Duke postgame quotes

Oct. 25, 2008

Recap |  Box Score |  Notes

Bobby Johnson, Vanderbilt Head Coach

Opening Statement:
"We have to give Duke a lot of credit. We couldn't get anything going or keep the drive alive. The only score we got was on a long pass. I didn't think we were flat though. They were 3 and out on their first possession. We played hard, but sometimes they don't execute or we don't call the right plays, but we played hard. But it's back to the drawing board; we've got a lot of work to do. We have a week off; we'll start to work on that. Florida will be a tough game. You have to reach down and do what you can do and come out right to work and that's what we'll do tomorrow."

On the offense:
"Duke played very well on defense; they had a good plan. They thwarted everything we tried to do. Took away from our outside runs and our quick sweeps with our wide receivers. Took everything from us, they did a good job with that. We missed two field goals and those could have been the difference in the game. We have no way to explain it. We have to come back and come up with something else."

On morale in the locker room:
"I told them we have 4 more games to play, 4 more important games. We have to stop talking about doing things and start doing things. Keep our heads up and try to keep chugging away, but we are far from finished."

On needing the sixth win:
"I don't think we're paralyzed. We have about 10 million psychologists telling us what's wrong. But at the end of the day, we need to play the game. We have to go out and execute. No one's pulling out their hair, but this is what you have to do. You have to go out and do it."

On preseason expectations to now:
"5-3 is not bad, but you're as good as your last game. We have 4 more on the schedule as far as I know and we will be there to play every one of them. We have an off week, but it will be an on week, that's for sure. We're going to practicing and practicing hard."

Vanderbilt Players

Brandon Barden, tight end

On the lack of offense:
"We have to put points on the board to help our defense to gain the win. We didn't do that today."

On overall effort:
"Each of us is responsible for our own effort. We need to go out and play hard every time we're out there."

Sean Walker, wide receiver

General thoughts:
"We just couldn't execute on offense for the whole game. Duke got pressure on Mackenzi (Adams) and that gave us trouble."

On overall effort:
"It was frustrating at times during the game. We got down on ourselves early but we have to keep our heads up and keep playing hard."

On touchdown reception:
"We felt that we could go deep on them all day. I just wanted to make a play for the team. On that play, we had good protection and were able to get the score."

On preparing for next game against Florida:
"We're encouraging each other in the locker room right now. Coach Johnson tells us to prepare for each game and not look ahead. He tells us that each game is tough and we're going to prepare hard for our next game."

Chris Marve, linebacker

On defensive effort:
"We played hard on defense but it wasn't enough to get the win today."

On Duke's offense:
"They played like we expected them to and we wanted to play that type of defense on them. Today was a setback but we need to work hard and try to progress to the next game."

On attempting to get six wins and possible bowl bid:
"We have four games left. We have to go hard, full speed in each of them. We need to focus on one game at a time and not look ahead."

Thomas Welsh, offensive lineman

On offensive line rotation:
"We rotated the entire game and tried to get the best unit out there but it didn't work out."

On offensive struggles:
"We just couldn't get anything going today. We had some mental errors that really hurt us."

On Vanderbilt defense:
"The defense was incredible today. Its disappointing that we didn't hold up our end of the bargain on offense." On preparing for Florida:
"We have four more games to play. We always practice hard, even on off weeks, and we will do the same for this one."

Mackenzi Adams, quarterback

General Thoughts:
"All losses hurt and this one is the same. We'll have to come back and get stronger. Sometimes things don't go your way and you get frustrated. We didn't take Duke lightly and knew that they were going to come here and play hard."

On touchdown pass to Sean Walker:
"We needed one play to get going and that one could have been it but we need to finish our games strong."

On Vanderbilt defense:
"They played great today. They keep us in every game and win some for us as well. We need to do our part on offense."

On offensive line giving up four sacks:
"It was a variety of things that Duke did that gave us trouble. I can't say what they did in particular to hurt us. We have to watch the film and see what happened."

On preparing for Florida:
"We have to forget today and get strong. I have no doubt in our team, even thoughout today's game and the loss. I have confidence in the team."

David Cutcliffe, Duke Head Coach

Opening Statement:
"The thing that pleases me the most is the thing that disturbs me the most and that's the mistakes. We did a lot of things that could have cost us the game. The pleasing thing is that it didn't. Our team never quit believing. The energy in the fourth quarter was that we were not going to be denied. Chris Rwabukamba did a tremendous job of competing and we knew he would. There's a guy that's continued to get better and I'm really pleased. I think it was interesting, that I've never seen a group of players happier for an individual, a young man, than when he made that great play. I'm really happy for Mike McIntyre, a native, who got to do this with his father, George McIntyre, one of the finest people and one of the finest coaches that ever coached football. He's certainly not a good man, but a great man. His dad is ill and was here to see him play and our team was really proud to present Mike and George McIntyre with game balls. He got to see his son and the defense put on quite a display today.

