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September 3, 2014

Jimbo Fisher

COACH FISHER:  Very excited about our team.  Ready to compete on a great opening game in the classic in Dallas.  Oklahoma State was a very good opponent.  Played very well.  We knew they would.  We knew, I like I say, tough opening game, lot of different scenarios and a lot of different things that happened but loved the way we kept our composure and were able to keep plays when we had to.
But in that respect we had a lot to do in all three phases like we always have at this time of year, offense, defense, special teams.  Been very pleased with practice this week and we'll continue to grow, and like I say, we're a work‑in‑progress as we always are as we keep developing our identity and personality.
But very happy with them.  Again, not content but very happy with where we are right now.  Just got to continue to improve and get better each week and looking for a great game with Citadel this week.  Like I say, going to have to be very disciplined on defense as they run an option bone attack like Georgia Tech does, which are very disciplined.  Got to be very physical, got to play the edges and got to set ‑‑ got to have a guy for the dive, guy for the quarterback and guy for the pitch, which are all very difficult and then control the trick plays and play‑actions that go with it.
Defensively they do a really good job being a 4‑3 team, mixing safety and single high coverages, have a solid kicking game.  So we are going to have our hands full, need to play better and need to continue to improve each week and continue to have good practices.

Q.  Watching the game on Saturday night, and the first quarter we were dominating and keeping them from not getting a first down at Oklahoma State, what happened in the second quarter?
COACH FISHER:  Well, they only had one drive the second quarter.  We were up 17‑0.  We gave up a kickoff return.  First thing that set the tone, we had great kickoff coverage early, limited play calls for them.  And then we gave up a big kickoff return and get the ball out to the 35‑yard line, and then they were able to hit a few runs.  And we got out of gap control.
We were in place to make plays, and then we get a little bit greedy and try to come out of our gap and make plays and didn't stay disciplined and stay in our gap, and then they got momentum and we had to turnover before the half and they were able to kick a field goal.
We got a crucial penalty in that drive, too, to give them 15 yards to put them down there, which made it that much closer.  So they had only really one drive in the first half, but when it was up 17‑0 and we needed to really shut the door.  But offensively we also had a turnover in the red zone on that same turn.  Oklahoma State is a good team.  They did a good job.

Q.  Your wide receiver, Green, he seems like he's one of those great wide receivers that people did not realize he was still there with the team.  He's very good.
COACH FISHER:  Well, he's got a chance going into the season to break every receiving record in Florida State history.  He was our leading receiver for the last three years.
I mean, people not knowing who he is‑‑ I don't know why you wouldn't because that guy had 76 catches last year, second‑most total in FSU history, and he's a 1,000‑yard guy and he has a chance to break all‑time catch, touchdown and yardage record in the history of Florida State.  And you think of all the great players that ever played here, the guy is a tremendous player, and he came up big for us on Saturday night.

Q.  When you guys are in your nickel and Nate is on the field, what do you like so much about that package and do you have to have a specific type of player to get those five guys on the field at the same time?
COACH FISHER:  Not necessarily.  We were at 71 percent of the time last year.  That was a defense, personnel, we played 71 percent of the time last year, and when you match personnel, you want to be able to mix your coverages.  It's hard to do it when you don't play nickel packages and being able to match it with linebackers when you are having to match slots.
So that's the personnel matchups you do, most college teams do.  It's something that most teams, the reason we are in it a lot is because teams are in three‑ and four‑wide most of the time.

Q.  A lot of teams are starting to run that as their base package.  On the flipside of that, what do you give up when you take an extra linebacker off the field?
COACH FISHER:  Well, it's what you gain, though, too.  You can give up maybe an extra run player, but our nickel guy, Jalen, had 12 tackles.  So to say he had as many tackles as anybody on our field, a very physical guy, but at the same time, when you leave a linebacker out there, what you give up is the ability to be multiple in your defenses and be able to mix coverages and be able to blitz.
We would take a Lamarcus Joyner off the field last year and had him at safety and Jalen Ramsey might not have played, or someone of those guys.  From that standpoint you're matching athlete for athlete but at the same time, when you have got guys that are physical and can tackle like we have with Joyner and Ramsey, it gives you a great advantage; and Nate Andrews, also, who also had a pick for six in the game when he was in there doing his job.

Q.  How do you feel he performed, helped lead the team to victory, what you see from Jameis heading into the season and what he's shown you so far?
COACH FISHER:  I thought he had a solid performance.  I mean, he had a critical mistake in the red zone.  And like I say, we go back and if you look at the play, the guy got his back part of the finger on the ball and tip is up in the air and made a play.
But at the same time, why were we in third and ten.  We dropped the ball on the flat and missed a slant on an early read earlier, which we ran a hair short, but he could have got down.  And we tried to make up on third down and they made a good play.
The other one, he should have thrown the ball away.  But overall he still hit the two threes he made to Rashad on the big plays, the 50‑yard gain, the 30‑yard gain, those are balls that are 40 yards down the field, the guy is open by half a step.  Made good reads for the most part in the day.  Didn't throw in the coverage.
But at the same time, he can play better and I think his pocket ‑‑ he got just a little antsy in the pocket.  But that's something as the year goes on and the seasons go, you get better and get a feel for things inside.  We had a couple he might have gotten out to another play, but when you go 70‑something plays, that's about typical of what can happen, one or two times in the game, that can be questioned.
I thought he had a solid performance but he knows he can still play better as far as not wanting big plays but just continuing to make smart plays.  But I was still pleased with his progress and I think you'll see him continue to get better and we'll keep getting better as an offense.

Q.  You guys rushed for 106 yards.  Can you evaluate your running game?
COACH FISHER:  Got to get better and be more consistent.  They were playing quarters coverage, which ‑‑ eight to nine guys in the box at times with quick one‑reads.  But also, that's why we were able to play‑action and hit the post routes in which we were‑‑ and Rashad Green and Christian Green and those guys down the middle of the field over the top because when you play‑action, you trigger on the run, you get to the box and that's something they were committed to doing.
But at the same time we have to keep pounding that and respect it and take advantage with playaction.  We must get better and we have to be even more physical up front.  At times I think we blocked, but we were not as physical as we could have been, but give credit to them.  They moved well.
But we'll continue to work on our running game and get it better because we have to be able to run the football, and we've always had balance around here and we'll be able to do that in time.

Q.  You guys have been so successful in the pass game in the last year or so that a team would essentially load up against the run‑‑
COACH FISHER:  Not necessarily because that's what they did.  If you watch their film coming in, that was how they played defense.  They were a quarters team who got safeties down in the box and involved in the run.  End of the day most people do what they do and that was their nature and what they do on defense.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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