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Cutcliffe, Duke Focusing On Mistakes

And to his credit, Cutcliffe sees the mistakes as his own.

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NCAA Football: Virginia at Duke
Oct 1, 2016; Durham, NC, USA; Virginia Cavaliers defensive end Eli Hanback (58) looks for the ball after Virginia Cavaliers defensive back Jordan Mack (37) popped the ball from Duke Blue Devils quarterback Daniel Jones (17) in the end zone leading to a Virginia touchdown in the second half at Wallace Wade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Dolejs
Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve said before that Duke football is likely to be up and down this season as a young team and young players learn their craft.

That was never more true than against Virginia, where Daniel Jones had six turnovers.

As Dean Smith once said in exasperation: “freshmen!”

Just kidding. Sort of, anyway.

Jones had a tremendous game at Notre Dame and a bad game last weekend. It takes anyone time to figure out a complex position like quarterback. And in fairness, his last turnover, when he was pancaked by Virginia’s Jordan Mack, wasn’t entirely his fault.

No one touched Mack, who came in like a, well, like a Mack truck. You could argue that Jones should have seen him coming, but you should be able to rely on your line to at least slow him down.

That didn’t happen.

Anyway, David Cutcliffe keeps track of mistakes in a “Checklist Book.” Done it for years. He regards them as his own mistakes and he says he’s got quite a few.

The trick is how you apply the lessons learned. We think by now everyone has seen the potential in Jones. Watching him, and his young teammates as they mature, how the lessons are applied, will be the key part of the rest of the season.