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Best quotes from head coaches David Cutcliffe and Todd Graham ahead of Hyundai Sun Bowl

Darbi Griffith / The Chronicle

EL PASO, TEXAS—The last major media events before this year's Sun Bowl were press conferences featuring the head coaches from each team. Arizona State's Todd Graham and Duke's David Cutcliffe showed their appreciation for the hospitality of the Sun Bowl staff then dove into analysis of Saturday's 2 p.m. matchup at Sun Bowl Stadium between Duke and No. 15 Arizona State. Here are the best quotes from today's press conferences:

David Cutcliffe

On Duke vice president and director of athletics Kevin White and Football Chair of the Sun Bowl John Folmer having ties to Arizona State: "I have visited there three times so I want to go on record and say that I have too spent some time at Arizona State."

On the Sun Bowl compared to other bowl games and his experience: "The Sun Bowl hospitality is second to none... Read more

Behind Enemy Lines: No. 15 Arizona State—Hyundai Sun Bowl

Before every football game this year, The Blue Zone will sit down with a football writer from the opposing school’s student newspaper to get the scoop on their team and season.

This week, The Chronicle’s Nick Martin spoke to the The State Press' assistant sports editor Fabian Ardaya about Saturday's desert clash between Duke and No. 15 Arizona State in the Hyundai Sun Bowl.

The Chronicle: Duke and Arizona State have had very similar seasons in that both seemed to be on their way to a big bowl game until the last three weeks of play hit and they unraveled, with both losing two of their last three contests... Read more

The Chronicle's Top 10: Duke takes down then-No. 2 Wisconsin on the road

From the field to the court, the Blue Devils provided fans and media members alike plenty of memorable moments. With 2014 coming to a close, The Chronicle is taking look back on the year's biggest stories. We close out our first five with Duke basketball's biggest win of the season yet—an 80-70 handling of then-No. 2 Wisconsin—coming in at No. 6.

It may only go down in the books as just one regular season win, but the Blue Devils' Dec. 3 win in Madison, Wisc., was much more than that—it was a wakeup call to the league that Kentucky wasn't the only team to lookout for.

The Blue Devils—featuring their touted freshman in the group's first true road trip—went into then-No. 2 Wisconsin's Kohl Center and established themselves as the new No. 2, beating the Badgers 80-70 behind an offensive explosion from point guard Tyus Jones and a near flawless shooting performance from the Blue Devils.

Heading into the matchup, everybody drooled about the coming Jahlil Okafor-Frank Kaminsky battle in the paint... Read more

Third and goal: Duke football vs. Arizona State

Duke travels to El Paso, Texas, for its third bowl game in as many seasons to face off against No. 15 Arizona State in the Hyundai Sun Bowl at 2 p.m. Saturday. The Blue Devils will hit the gridiron for the first time in nearly a month seeking their first bowl victory since a 7-6 win in the 1961 Cotton Bowl Classic against Arkansas. A victory would also mark Duke’s first win against a ranked non-conference opponent since 1971, when the team pulled off a 9-3 win on the road against then-No. 10 Stanford. Three keys to a Blue Devil victory:

Get Boone and the passing game going

In his last start as a Blue Devil, redshirt senior Anthony Boone will need to take advantage of the Sun Devils’ porous pass defense, which ranks 103rd in the nation in total yards allowed. Boone threw for a career-high 17 touchdowns and seven interceptions—along with a 56... Read more

Duke vs. No 15 Arizona State Sun Bowl preview: Special teams

Jamison Crowder and Duke's special teams will look to change field position and momentum early and often in Saturday's Sun Bowl.

Jamison Crowder and Duke's special teams will look to change field position and momentum early and often in Saturday's Sun Bowl.

Special teams have guided the Duke to a win more than once this season, but No. 15 Arizona State boasts talented kickers and returners of its own. If offenses stall, Saturday’s bowl matchup could boil down to a special teams showdown. Kickoff is at 2 p.m. at Sun Bowl Stadium in El Paso, Texas.

