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October 29, 2014

Paul Chryst

COACH CHRYST:  Certainly looking forward to Saturday's game.  The division leader coming here.  We had a disappointing loss last week.  Focus is all pretty easily on a good Duke team.  Looking forward to Saturday's game.

Q.  Just looking way back now to that Duke game last year, 58‑55, where do you start to talk about the defensive turnaround both teams have experienced in the year since then?
COACH CHRYST:  It seems like a long time ago.  That was the start of our conference season last year.  Since, there's been a lot of football played and the teams are different.
Certainly I think what David has done, their team has done since then, it's really impressive.  I think they've got a heck of a team.  I think all three phases present challenges to you.  We've got to be locked in.
I think our defense is much different than we were last year, some due to loss by graduation, some just kind of how this year's group is developing.  But it seems like it's almost I don't want to say irrelevant, but too far back to be a factor certainly.

Q.  Looking strictly at the length of some of the scoring plays in last year's game, looking at some of the length of the scoring plays from your game last Saturday, what kind of things defensively need to be adjusted as you prepare for Duke to make sure that the big play or giving up the big play isn't as problematic for you guys as it was last Saturday or in last year's game?
COACH CHRYST:  I mean, if you look at what we do, look back at what are the big plays we've given up this year, some certainly are attributed to guys making a play.  I think others are poor tackling, a missed assignment in that someone is supposed to be eyes on this, covering him, and doesn't.  Some have been broken down, the play breaks down, maybe you don't hold the coverage as long, you're not getting the pressure on the quarterback.  There's a number of different things.
You have to play good football.  Good football is doing your job.  Being in a scheme, we as coaches have to take ownership of making sure we have a sound scheme that covers everything, then the players have to execute.
Good offenses, we faced some, certainly we're going to face a good offense with Duke.  They're going to do some things and get you.  When they do run or pass, you've got to tackle it and try to minimize certainly the gain.
Anytime you get or give up big plays, those can be game‑changers.

Q.  I don't want to bring up any bad memories, but on Twitter there was a 1‑in‑7‑million chance of fumbling on the first five possessions of the game.  Was that just the strangest thing you've ever been a part of?
COACH CHRYST:  You say one in a million, but there's things that we have to own, coaches, players.  I think Georgia Tech did a nice job, too, of causing them.  There's things we've got to do certainly.
But, yeah, I haven't been around it.  Wouldn't mind seeing it if I was on the other end of it.  Other than that, I don't ever want to see it again (laughter).
It was a different group of guys.  The second one was strange because for a while you're thinking that this is a big play, it will go in our favor.  Credit to their kid for continuing to play it.
Coaches and players all together, we have to learn what causes them, what can you do to correct it.

Q.  I know James has had some ball‑control issues this season.  Is there anything that you have been working on, any common string on some of the fumbles that he's had?
COACH CHRYST:  You're right.  Each one, as we break it down, there's five or six things that cause them, types of things.  As you're going down on the ground, you start to embrace it, does your body pull apart?  We had the one coming from behind.  Those are the drills we work on each week to try to put them in it.  But we have to make sure those carry over.
But it hasn't been like one certain one that you can say, If we can just fix this one, we'll solve our problems.
Certainly there's nothing more important than the ball in the game.  We got to keep stressing that.  Yet there's not one type of thing that, Boy, if we can clean that up, we'll be good.
I truly believe none of the kids thought this would be a good time to do it.  I think in all those it's still how we respond to it, how we respond to it the next week or within the game.
I am proud.  Every one of the coaches and players are taking ownership of it, not trying to put it behind, that will never happen again.  Yet you have to make sure you're not creating something that guys play cautious either.

Q.  Your starting quarterback, Chad Voytik, talk about his progress this year, where he is, your thought about him as basically the leader of your offense.
COACH CHRYST:  I think Chad, much like our team, he's done some good things, certainly enough things where we have to learn from them.
He works at it.  I love that part about him.  He's really competitive.  I think that he has made progress in a number of different areas.  As he keeps playing through his first year as a starter, each game you're kind of presented with some new ones.
You always strive to play the perfect game.  Obviously he hasn't.  No one has that I've been around.  He's taken the coaching.  It's important to him.  Just got to keep growing.  He's much like our team that way.  Done some good stuff, yet a lot of the games that we're going to play and have played, will play, the margin of error between winning and losing is small.  We've got to do all the things in our control, try to minimize the errors.
He's doing that, and I've enjoyed working with him.

Q.  Regarding Duke this weekend, talk about some of the challenges they pose for you and your team.
COACH CHRYST:  Offensively they have some really talented players.  Their quarterback is playing really well, seems really confident in the offense and with the guys.  Certainly have got dynamic receivers.  The runningbacks, they've got a number of runningbacks.  Their line seems to be really solid, smart, tough.
I think as a team, they don't give you anything, you've got to earn it.  The game is about scoring points, and they do a tremendous job of keeping people from scoring.  Do enough things defensively, whether it different looks and pressures, that if you're not playing with great focus and awareness, this he can get some big plays.
They've done a good job.  We were talking about that, the fumbles, the interception, the takeaways, they're on the plus side, plus‑eight or plus‑ten on turnover ratio.  That's the sign of a good team.  I think obviously dangerous in the return game.
If you look at them, how they play, there's not a lot of mystery why they're a 6‑1 football team.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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