On Patrick Bailey:
"He's done for a while. That's our fifth starter we've lost this season and we need for that run of injuries to stop. You're talking about a guy who's made a lot of plays for us over the course of the years. He's a relentless guy as far as chasing the football and a guy that we've counted on. He gave us some flexibility to play some difference packages because he could play with his hand on the ground and he could drop. It takes some of that away, but it's a shame that he has to end his college career that way. It's tough on him because he cares so much and he's invested in not only his career but in our program. He's a great example of what we want our football program to be about."
On position changes due to injuries:
"[Ryan] Radloff is still out, so both of our defensive ends are out. He hasn't played since the Connecticut name and we don't know when he'll be back or if he'll be back, and then there is Pat [Bailey's] situation. Greg Akinbiyi will become a starter and then we've juggled Kinney Rucker a little bit and we're working him some on the outside. He's really improved and was giving us a lot of good downs inside. We'll also use Adam Banks, and we moved Marcus Jones inside where Pat was, and then Marcus will be replaced by Chris Davis at the wing slot."
On Kinney Rucker:
"He's come a long way. He had a great summer and he's in the process of figuring it out. I'm really pleased with him and the way that he's working. I'm pleased with his attitude and he's been performing well. He's probably our most athletic big man. He's become more physical; he wasn't a contact guy the last couple years but he's become more of a contact player. He's earned this and I've been pleased with his development. I think he'll continue to develop and get better and I expect him to."
On Virginia Tech's special teams:
"They have two great return guys that have great change of direction. The athletes and the speed they have on that team are outstanding. As a punt team, you worry about getting your punts blocked. Then you worry about protection and no one gets down the field in coverage. There has to be some balance there as far as the emphasis on protection and the coverage go. It is a heck of a challenge."
On Thaddeus Lewis:
"This Saturday is a big test; there's no doubt about it. The pressure that we think Virginia Tech is going to give us, it's certainly a test. You can't have happy feet; you have to stick with your mechanics and your fundamentals and step up and throw the football. After you get hit, you have to get up and do it again. That's what your job is as a quarterback. At the same time it will challenge our offensive line and our tight ends and running backs to protect him better than they have lately."
On what the Duke defense and he personally needs to do to prepare for the Virginia Tech offense:
"The defense as a whole, we know they're going to come out and run the ball and they're going to try to establish that. First and foremost we need to stop the run and we need to match the intensity that they're going to have. We have to hit, run around and gang tackle. Me personally – when I'm making tackles I have to wrap up and I think I have to be more of a leader on defense. I think that's something I'm capable of doing. Whenever I motivate the guys, they can do it. We're going to play hard."
On how tough the ACC schedule is week in and week out and how the team prepares mentally and physically to keep pace with it:
"The ACC schedule is pretty tough. I'm starting to realize it week in and week out. To keep up with it, all I can say is that we have to work hard. Not only on the field but off the field as well. School is important also--- it's like we have two full-time jobs and we have to set aside a significant time for football as well. Just to get in the film room and know what's going to happen before the play starts."
On the improvement he's seen from himself and the defense as the season has progressed:
"As for myself I'm starting to calm down more. At the start of the season I'd be a little jittery and it would take me a couple of series to settle down, which was not good. The defense as a whole has been able to stop the run. Last week, aside from the big run at the end of the game, we held them [Wake Forest] to a very low yards-per-carry. So I think we've been able to stop the run and we just need to keep firing on all cylinders."
On how he feels about nearing 100 catches for his career (97 to date) and what it means to him:
"I really haven't thought anything about it. It's going to be a significant amount in the fact that we've had a lot of great receivers here at Duke and I'm going to join that group that has had over the century mark in catches. From my standpoint all I'm thinking about is going out here and competing against Virginia Tech and trying to help the Duke Blue Devils get a victory."
On what he and Duke need to do this Saturday to be successful against the Virginia Tech defense:
"Personally all I need to do is do my job. Whatever the coaches call and whatever the quarterback calls in the huddle I have to go out there and perform my job. As a team we have to control the momentum and not give them any big plays because that's what they thrive off of. We know if they get momentum the next thing you know you can look up at the scoreboard and it will be 35-6 or something like that. We just have to control the ball and control the momentum and not let them get on us."
On Eron Riley, Thaddeus Lewis and he teaming up to form one of the most dangerous passing games in the ACC:
"The difference is that we've had a whole year to play together and get accustomed to Thad and the offensive line, who have also had a chance to work together. It shows how hard we've worked as a collective offense to go out and get the job done. Eron and I have just come out every day and worked hard and it's showed on the field. Also all of the other guys, especially Austin [Kelly], who've done a great job--- that's allowed us to go out there and perform."