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November 12, 2014

Jimbo Fisher

JIMBO FISHER:  Very excited about our win over Virginia.  I thought Virginia had an outstanding club, had played very well.  All their losses were eight points or less.  I thought we played them very well in the game.  At times defensively, really tackled well, made a lot of plays, stopped the run extremely well.  One of our better games.
I thought Mario Edwards really stood out offensively.  Moved the ball.  Capitalized on turnovers.  Had a couple of really long drives.  Ran the ball well at times.  At the end of the game, ran the ball out.  Did a very nice job.
Virginia has a great team.  Played well on defense.
Looking forward to a great Miami team.  Miami is on a three‑game winning streak.  Doing a real nice job on defense.  On offense have a lot of explosive players.  Playing very sound on defense, tackles, very physical.  Very good on special teams.  A lot of athletes who can return the ball, and cover and do those things, and their punter does a really nice job and the kicker.  Al's doing a great job down there.  One of the great rivalries in college football.  It's a great opportunity for our team and looking forward to Saturday night.

Q.  I know all the Clemson games are far in the rearview mirror here, but just wanted to ask your impressions of Grady Jarrett, the nose guard.
JIMBO FISHER:  Very good player, very athletic, strong, played with great leverage.  Can run, change direction.  One of the best football players we've played against all year.  Very good player.

Q.  Does he get underappreciated just because a lot of guys individually on Clemson, as good as they've been as a unit, they haven't gotten a lot of the individual accolades.
JIMBO FISHER:  He does it for me.  He gets it from me.  We knew we had to prepare for him.  He's played excellent.
I haven't kept up with that part because we played so far back, but he definitely got our attention and a lot of individual accolades from me.  I thought the guy was an outstanding football player.

Q.  Your take on Miami running back Duke Johnson.  Obviously, you're going up against him this week.  Just what you've seen from him and how you feel your defense is going to have to adjust to somebody like him.
JIMBO FISHER:  I think, first of all, he's one of the outstanding players in this country.  He's very dynamic with the ball.  The thing about him is he's very strong.  Breaks a lot of tackles, extremely quick.  Changes direction, great vision, sticks his foot.  At the same time, he's not only quick, he's fast.  He gets in space and runs away.  He makes as many long touchdown runs as anybody.  Then he catches the ball out of the backfield.
I think he's one of the most dynamic players in all the country.  I think he's a very, very good player.  He's playing at a very high level for them right now.

Q.  And as far as your team, a lot is talked about when it comes to Rashad Greene and what he does.  To look to Wilson, who maybe gets overshadowed a little bit at times.  What can you say about what he's been to team and how he kind of helps out green and allows Jameis Winston, obviously, to have more than one weapon.
JIMBO FISHER:  He does.  His emergence earlier in the year was huge for us because he has no problems in a one‑on‑one matchup.  You don't mind going to him at all with the ball and we feel comfortable.  With the emergence of Rudolph and Lane and some of the other young guys, it's been really helpful.
Bobo can run with the ball.  Great speed, tough.  He's very strong, very quick.  He has a lot of body quickness to get in and out of cuts.  We think he's going to be an excellent player an outstanding defensive player, and he's playing very well for us right now.

Q.  I know you're not looking at the rankings, but it does seem like your team is being judged a little harshly for playing some closer games this year.  Especially as compared to last year.  I was wondering what your thoughts were on that and how much it should matter how much you win by.
JIMBO FISHER:  What somebody thinks of us‑‑ I hate to say it's none of my business.  We can't control that.  We just control how we play.  We've won every conference game except one by double digits, and we played a great schedule.  Oklahoma State had four straight years of ten wins.  Notre Dame is a great team.  They had one bad game this past weekend.  They played excellent against us.  I'm very happy with the way we've played.  And we're winning games, and we're winning by significant margins, also.
You don't win games like we did last year.  No one had done it in 68 years.  So I think from that standpoint.  But we're very resilient.  We win.  I think we're great in our own way.  Maybe each team has a different style, but I love this team.  Like I say, it understands how to compete, and I think is playing extremely well.  Especially when you get everybody's best week in and week out.
Everybody plans for you in the off‑season.  Everyone studies for you in the off‑season when you're the champ.  I'm very proud of this team, and I think we play very well.

Q.  If I can ask one quick follow-up:  It may be a stretch, but as you finish off this season, knowing the way your team is sort of being judged, does it lead you to think, if you get into fourth quarter games where you sort of have things under control, you know, maybe we're just going to keep playing this out, and I'm going to leave Jameis in a little longer, just to make sure we don't leave a game that is in hand look less in hand?
JIMBO FISHER:  You know something, I'm not going to change the integrity of the way we do things or the way we do things.  I'm going to hold the integrity of the game higher than everyone else.  If people on the Committee can't see that, then that's it.   For us to score to win the game to get control, then we'll do that.  If it's us to run the clock out, we'll do that.  We'll play the game the way it's supposed to be played.

