week, responsibility is really key.”

On seeing Navy's offense for third time
“A lot of guys played in that game last year, so it’s not like we don’t have an idea of what we’re going against. We just know what we have to do and just have to work hard to execute.”

On getting through disappointment
“It’s real hard because it eats at you a lot. We’re a tight team, and when times are rough, you lean on each other. We lean on each other a lot. That’s pretty much how we get through.”

On the defense improving in the last few years
“The scoreboard doesn’t indicate all of the time what went on in the game. If you look at the scoreboard, outside of that you see what’s going on. It definitely wasn’t that type of game, and Virginia knew that when they approached us. We’re definitely a more physical team up front, more disciplined team on defense, just sometimes we just need to get a couple of good breaks. If the ball bounces the other way, it could be a different position. Definitely, if you watch the tape, you can see and improvement in this year’s team to last year’s team.”

 
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Duke's Ted Roof dicusses upcoming homecoming game against Navy
Duke head football coach Ted Roof
photo by Gene Galin
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