Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cutcliffe says team has confidence in Renfree, even after five picks

At the beginning of the season, Duke fans dreamed that Sean Renfree would live up to his potential as quarterback and sneak the Blue Devils into a bowl game. He hasn't, they won't.

Renfree even threw five interceptions last week against Miami before being lifted for freshman Brandon Connette, who moved the ball better. But Duke coach David Cutcliffe says he will start Renfree and that he and the team have confidence in him.

"He understands the responsibility, and out squad has confidence in him," Cutcliffe said. "I can’t make that happen, nor can he. Ultimately what it comes down to is performance on game day. He can’t fix this in one day, but rather one play at a time."

Those plays this week come against heavily favored Virginia Tech.

"The quarterback has had a little bit of a problem here lately, but I think he's got a tremendous upside," VT coach Frank Beamer said.

He pointed out that Duke averages about 400 yards per game, of which 278 are passing yards, and that Renfree completes 57 percent of his passes. And, to be fair, several of the interceptions were tipped passes.

Cutcliffe said that the team is depending on Renfree to be prepared mentally and physically. "He is a big boy and he is taking that challenge on. He is not running away from it," he said.

Too bad the first opportunity to atone for those five interceptions comes at Virginia Tech.

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