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Cutcliffe: If you're a QB and you're not smart enough...

Duke head coach David Cutcliffe is really excited about coaching red-shirt sophomore quarterback Sean Renfree.  Cutcliffe is also thrilled that former quarterback Thad Lewis has made the St. Louis Rams 53-man roster. 

Regarding Renfree, Cutcliffe explains, “He has command because he’s worked at it.  He’s a brilliant young man.  He puts the time in.  It’s serious business to him.  We (Renfree) were watching Phillip Rivers, watching football and defense and some things together, and it’s really interesting when you get around a special one.  Generally, it’s like watching it with a coach. Sean has a great understanding of the game.”

“What we do when training a quarterback, we’re going to spend about two years teaching them defense.  We’re watching the Jets and Cowboys on defense and the Packers on defense, and he understands what’s going on.  That will benefit him greatly.”

After talking about his excitement for Thad Lewis making the St. Louis Rams roster, Cutcliffe said, “What it did was it rewarded hard work.  Thank goodness it paid off for him. I love seeing good things happen to good people.  Everybody not only loved Thad, but respected Thad.  Whatever he chooses to do after football, he’ll do real well.  Folks ought to be lined up right now trying to hire him.  He is just such a special young man.”

Asked if Lewis’ remarkable improvement and success in a short period under Cutcliffe would help recruiting, Cutcliffe responded, “If you’re a quarterback and you’re not smart enough to see what we can do with quarterbacks, I don’t want you. I’m not being cocky.  It’s just a fact now.  It’s kinda plain and simple.”

Duke travels to Wake Forest this weekend.  Kick-off is set for 1 pm EST on Raycom / ESPN-GP. 

O'Leary disappointed with UCF fans, student section

UCF head coach George O’Leary admitted his disappointment with certain UCF students and the overall crowd at Saturday’s game against South Dakota.

UCF announced a crowed of 34,373 fans, far shy of the 45,000+ capacity at Bright House Networks Stadium.  Perhaps most disappointing to O'Leary, many of the students booed starting QB Rob Calbrese during starting lineup announcements.

Calabrese entered the game 4-7 as the UCF starting quarterback. 

During his weekly press conference, O’Leary said, “You know, I get a little disturbed at some of our student body. You know before the game, [Eric Kohler is] announcing the starting lineups and we’ve got the students booing your starting quarterback. I turned around and they saw me looking and stopped, but you know that’s not how that kid should be treated.”

“I was disappointed in the turnout. I moved the game to night time to help people. I’d much rather play at 12 o’clock or 1 o’clock because, for my football team, it gives them half a day off their feet — another half a day of rest when the game’s over. The reason we move it to six o’clock, seven o’clock games unless it’s a TV game is for the fan base. I was disappointed in the fan base that showed up. I think the regular fan base is there, but you know I don’t listen to Labor Day excuses because every other stadium it’s Labor Day too. And I watched some games on TV and it didn’t seem to bother them. We need to address that as an administration. We really do.”

UCF won 38-7 with Calabrese completing 12 of 15 passes with 1 touchdown.  The Golden Knights host NC State this Saturday night.

Monte Kiffin: I've been hiding for three days

On Tuesday, Monte Kiffin talked with the media for the first time since allowing 588 yards in the 49-36 win at Hawaii.

Monte Kiffin said, “I’ve been hiding for three days. I probably thought about the same thing after watching the film that I saw from the press box. We didn’t do very good.”

“Their pride is hurt right now. In the Tampa 2, you can’t get beat down the middle. We got beat three plays.”

USC host Virginia on Saturday night.  Kick-off is set for 10:30 pm EST on FSN. 

The Trojans will not go back to tackling in practice.  Lane Kiffin said, “We’re not changing.  As you look at the overall picture going into week 2, we’re basically 100% healthy for the most part and we need to maintain that.”

You can watch Lane Kiffin’s weekly press conference right here. 

 

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Wednesday morning Coaches Quick Hits

Some interesting notes & quotes from around the country:

 

LSU vs. Oregon to kick-off 2011: The LSU-Oregon game in Cowboys Stadium has been slotted for a prime time kickoff on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2011 on either ESPN or ABC.

 

San Jose State head coach Mike MacIntyre calls Bama ‘best I’ve ever seen’: "I would say that's the best college football team I've ever been on the field against in all my years of college coaching, talent-wise, top to bottom. Now, I don't know if they'll win every game or not, but talent-wise and size and speed and athleticism, they're pretty phenomenal."

 

Neuheisal says Chow didn’t call his top 2-point play: "You always plan for your 2-point play in advance, and you usually have a list of two, three plays. Norm had on his list a play above the play we called, but we had called that play in a previous game on a 2-point play, and he just thought, `You know what? They'll have looked at that one, so I'm going to the next one."

