Coach Washington on the Elon game: “I’m going to repeat myself from last week, Elon is a very good football team. And that was proven on Saturday night. I think coach Trisciani and his staff do a tremendous job preparing these guys. They fought hard from start to finish. Fortunately, we were able to come out with a victory.”
Coach Washington on what the Aggies did well: “One particular thing I thought we did well; we played hard. We played hard and we did not give up. And that’s the thing I think I was most proud of. The effort in which we played and determination. Not one time did we feel as if we were not going to win that football game. I didn’t want to go into overtime. Fortunately, (kicker) Noel (Ruiz) helped us with that.”
Coach Washington on what did not go well: “Out of the things that we didn’t do well – penalties stand out most. I thought it was particularly on special teams. We had the field flipped several times and it was brought back due to penalties. That's something that we have to get fixed right away.”
Coach Washington on the Aggies defense: “Defensively, I thought we played well. You know, we always put a lot of emphasis on stopping the run. We did that. We held them to 19 yards rushing. You’re supposed to win when you hold a team to 19 yards rushing. I was pleased with that part of it. I thought we missed tackles that we should not have. What I was disappointed with also, was third down. They converted on a 3rd-and-16 on a basic over route. That just should not happen at this point. I don’t care if it’s the first or the last game, it should not happen. Missed tackles showed their face. The longest pass from scrimmage was a 5-yard pitch and after a missed tackle that get 34 yards off it. Those are the things I was disappointed in.”
Coach Washington on the offense: Offensively I thought we played solid. They do a lot of movements in plays. They jump from a 3-3 to a 3-4 stack so we knew we had to keep our eyes up and protect and find the right guy. And I thought the offensive line did that for the most part. The running backs ran the ball. We didn’t have a whole bunch of yards we didn’t rush for 200, 300 yards but the 133 we got was hard-fought. I thought (Quarterback) Kylil (Carter) did a good job he was solid. He didn’t do anything supernatural, but he did what we asked. He did Rule No. 2, protect the football. He did a very good job doing that. We had no turnovers. I thought that went very well with me. But overall, it was a good win. I think they all are a good win.
Coach Washington on the pending Dorian storm: “I think we’re going to be able to get in our preparation for the week without interruption. If I'm not mistaken, the storm is supposed to happen at the end of the week. We possibly will be affected. But for now, we operating as usual.
Coach Washington on who has the advantage in bad weather: “I think it actually worked to our advantage. You know, Duke is a very powerful football team. They can throw the football and are very skillful. All the skilled guys can run. They are a little faster than what we are accustomed to.”
Coach Washington on placekicker Noel Ruiz: “I’ve said this several times, he’s perhaps the most improved player we have from last season. We never lost confidence in him. There were different things we corrected like his shoes and he felt very positive about going out and kicking that last kick. I saw the look in his eyes, he wanted that opportunity and he nailed it.”
Coach Washington on preparing for Duke after playing national powerhouse Alabama: “It makes it very difficult for us to scout. Without a doubt, Alabama is so gifted and the things they are capable of doing we just cannot do. We don't have the size, speed, or manpower. I thought Duke did show some different formation and that's a concern we did not see last year. We’re going to have to prepare for it. But possibly that’s all we’re going to get from that tape. We will have to resort back to last year to get a better idea of what they can and cannot do or what they may do.”
Coach Washington on the difference between Duke and A&T: “Size and speed. Those are the two main factors. I think we are physically strong enough to stand some of the power stuff. But they have so much size and speed. You know we’re up against guys 6-5, 330 pounds who are very agile and can move. All the skilled guys run 4.5 or better. Those are the two main challenges. But we can run a little bit too.”
Coach Washington on defensive end Jermaine McDaniel: “I tell you what, the energy and effort he brings to the game are magical. It’s contagious. We are happy to have him, and he got off that football. He bought that energy to the hotel the night before, so I knew he was ready to roll. “We’re happy to have him and look forward to seeing what he does for the rest of the season.
Coach Washington on injuries: “I thought we came out fairly healthy. We had some guys banged up, but no one was injured to where they cannot play this upcoming week."
Coach Washington on the return of some players who missed the Elon game: “(Wide receiver) Zach Leslie was that one piece that was missing. He will be able to go this week. Jordan McDaniel, another receiver, will be able to go this week. We will see how it goes with (All-American cornerback) Frank McCain, as we progress.
Coach Washington on quarterback Kylil Carter: “He came in ready to challenge himself and ready to work. His development has only blossomed and made him who he is today. I’m very proud of him. He fun to watch. He’s a good kid and a good person and good for the program. He steers the young guys in the right direction. He does the little things right, and pays attention to details.”
Coach Washington on watching Duke’s film: “You know the first part of the week they looked fantastic. Hopefully, as the week progresses, we can find some ways to distort what they do best and what they do most often. Today, they look like an NFL team. Let’s pray that by the end of the week that will have changed somewhat.
Washington on Duke’s new QB: “He’s not really young. He’s been there for a long time. He just hasn't played very much. But he’s very athletic. He’s a dual-threat. I think his feet are more dangerous than his arm. I thought he posed some problems for Alabama with his feet. They ran a lot of triple option. That’s not Duke’s style of football but it’s an added dimension and one that every team now is going to have to prepare for. It makes it more difficult.”