Punting

Duke: Redshirt junior Will Monday has a knack for booting the football far down field when his team needs to change field position on fourth downs. The two-time All-ACC punter finished the regular season averaging 43.4 yards per punt, having posted 17 punts downed inside the 20-yard line compared to just eight touchbacks. Monday’s consistency and reliability have had a palpable effect on games throughout the season. Expect Monday to alleviate some stress from the defense and position the Sun Devils deep in their own territory if the Duke offense stalls Saturday... Read more

Highlights from Sun Bowl coordinator press conferences Christmas Day

EL PASO, TEXAS—The first major media events for this year's Sun Bowl were Christmas Day press conferences featuring the offensive and defensive coordinators from each team. Arizona State's Mike Norvell and Keith Patterson and Duke's Scottie Montgomery and Jim Knowles showed their appreciation for the hospitality of the Sun Bowl staff then dove into analysis of Saturday's 2 p.m. matchup at Sun Bowl Stadium between Duke and No. 15 Arizona State. Here are the best quotes from today's press conferences:

Scottie Montgomery, offensive coordinator, Duke

On a comparison for Arizona State's defense: "We've seen teams that pressure the way that they pressure. From an athletic standpoint and coaching ability, I don't know that we've seen very many teams that have the ability to execute pressure situations and play base defense as well as they play. We know they're extremely well-coached and have a tremendous amount of talent."

On Duke's balanced attack: "We've been one of the more balanced teams the entire year... Read more

Duke vs. No. 15 Arizona State Sun Bowl preview: Defense

As the Hyundai Sun Bowl between Duke and No. 15 Arizona State approaches, the Blue Zone takes a look at how both team's defensive units have fared this season and what we should expect from them Saturday. Kickoff is at 2 p.m. at Sun Bowl Stadium in El Paso, Texas. Check back Friday for a preview of the special teams battle.

X's and O's

Duke: Arizona State has proved it can score with the best of them and ranks in the top 20 nationally in points per game with 37.0. The Duke secondary will have its hands full, as no other team it has played this year has a spread offense that matches the Sun Devil attack; Arizona State excels by getting the ball to its playmakers in space and will likely test the Blue Devils' 4-2-5 scheme on the perimeter early and often.

The Duke run defense will need to stifle the run early and often so that the team can focus on sending blitzes to rattle Sun Devil passers Taylor Kelly and Mike Bercovici or drop their linebackers into coverage... Read more

The Chronicle's Top 10: Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood declare for 2014 NBA Draft

From the field to the court, the Blue Devils provided fans and media members alike plenty of memorable moments. With 2014 coming to a close, The Chronicle is taking look back on the year's biggest stories. We continue our countdown today with No. 7 by reflecting on Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood's decisions to forgo a second season in Durham and make the jump to the NBA.

It was fun while it lasted.

That was the general sentiment many had when freshman phenom Jabari Parker and redshirt sophomore Rodney Hood announced they would take their talents to the NBA following a 2013-14 season that had its fair share of high points and disappointments.

As interested as everyone was in Hood's decision, the entire sports world was on notice as Parker weighed his options in early April. After being bounced from the NCAA tournament early by Mercer, the Chicago native was clearly shaken after the game and many speculated as to whether or not his tournament reputation would be enough to keep him in Durham another season... Read more

X factor: Duke football vs. Arizona State

Duke travels to El Paso, Texas, for its third bowl game in as many seasons to face off against No. 15 Arizona State in the Hyundai Sun Bowl at 2 p.m. Saturday. The Blue Devils will hit the gridiron for the first time in nearly a month seeking their first bowl victory since a 7-6 win in the 1961 Cotton Bowl Classic against Arkansas. A victory would also mark Duke’s first win against a ranked non-conference opponent since 1971, when the team pulled off a 9-3 win on the road against then-No. 10 Stanford. Every week throughout the football season, we’ll break down a player on each team who could be the difference-maker in the upcoming contest.

Duke: quarterback Anthony Boone

The Blue Devil signal caller has struggled of late. In the final three games of the season—a stretch that saw Duke drop two games—Boone threw three interceptions to match his three touchdowns. The redshirt senior’s struggles do not rest solely on his shoulders, however... Read more

The Chronicle's Top 10: Duke men's soccer upsets No. 1 North Carolina

From the field to the court, the Blue Devils provided fans and media members alike plenty of memorable moments. With 2014 coming to a close, The Chronicle is taking look back on the year's biggest stories. We continue our countdown today with No. 8 by looking back at Duke men's soccer's thrilling upset of top-ranked North Carolina Sept. 19.

Throughout the season, the Blue Devils protected home turf, compiling an 8-2-1 record within the friendly confines of Koskinen Stadium.

One of those eight wins stands out from the pack.

Duke hadn't beaten North Carolina since 2006, and the Tar Heels made the short trip to Durham Sept. 19 as the No. 1 team in the nation. In a game that stayed chippy throughout—both on the field and in the stands—North Carolina appeared to be in control, stymieing the Blue Devils on the offensive and breaking through with a goal of its own in the 38th minute.

With 15 minutes to play, the Tar Heels still held a 1-0 edge... Read more