 

Nebraska OC Shawn Watson describes offense: "When I first came here, everybody wanted to be an option team. Well, people, we are. We are. We are an option team. What happens with this (shotgun) aspect of it, they take away the quarterback, they're giving you the back. If they take away the back, they're giving you the quarterback. And we know that.”

"The other part of that is that we wanted to make sure we maintain touches for our tailbacks. So that's why we're not exclusively that and we wanted to keep multiplicity. Now if we want to dial up runs and just want to pound the ball, we can do that because we have that in our system."

 

Brian Kelly describes offense against Purdue: "It was really an installation fest if you will where you’re putting all these plays in and you got them all in and you go ‘Okay, what are we really good at?’ And the Purdue game gave us an indication of that and we’re certainly not there yet. We’re going to need some more time but that’s kind of what I’m at in terms of the individuals themselves and going to what we think their strengths are."

 

Quoting Dave Wannstedt: "We're a balanced offense. For us to win games and score points on offense -- you have to throw to score points and run the ball to win games. It is a very touchy situation when you have a young quarterback, three new offensive linemen, a new receiver in there and a new tight end."

 

Army head coach Rich Ellerson says he would have gone for the win like Navy: "I said, 'I would have done it.' I've been watching those guys play for 1,000 years and I've never seen them stopped on a quarterback follow. If that's me against Eastern Michigan, I would have done the same thing because we were running the ball so well. I would be thinking, 'They are going to stop us for less than a yard, are you kidding me?' "

 

Quoting Tommy Tuberville: “Well, we won’t press them. The biggest thing about coaching is knowing how fast you can go. I thought the coaches did a good job of being pretty vanilla on both sides. Even last week, they cut back 20, 25 percent on offense, defense and special teams."

“We’re going to change some starters in some positions. We’re going to change some starters in special teams. We’ll be a different team this week. We just want to execute better and really not worry about who we play.”

“We’ve got to protect (Potts) better. He got hit nine times yesterday. If you think about it, with as many times as we throw and as much as they blitz, you’re going to get hit some.”

 

Doc says Marshall needs to beat WVU to make it a rivalry: "We need to win the game at some point. For it to be a rivalry, we have to go win that game. That's what we have to do. We have to get that done."

 

Kevin Sumlin thanks Mike Price: "He took a chance on me. I learned everything from him. He's an unbelievable communicator. He has a great touch with players, can handle all types of situations."

"At that time, Washington State was the basis of one-back football.  Very few teams were doing it. I learned that offense and all the principles that go along with it. "

Tuesday evening Coaches Quick Hits

Some interesting notes & quotes from around the country:

 

Notre Dame TV rating skyrocket: NBC's ratings for Saturday's Notre Dame home opener against Purdue were up 77 percent compared to last season's home opener. 

 

Paul Johnson describes Josh Nesbitt’s passing ability: “If you are waiting for him to complete 70 percent of his passes you are going to be waiting a long time.”

“It is what it is. I think there are games that he is going to throw the ball really well, and he has in the past, and there are games where he may struggle sometimes. What you hope is if he struggles, it is a game that you don't need to throw it. I really believe that we could have won the game on Saturday not ever throwing the ball. We have played a lot of games that way. We are going to be more efficient, but six attempts is a pretty small sample size to announce something dead. Especially when one guy dropped, one was a pass interference, it wasn't that big of a deal to me. Would I like to see him throw a couple of balls better? Yes. But I have seen the kid and he can throw the ball.”

 

Bo Pelini not concerned about poor defensive performance against WKU: “If you look at my history — our style of defense — you get better as time goes on. I’ve been here before and I’m not real concerned.”

“We game plan. We get pretty specific on a weekly basis on how we’re going to do things.”

 

Jim Grobe talks about Duke’s offense: "You can be on your A-game and still give up a lot of yards to these guys. It starts with the quarterback [Sean Renfree] - he is really special. [Conner] Vernon, [Donovan] Varner, and all those receivers are all the real deal. Not only do they have good foot speed and run really good routes, but they also have great hands. I'm real impressed with the quarterback, but you don't complete 80 percent of your throws without people catching the football. It's very rare to see any of their receivers or tight ends drop a ball, so it's going to be a great challenge."

Virginia head coach Mike London talks about USC: “I do know this - you'll have to take some time off the clock against Southern Cal. USC is a team that plays fast and that tries to capitalize on the things that you don't do. So we need to make sure that we can keep the clock running, with the running game, short passes that are caught, keep the clock moving, keep the chains moving.”

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