Duke coach David Cutcliffe has imparted what he calls a George Patton principal to quarterback Sean Renfree: “Make a decision and do it like hell.”
Indecisive throws that lead to interceptions? Not this year, Cutcliffe said.
“You can’t play afraid,” Cutcliffe said. “You’re going to throw more interceptions playing a little cautious than you are playing aggressively in my opinion. Because when you play aggressively, you tend to throw the ball on time. There’s no afterthoughts. Most of his interceptions came on afterthought throws. We’re going to eliminate those.”
Cutting down on turnovers will not only dramatically increase Renfree’s stock as a quarterback, it will also help the Blue Devils get closer to their goal of reaching a bowl game. Last year, Duke ranked No. 108 in the country in turnover margin. Renfree threw 14 touchdowns but had 11 interceptions. Still, Cutcliffe said he is convinced Renfree is a pro prospect.
Renfree, a two-year starter, enters his senior season as the ACC’s active career leader in passing yardage (6,352), total offense (6,235) and pass completions (601). He has completed 63.4 percent of his passes for his career and has a career efficiency rating of 124.52. Last season, he finished second in the ACC in passing yardage and third in total offense.
Renfree still hasn’t reached his full potential, though.
“He can be tremendous,” Cutcliffe said. “It’s a step he’s got to take mentally. The only reason he doesn’t get the accolades -- he’s got the completion percentage and the yards -- is the interception-to-touchdown ratio. He’s putting the points on the board. He’s a pro prospect, he’s a pro quarterback, he can throw it like one, he’s mentally one, he’s got the size of one, just go play like one. No excuses, just go play like it. Make the throws that get us in the end zone.”