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November 29, 2014

Jimbo Fisher


COACH FISHER:  Well, that's what rivalries are.  You never know what you're going to get, but proud of our guys.  Defense I thought was outstanding in the game after all the critical turnovers in the first half.  It was critical holding all of those to field goals.  Then got a turnover and scored 7 points, I mean, they were amazing.  They really were, did a tremendous job.
I thought offensively of course we were too inconsistent in the passing game.¬† Had some interceptions, and they made plays.¬† I thought we ran the ball effectively at times.¬† Still had too many penalties, too many‑‑ a couple holds, a couple motions upside, didn't hear snap counts, didn't snap the ball a couple times. ¬†And special teams got to do better to open in the second half, it's very critical because it turned the field position almost the whole second half right there.¬† We did pop a big run there in the second half.¬† Dalvin had one about 60, 70 yards there and had a holding call call it back.
Then even got one on defense there at then, and had to overcome it.  Had a fourth down stop, and had to come back and get another fourth down stop.  Had to eliminate the penalties, but survive and advance, and I think that's what we did.  Our kids were resilient, kept playing, playing hard.  Even though we didn't play well at times, but at times we made plays when we had to make plays.  Like I said, a lot of folks would like to win the day on rivalry day.
We've got to sit down now.¬† Got through the regular season undefeated, and now we're in the ACC Championship game, got a lot of work to do, evaluate what we've got, get back to our basics and go play a good team because I think Georgia Tech is playing extremely well right now.¬† Very proud of the ACC today.¬† 4‑0, I mean beat some good football teams.¬† Florida could be sitting there 8‑2, 9‑1 just as easy as Georgia Tech beating them, Clemson.¬† Very happy for those guys.¬† I thought everybody did a good job.¬† You've got Louisville beating Kentucky.¬† Sorry, getting old.¬† Very proud of the ACC today.
I keep telling folks, this is a heck of a league.¬† This is a very good league.¬† And like I said, I think we've played ten of the top 40 defenses in the country.¬† This league has been a great defensive league this year.¬† Lot of good teams in this, and it's just‑‑ doesn't get credit because of opinions.¬† I think we did a good job of showing this is a very deep league and very good league.¬† Very proud of our team to be able to go through the regular season, the only other team in the country that went through the regular season undefeated.
We've still got some room for improvement, but at the same time, keep doing what we do.

Q.  Talk about your defensive line?
COACH FISHER:  I thought they were dominant up front.  I'm going to tell you what else?  Not just the defensive line, our linebackers.  Our linebackers did the best job they've done all year, coming downhill, taking off blockers, taking on blockers and attacking people in the hole.  I thought our linebackers did a tremendous job also.

Q.  How have you seen this defense progress over the course of the season.  Anything Charles Kelly did?
COACH FISHER:  Oh, yeah, as a coordinator, getting into the defense, he's had that before.  But calling it with the new guys and these guys are maturing and growing, and Jalen and all that secondary now is healthy.  When that linebacker corps plays and can come down to that second level, because we've been doing a good job up front, and now they're coming downhill doing a nice job.  It makes those holes a lot smaller and harder to get through, and we tackled much better on the day which I thought we had to.
I said that we need to set edges on the defense which we did for the most part, come downhill and be physical and tackle well on defense, and I thought we did that.

Q.  Has anything led to, I don't know if it's stronger starts, but Miami you guys struggled early defensively, but BC you guys were good in the first half?
COACH FISHER:¬† Well, I think‑‑ you say you put an emphasis on them.¬† You talk about playing all 60 plays.¬† But in motion in certain games, they get you, you get them, but I thought this one they played the whole game.

Q.  What did you say to Will after the game?
COACH FISHER:  Just congratulations and I'll be in contact with him.  We haven't had a chance to talk since then.  Will's a good friend.  He's a heck of a football coach.  I have a lot of respect for him, and his team played their tails off tonight.  He'll have a long career in this business for a long time.  But just congratulations, he said thank you and said good luck.

Q.  You're on your third Gator coach now.  How important is consistency?
COACH FISHER:¬† To a program?¬† I think it's important.¬† I do. ¬†Because it sets the tone in recruiting.¬† It sets the tone, and what your players are demanded to do and they know what's expected of them when you don't have that turnover.¬† It's not only ‑‑ it goes through the whole organization because everything, and I say this, it's the weight room, it's the training room, it's academics, whatever it is, and there's been a precedent set.¬† Everyone knows the standards and what things are.¬† When kids know the rules, it's amazing.¬† When they know the rules, how they'll follow the rules.¬† When they change all the time, it's hard on those kids too.
Everything in this world is about consistency to me when you want to have success.  I think right now we're able to do that.

Q.  Nick had two touchdown catches in his final game at home?
COACH FISHER:  We were trying to get the ball to him more at the end.  Even the whole game we had a plan.  We wanted to get it to him today.  I thought he blocked well, caught well.  And he had that big catch on that drive right there in the second half.  He played really well.

Q.  (No microphone)?
COACH FISHER:¬† Extremely.¬† I think it's extremely tougher, much tougher.¬† I really do because of how much people work on it in the off‑season, and how much people shoot for you and lay their ears back.¬† But it's all part of growing as an organization.¬† You have to learn to be able to do that, but there is no doubt it's tougher.

