“Well it wasn’t always pretty. We had I don’t know how many penalties. The most we totaled was two the rest of the year and seven-for-59 doesn’t seem right … some really tough penalties, big penalties in the game. But we fought and found a way. Both sides were having a tough time stopping the other side and we turned it over twice and missed a scoring opportunity in the second half and let them hang around. It’s win No. 8. I’m glad to get it and now we focus on next week, which I know is a big game for everybody involved.”
On Jemea Thomas’ interception:
“It was a great play, made especially after they called him on the other one, to just walk up there and challenge the guy, get in his face and then make a nice play.”
On Tyler Melton:
“The one on third down there in that last drive before we fumbled the ball actually was huge and was a great catch.”
On the penalties:
“Yeah I was frustrated. You know when we come out and throw play-action pass, they were cross keying the slot. And so we told the guy, and the backside slot was getting right by him and they grabbed him around the waist and they don’t call it. Then they try to tell me the guy they threw it to didn’t get held. Well, they pulled the other guy. That was frustrating a little bit. The late hit penalties on the quarterback, you don’t really know until you see the tape. It’s a bit frustrating. I’m not saying they weren’t correct. I’m just saying it’s frustrating. Two weeks in a row, we’ve had guys back third-and-15, third-and-18 and we do something completely stupid to get them a first down.”
On the game turning into a shootout:
Especially after the first couple of possessions. It kind of became tough to get a stop there weren’t a lot punts in the second half. We missed our chances by turning the ball over and fortunately for us we got a pick there to be able to ice the game and then run the clock out.
On Duke quarterback Sean Renfree:
We had a hard time slowing him down, but we also had some turnovers that kept us from scoring. When you do that, you hurt yourself. Bottom line, like I say, it’s a team game. It doesn’t mater if it’s 38-31 or 7-6. You’ve got to score one more than they do to win the game.
On quarterback Tevin Washington:
I thought he played really well. After the first series, the very first series, where we dropped the snap and made a poor throw or two, but other than that, he made some big, big plays and hit some key plays for us. The long touchdown run was huge and then (he) was able get outside on a sprint out there at the end to get the first down to end the game.
On Duke playing nine in the box:
They did some things in run support that we should have been able even to take more advantage of. I’m anxious to see on the tape a couple other times that I felt like we had opportunities that we didn’t hit. We hit some things in the play-action action game. When we can throw for that much, it certainly helps the offense.
On the emphasis on character following the Virginia Tech loss:
A win’s a win and they can’t take it away. Like I said, it wasn’t always pretty but that’s No. 8. That’s more than anybody thought we were going to get and we’ve got a couple left. Our focus moves (forward). We’ll enjoy this tonight and tomorrow, we’ll start to get ready for Georgia. It’s a big, big game. Georgia’s got an awfully good football team, so it’ll be a big challenge.
On the plays in the passing game:
We threw it 13 times. I don’t think we threw it any more than we’ve been throwing it. It just seems like it when you compete some and when you hit a big play on it. We could run the ball fairly successfully. We had a hard time inside. Once we got on the perimeter, we did O.K. We didn’t do anything to mix the ball around. It just happened that way. That’s kind of who they took on the option.
On Embry Peeples:
I thought Embry did a nice job. The play right before halftime, he did a great job getting in the end zone. He had some nice runs. Certainly, we missed Orwin (Smith). Orwin’s a good player. I thought Robby Godhigh got in and played some, so did Tony Zenon. I’m not sure about Deon Hill. We played a lot of receivers, too. Stephen (Hill) was out in the second half. And I thought Tyler Melton made some nice plays. Like I said, the third down play was huge.
On if Hill and Smith will be back for the Georgia game:
I would think so. I don’t think it’s anything serious.
On treating the game as a business trip:
I don’t know. We’ve talked about it before, that’s not the first time we’ve talked about that it’s a business and it’s a business trip. I just wanted to do as much as I could to emphasize that.
On Charles Perkins‘ play:
I thought he did O.K. It’s disappointing. We had the fumble at the end. A guy got knocked back into him but it’s still no excuse. I thought he did some nice things. He made a nice catch on the wheel route on our sideline. I thought David (Sims) ran the ball hard. We still haven’t hit any real big plays out of that spot, and that’s what we needed.
On if Perkins’ playing time was related to Preston Lyons:
Preston is banged up; he’s hurt a little bit. You could tell in practice he was limping. And I wanted to give Charles a chance. He’d been practicing hard. I also wanted to play Synjyn Days. I apologized to him right after the game. I told him I was going to play him but you couldn’t let up. There was no way to put him in the game.
On lack of pressure on Renfree:
He gets rid of the ball quick, too. They’re in the gun and he gets rid of it quick and a lot of our games were coming from depth and even when they weren’t blocking them, they couldn’t get there. You’ve got to try to make them hold the ball a little bit. You’ve got to cover somebody a little bit. If they’re throwing four-yard crossing routes and we’re letting guys inside, then nobody’s going to get there. It’s been a problem, without blitzing, getting pressure.
On not covering “a little bit”:
At times it didn’t look like it.
On if he is frustrated with the defense:
Not anymore than I’m frustrated with the offense. We fumbled the ball, jumping offsides and doing that. You want to play as good as you can play, and until we can play as good as we can play, then I’m not going to be satisfied. I’m still happy we won the game, but I think you want to hold those kids to that standard. You don’t want to drop your standards. You want to point out the things that we’re not doing.