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Duke gameweek press conference notes

Pat Fitzgerald and several players addressed the media ahead of Saturday’s clash with Duke.

NCAA Football: Big Ten Football Media Day Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Head coach Pat Fitzgerald, linebacker Blake Gallagher, defensive tackle Jordan Thompson, running back Jeremy Larkin and superback Cameron Green spoke to the media Tuesday in advance of Saturday’s non-conference matchup and home-opener against Duke. Here are some highlights from the press conference:

Pat Fitzgerald

-On last year’s Duke game: “I thought they played very well, looking back at the tape, Daniel played outstanding, but we didn’t make anything happen and they got after us really good.”

-On pass protection: “It wasn’t all the o-line’s fault last year, but that’s the way it goes, we didn’t play well last year.”

-On Duke receiver TJ Rahming: “He’s a hell of a football player and we played like garbage last year.”

-On recruiting Larkin: “Stars don’t really matter, work ethic and how someone builds through college is what matters, Lark has worked so hard to be where he is now, he had a great mentor in JJ and that was really key.”

-On containing Rondale Moore: “I don’t want to minimize his talent, but we missed every single tackle and on the crossing route we had a coverage breakdown, Jared was almost able to make a great play to break it up, but the adjustment at halftime was pretty simple: how about we do what we do. To their credit the guys took it to heart and played well in the second half.”

-On the split of QB playing time Saturday: “I have no idea.”

-On Thorson’s performance against Purdue: “It was so important for him to show everybody all the work he put in, and it really paid off, it was a big shot of confidence for him to be able to go out there and perform.”

-On Montre Hartage: “Montre is a guy that we took on our last scholarship, to see what he has become, all 32 teams have come in and asked me about 24. He’s worked tirelessly in the weight room, film room, and his leadership has been a learned skill.”

-On team discipline: “One of the thing’s that we talk about in camp is situational football, how we conduct ourselves, it’s really a key part of the game, especially the false starts, holdings. It’s definitely something that we work and and focus on, I showed our guys 5 plays in our Monday meeting, 5 unsportsmanlike penalties that had nothing to do with the play but had an impact on the game. So it’s definitely something we work on.”

Jordan Thompson

-On the performance last year against Duke: “Obviously we were upset that we lost, every week the goal is to go 1-0. The theme of this team is to be consistent and not to be satisfied if you have one good day or be too negative if you had one bad day, so it won’t change how we prepare.”

-On defending Duke’s running game: “As for me, I just have to be more consistent in defending that run, Lanny (Tyler Lancaster) leaving has placed more of a responsibility on my shoulders, we definitely miss him, but it becomes an opportunity for everyone to be better on the line.”

-On Larkin: “He’s very goofy, to me he’s super goofy, we have inside jokes all the way from high school, but there’s definitely a time and place where he knows when to be serious and when to goof off.”

Blake Gallagher

-On Duke QB Daniel Jones: “He’s a big physical guy, and he’s not afraid to take a hit, he can run the ball, throw the ball no problem.”

-On Paddy Fisher: “When you watch him play and see what he does on tape, teams obviously have to do more to deal with him, because they have to do something.”

-On defending the RPO: “Do your job, make the read you’re supposed to make, if it’s a run you have to be prepared and if it’s a passed you have to be prepared. You have to be ready to contain him in the pocket and if he leaks out you have to be ready to deal with that.”

-On going against Rondale Moore: “Keeping him in front of you, using your hands are so key, I think when you play a guy like [Daniel] Jones and Rondale Moore, you have to be prepared and on your feet.”

-On being a first-year starter: “I don’t know if I bring something that the defense didn’t have last year, but I just come in, try to work hard and build the trust of the guys around me, but just try and fly around and do my job.”

Jeremy Larkin

-On Jordan Thompson: “I don’t know if he’s the one to talk about being goofy, he’s definitely the more goofy one.”

-On being ‘pigeon toed’: “It helps me going side to side, helps me cut, it’s certainly not a disadvantage for me.”

-On making highlight reel plays: “I definitely know what I did when it happens but it’s more about focusing on the next play, I just try to move on and go to the next one, but I definitely know.”

Cam Green

-On Montre Hartage: “He has a dog like mentality, he’s in the middle of every play and he’s always ready to go.”

-On a rematch with Duke: “We’re just happy we get to go against them again, it’s another opportunity to get a win.”

-On transitioning into becoming a superback: “Trying to be as strong and athletic as the other guys pushed me to become where I am now. Working with the nutritionist to kind of become a trenchman instead of a pretty boy, I claim myself as a wide receiver to those who ask me but I’m happy to be a superback, I’m still a pretty boy.”