Q.  Jimbo, sort of on what Ralph was talking about, what was your reaction or impression when you found out that you guys had just slipped one spot in the rankings last night?
JIMBO FISHER:  Nothing.  I kept watching film of Miami (laughing).  I mean, I can't control that.  That's their opinion.  We've got to get ready to play a Miami team, and things will always take care of themselves.
I don't mean that in any disregard.  Whether we'd have been 1, they'd have moved us to No.1, it would have been the same.  You've just got to keep playing and move on.

Q.  Obviously, you scheduled Oklahoma State, a team that's been really, really good for a while now.  Florida always a contender‑‑
JIMBO FISHER:  And Notre Dame.  We played Notre Dame nonconference.

Q.  That's sort of conference but nonconference, yeah.  Is there anything you can do about this or just sort of say hey?
JIMBO FISHER:  You just keep playing.  Remember, Oklahoma State has lost their quarterback, too.  When we played them, Oklahoma State had their full quarterback, and he was a very, very good player.
You schedule, and you play the games you have, and you control what you can control.  We've just got to keep playing well and winning.  We're going to have our hands full going to Miami.

Q.  Jimbo, not to beat a dead horse on this, but don't you think the Committee is sending a message that certain teams in other conferences, it's okay for them to lose a game as long as they have more quality wins?
JIMBO FISHER:  You said that.  I'm not getting into all that.  I thought the name of the game was to keep winning.  I don't know what they're trying to send or what's trying to go on.  When you get the human element in there, too.  Whether you picked it by computer or that, we've just got to control what we can control and just keep playing well.
I don't know.  I don't try to think what other people think.  I really don't, because you can't do that.  As I say, you're chasing your tail that way.  We've just got to keep playing and winning and doing a good job.

Q.  Wanted to ask you about Miami's defense, specifically their secondary.  Deon Bush has been having a great season for them.  I wanted to get your opinion on what you think his impact has been and what you're seeing on film.
JIMBO FISHER:  Deon is a very good player.  He had a pick in our game last year.  He runs real well, plays the ball, he's physical, he tackles.  Their whole secondary, Tracy Howard Barnes, Artie Burns.  The whole crew of them.  All those guys can run.  We knew them when we were recruiting them.  That's why we tried to get them up here.
They're an outstanding group of guys.  They're very versatile in how they play.  They can do about everything.

Q.  Got to ask you the Miami question, recruiting‑wise, they've done so well down here.  Just what this game means for you guys recruiting‑wise.
JIMBO FISHER:  It always does.  It's a lot of pride, a great rivalry.  It's a sense of pride for guys, when they do come here, to say we get to compete back in Miami, which is always good to come back and play a home game there.  There's a lot of personal pride.  As I've been saying, they've been playing since they were 6, 7 years old.  They've been battling these guys.  It's a tremendous competition, tremendous rivalry.  It's a tremendous competition, but there's tremendous respect, and it does matter in recruiting.  You want to be on the winning end of this game.

Q.  Just to, I guess, one more on this.  Do you see this as a shot at the ACC?
JIMBO FISHER:  I haven't really thought about it, Tom, and I mean that because I'm in game mode.  As I step back maybe toward the end of the week or when this is over, I'll think about it, but I haven't had time to regroup.  I haven't heard what people said, why they said it, or anything like that, and I can't worry about it.  Control what we can control.
I wish I had an answer for you, Tom, but like I say, we're in such game mode in the middle of the week, getting ready for our big rivalry with Miami, that I haven't had time to really think about it.

Q.  Kids can take a lot of different things and use it as motivation.  Can they take this and use it as motivation?
JIMBO FISHER:  I think you can.  I think you always can.  I think anything ‑‑ you can spin anything in your favor to be a slight or a compliment or whatever it may be.  I think they got a real‑‑ that's another thing, control what you can control.  Play hard and play your best.  What people think, you can't control.  But at the same time, it motivates you that you want people to respect what you do.

Q.  Good morning.  Developing on the Duke Johnson question from earlier, what's your assessment of your run defense going up in this test against Duke Johnson?
JIMBO FISHER:  I think we're doing well.  We played extremely well against Virginia who ran the ball well all year.  Their back was doing a really nice job, and they're big up front.  We're really coming into our own as a defense.  We're getting healthy.  Some of our younger players are emerging and getting settled down with what they're doing.  Our front is getting settled down.  I feel very comfortable where we're at but at the same time, this is going to be a tremendous challenge against a player of Duke Johnson's caliber. 

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