On the defensive gameplan:
"We had a good matchup up front and we had some good ways to pressure. We put a lot of pressure on the quarterback. They are a really good perimeter team and if you can't pressure their quarterback, you're going to have a difficult time defending them. We didn't want their skilled players to get the ball in space. Most of the day they didn't, so we kept them contained. If they don't hit the post, it was about an 80 yard play, then they have about 200 yards of total offense."

On winning against an SEC team:
"It's significant any time the SEC and ACC play. Our players talked about that a lot. It was my first time on this side of the ledger. I noticed before and after the game our players talked about that a lot. We have great respect for the Southeastern Conference. People know that I coached in it for a long time, but these kids measure it as playing against the best. This Vanderbilt team is a really good football team and I think everyone realizes that. We are not a bad football team. We are a 4-3 football team and should be better than that right now, but we have some more football to play."

On the preparation and turnovers:
"You just can't make that many mistakes. Football is a sport of reputation and drilling. We'll be all right. We'll learn from our mistakes. It's not time to panic. It's not time to make any big deal about it. We have a system we believe in strongly about how we practice and what we do and we won't alter that approach."

On the momentum from the win:
"You have to understand where Duke is. It's always significant to win. I think it carries over into Sunday when they practice. I think it is significance for us, getting us ready for Wake Forest, but there's no guarantees. What I want us to do is focus on getting better. We will enjoy this tonight, but we will be all about Wake Forest tomorrow."

Duke Players

Thaddeus Lewis, quarterback

On not being able to score more than one touchdown:
"There was breakdown in protection at times and I didn't take care of the ball like I should of. Obviously as a quarterback, I didn't want to force anything late in the game where I thought their defense could intercept it. I need to look at the film from this game so I know what I need to correct before our next game."

Your coach said that after the Miami game last week that something was missing in the team's attitude. What did you guys do to correct that?
"The seniors met with whole team and they asked us to help them finish their season with a bang. Against Miami we felt like we left something out their end of the field. Senior Michael Tauiliili challenged us this week to play hard for four quarters and we felt like we responded to that this week against Vanderbilt. If we make a mistake, one of our teammates is their to bring our head's up."

On not being able to score more than one touchdown:
"There was breakdown in protection at times and I didn't take care of the ball like I should of. Obviously as a quarterback, I didn't want to force anything late in the game where I thought their defense could intercept it. I need to look at the film from this game so I know what I need to correct before our next game."

On beating an SEC team:
"It feels great to beat a team like Vanderbilt. I don't think I have ever beaten an SEC team in my career at Duke. You hear a lot of people say which conference is better and we wanted to represent our conference and our university today. The SEC and ACC is like a small rivalry because team's that play in the ACC think their conference is better than the SEC, and the same goes for teams that play in the SEC."

On winning on the road:
"We came together after the Georgia Tech game and said there are no more excuses to lose on the road. We knew what the crowd atmosphere was going to be and we knew what we had to do to take the crowd out of the game. I thought our team showed a lot of character today and we were able to get a win over a good team in Vanderbilt."

On how the defense kept the offense in the game:
"The defense played great all four quarters today. They kept our offense in the game when we weren't scoring points. They played bend but don't break defense."

Chris Rwabukamba, cornerback

On getting the interception at the end of the fourth quarter:
"We were in a cover 2 nickel package and my responsibility was the deep half of the field. I just timed my jump and was able to grab the ball at the highest point to secure the interception. The coaches always tell the defensive backs to go get the ball at the highest point and I was able to make a play. Our DB's coach does drills in practice that simulate that type of play and luckily I was able to make the play for our defense.

"We always emphasize that finishing a game and playing four quarters will give you a chance to win and our coaches put us in good position to win today and the players responded by making big plays."

When did you come into the game?
"Leon Wright got hurt so my name was called and I just tried to do the best I could to help our team get a road win."

On being ready to step in and fill a starters role when someone gets hurt:
"You just have to be ready at all times because you never know when your number is going to get called to go in there. You are always just one minor injury away from being out there in big situations."

Tony Jackson, running back

How was the touchdown play set-up:
"I was the primary receiver and when the safety came up to stop the run I just ran my wheel route up the sideline. I ran a crisp route and Thaddeus threw me a great ball to catch me in stride for the touchdown. The coaches are always telling us that running backs and receivers have to make plays in order for our team to win and I was happy I could help out. We're always making big plays in practice but we knew that didn't mean anything until we carried that over to games."

On driving the ball down the field and only coming away with 10 points:
"Vanderbilt's defense showed us some blitzes and looks that we haven't seen this year. They caught us off guard a couple of times and came up with some big stops of their own. Our offense has to do a better job of capitalizing on good field position. Luckily our defense only allowed 7 points."



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