Q.  Your defense in the first half stepping up and you had all those turnovers.
COACH FISHER:¬† That was the key to the game.¬† That was the key to the game.¬† Those three turnovers and then all became field goals.¬† Now it's a two‑possession game and bam, and then they score.¬† After one of them, they took one of them and scored.¬† So they not only held the field goals, they made it a 9‑7 game, and our offense hadn't done anything.
But it's tremendous.  Terrence Smith made a great play there, but the whole defense in general played a great football game.

Q.  Are you concerned about Jameis?
COACH FISHER:  No, I mean, he had one bad game.  I mean, played maybe his best game he's played all year last week, so, no, not worried.

Q.  Jameis is often the trump card?
COACH FISHER:¬† The trump card today was Dalvin Cook on the offensive line.¬† He didn't have his A‑game.¬† But we keep emerging and finding different guys.¬† Dalvin, ran for 144 yards a true freshman against our top ranked defense.¬† That defense is extremely good, and our offensive line did a very good job with the football, blocking that run.

Q.  Any concern that like Boston College might not get a lot of possessions?
COACH FISHER:  No, Boston College I thought we were very efficient in the game.  This is the first game.  Just fix it and move on.  The sky's not falling.

Q.  You mentioned it was a lot harder this year than it was last year.  Can you tell me the total it took when you're down and you're up?
COACH FISHER:¬† It's not that.¬† I think it's the focus of understanding and getting kids to understand how much people are coming at them.¬† You know what I'm saying?¬† You're going to get everybody's A‑game.¬† When success at times will breed complacency, and that's what I think we've done a really good job of as a team, our assistant coaches, our administration, everybody, and our players of not being complacent and still learning to battle, and fight and scratch and claw and do all those things.
Our kids have done a really good job.  Especially for an extremely young football team.  We have an experienced offensive line and tight end.  Other than that, there's a bunch of babies in that locker room from an age standpoint in guys.  I think that was a very lesson for them to learn and be successful, and they did a really good job with it.

Q.  Jimbo, what was it with Jameis?  What did you see interceptions?
COACH FISHER:¬† No, just a hair off.¬† He was trying to force a play here and there, and you get out of rhythm.¬† Guys, anytime a ball is involved, you get out of rhythm, you try to force something, I always say this‑‑ and people think I'm crazy because I'm an offensive coach‑‑ it's easier to be on good on defense consistently than it is on offense because some days the ball doesn't go in the hole when you're shooting it.¬† Some days when you putt it -- think about how does a golfer go 74‑64 one day.¬† Sometimes the putts go in, sometimes they don't.¬† Anytime you're throwing a ball, anytime you're catching a ball, the rhythm and timing when a ball is involved it's hard.¬† When you play defense, you have to hang your hat on that.
That's why I've always thought as an offensive coach, we tried to be a great football team and special teams but we didn't play as well today.  But some days, your rhythm, timing, seeing things, sometimes it's just off, and that happens.  But that's once in 25 games.

Q.  Can you take a deep breath and now that the regular season is over and you're able to get through?
COACH FISHER:¬† If we had two or three weeks before we go play an ACC Championship.¬† I watched them beat Georgia today and how they're moving the ball up and down the field and how well they're playing.¬† Georgia Tech is 10‑2 and a top 10 team.¬† This is a heck of a football team.¬† There is no time for that.¬† I promise you.

Q.  Is some of the pressure off having at least those regular seasons?
COACH FISHER:  No, good enough is never good enough.

Q.  Coach, with the regular season now over, put in perspective another perfect season?
COACH FISHER:¬† I said that to our players it's the first time in school history the teams went back‑to‑back undefeated in regular seasons.¬† With all the great teams it shows you how hard that is to do.¬† There is something to that.¬† I mean, what our kids have accomplished and what our assistant coaches have accomplished and everybody in the program it is tremendous because to say‑‑ that just doesn't happen.¬† You know what I'm saying?¬† It's a true testament to me, to our players and our assistant coaches and everybody else involved in the program.¬† That is an accomplishment.¬† But that's not our ultimate accomplishment and there is a lot more to play for.

Q.  Talk about Terrence Smith's performance?  He seemed like he has a bum knee?
COACH FISHER:¬† He's all right.¬† Everybody's playing on bum knees now.¬† Everybody is hurting now, but that's football.¬† In the 12th game of the year, and I say that jokingly, but it is true.¬† Everybody's sore, banged, bruised, but he played a heck of a football game, and that was a heck of a play he made.¬† You know what was amazing?¬† He wasn't limping when he ran down that field 90 yards.¬† Dad gum, he outran everybody.¬† Put a ball in his hand, ask him to tackle something‑‑ no, I'm joking.
But you get excited.  That's what guys do.  You find a way to reach down, and do what you have to do and Terrence played one heck of a football game.  I don't mean to take the obvious joke, but he played one heck of a football game.  Lot of toughness.

Q.  You mentioned the ACC again, but going forward (No microphone)?
COACH FISHER:  I hope so.  I mean, against good SEC teams.  You know what I'm saying?  All you can do is do what you do.  Go home, put your head on the pillow and see what people say.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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