David Cutcliffe recently signed an extension to keep him at Duke through 2019. More time at Duke means that Cutcliffe and his staff will be able to build on the progress that they made through the early part of 2012 (and their 6-2 start), before dropping their last four games in a row.
Cutcliffe and his staff have started an impressive turnaround by creating an environment of accountability within the program. Now in his fifth season with the Blue Devils, the coaching staff seems to have successfully created a mindset where they expect to win each week. That's quite the accomplishment for a program that has won 6 or more games just five times since 1980.
“It’s gotta’ be important to you. That’s the accountability we have to each other – how important is it to win,” Cutcliffe told Examiner.com. "No offense, but you didn’t come to Duke just to get a quality degree. You’re here because you’re expected to win.”
While Cutcliffe is proud of earning their way to a bowl, and the progress that they've made since he first arrived on campus, the last thing that he wants his guys feeling is a sense of complacency.
“If you comfort the afflicted, then you afflict the comfortable. We don’t need to be very comfortable, that’s just a fact...that’s where we are.”
The key to getting win number 7 for Cut and his guys will be finding a way to make unfamiliar territory seem familiar, and maintaining their focus through a long bowl prep period, as this will be the first bowl game for the Blue Devils since 1994.
“We’re right there. It’s like being at the top of a wall and you’ve got both hands on and your fingers got a firm grip on it - but if you don’t have anything really left in you - you’re not going to climb over it.” Cutcliffe explained.