Duke takes its first “real” road trip of the year to Virginia.

Virginia Cavaliers head football coach Bronco Meddenhall is one of the “best defensive coaches” David Cutcliffe has ever seen. But Duke will be coming into Scott Stadium hungry after their loss to Miami.

I’m Not Mad

About that Miami game. David Cutcliffe, “Had to watch it two or three times to get over it.” But he wants his players to know, “I’m not mad. I just don’t want to see anybody do anything but compete at a higher level. Just to get your juices flowing.”

Cutcliffe feels that Duke played a better game against Miami than the 31-6 score would make you think. But there were lessons to be learned. “Our offensive line did not get whipped in the running game. What we didn’t do was protect the passer.”

Think Players, Not Plays

“We did lose the battle of receiver versus defensive back in that game. We weren’t able to make plays.” About stalling in the red zone, Cutcliffe says they, “have to think players, not plays.”

Go to Receiver

Cutcliffe often likens football to playing in the “backyard.” You have to know who to go to.

One of those players is wide receiver Johnathan Lloyd, who has the confidence of quarterback Daniel Jones and Cutcliffe. Lloyd comes through on third and fourth down conversions. He also “gets the most out of what he’s got, every practice, every week.”

Hungry for Virginia

“Most ACC defenses, you need explosive plays,” says Cutcliffe. And Duke will have to execute against the consistently excellent Cavaliers. “Virginia is so well coached that nothing is going to come easy.”

Advice to the Players

Cutcliffe wants his players to know that, “you gotta make opportunities yours instead of somebody else’s.”

“They should be hungry to play a football game and compete at the highest level. That’s what competitors do.”