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December 1, 2014

Jimbo Fisher

COACH FISHER:  All right.  Very proud of our team on Saturday, getting a victory against Florida, our in‑state rival.  Again, winning our State Championship, which we hold very important, and we think is a very special thing.  Going through the season undefeated which is one of our goals, going to win the Atlantic.  So keep taking steps at a time to where we want to go.
But very proud of our team.  It's hard to go back‑to‑back seasons undefeated, and I'm very proud of what they've within able to accomplish during the regular season.  To think of all the great teams that's ever been here, I never realized it until they said it after the game.  There have been some great teams and players and everything else here, but it shows you how hard winning really is.  And very proud of our guys for that.  Saying all that, don't mean a hill of beans.  We have next week, so we have to move on and get ready to go.
You have to hit your goals one at a time, and you have to stop for our players and understand what they're accomplishing.  Because sometimes you can get caught up in it so bad that you don't appreciate and understand what you're achieving as you go.  You can't dwell on that, but I think it's important to reflect on it at times.  But split seconds to remember that we are achieving, getting better, and doing things we have to do.  Very proud of the organization and team for being able to do that.
Again, Florida game was a very typical rivalry game.  Lot of emotion, lot of things going on.  You say chaotic, but I'm very proud of our defense in that game.  I thought the key was when we turned the ball over, that they were able to hold it to two field goals and created a turnover after that and got a touchdown after one of their own turnovers and keeping pace.  And then the offense I thought had two beautiful drives in the second half, a 93 and an 83 in second quarter.  Running the football, throwing the football, two beautiful drives right there.  Unfortunately, we gave up the blocked punt.  We had a guy lined up wrong, and it created a number of problems and they got the punt.  We got that fixed later on.  Something that had never happened and sometimes it happens.
They got the momentum back, and it was a tug.  We had the penalties in the second half.  Thought the offense had some big runs.  Had a big run called back, had a couple other plays called back for penalties and certain things, but still overcoming it.  When I think, the defense kept playing extremely well, and our field position in that game really struggled.  Our average field position was 18‑yards.
On special teams we had some penalties.  Our return game they did a good job.  Saying all of that, as crazy as it sounds, being able to win the game with what I thought was a great defense and being able to run the football against a team that doesn't give up many running yards and to do it with a freshman back who I think emerged at key times in that game, and our up front people blocked, our full backs, our tight ends, offensive line to be able to go down there and win that game like that to me is a resilient way for a team to find another way to win games.  That's very important.  It's not always the same song and dance.
You do have Jameis, and Jameis has made some tremendous halves and done some things, but sometimes every teammate needs to be picked up.  It wasn't his A‑game.  He was off that day.  The other guys said don't worry about it, Jameis, we've got your back, and to me that's what a team is.  And I'm extremely proud of what they were able to accomplish and the way they were able to play in that game.
Florida is a very talented football team.  They could have been 8‑2 easily coming into that game and had a bunch of good players.  Saying all that, we have to move on and get ready for Georgia Tech, who I think does an outstanding job on offense.  They can move the football, very dynamic.  They can throw it very well.  It starts with their dive inside and their quarterback really reads that thing well.  He reads all the phases of that option well.
I mean, teams always have this, some of those quarterbacks can't make decisions consistently.  And I think Thomas is the key to making them go to their fullback dive.  Against Georgia, ended up running it about eight plays in a row.  First touchdown, second, they ran that same play eight plays in a row, just went straight down the field.  So you have to be able to do that.  Then Thomas can read all the different options and pitches and things they do there.  So they're dynamic and they can throw it.
Defensively, very multiple, different blitz packages, coached very well.  Secondary, lot of guys we recruited and moved very well through the Georgia, Florida area.  Linebacker in the middle, Quayshawn.  We had him in camp.  He's not 6'3", but he's a heck of a football player.  Like Paul Davis right up here in K row.  Those guys make tackles, they make plays and can rush up front, very big up front at times.  Secondary can run, linebackers are good players and they're playing good football right now, very confident.  It's going to be a heck of a game, it's what a championship game is and this time of year there are no easy ones.  You have to lineup and play, and there are different dynamics.  You have to get ready to play.
Defense is going to be very important for eye control, discipline, toughness, tackle, keep leverage on the ball and play all three phases and don't get frustrated.
On offense you have to maximize your opportunities because you don't get as many at‑bats if they do keep the ball.  Last week, Boston College kept the ball, but we did too on offense.  We had a 15‑13, 11‑play drive.  When both teams do that, the game gets really short.  So I think the efficiency is going to be very critical.  When you get a chance for touchdowns in the red zone, you have to convert it.
So saying all that.  So it will be a great game.  What championship games should be made of.  Paul's done a heck of a job coaching this year, and they have a good team.

Q.  What was the emotion for this team?  It seemed like it was a little different this year than last year going into the season?
COACH FISHER:  I think it was.  I think they're very proud.  But our team keeps looking forward.  That's why I mentioned that to you.  You rarely hear me mention things like that.  But I want them to understand what they've accomplished because sometimes you can't see the forest through the trees.  Sometimes that's a bad thing because you don't worry about what's going on, but sometimes that's a good thing.  You're doing really good things and what you're accomplishing and being able to do, you need to sit back and say we're doing pretty good.  You know what I'm saying?  But then you've got to move on, but reflect on why you're doing good, and things you do bad and correct them and move on.
I don't think there is a lot of emotion.  I just want to reflect and appreciate a little bit.  Smell the roses as you do it.  Sometimes in our world, as coaches, we're driven.  Players, we're driven.  Media is driven to the next game.  You know what I'm saying?  Everybody.  You say enjoy it, and I have a hard time doing it.  I really do.  Because I'm that way, but I think it's important for our team to understand it for a brief second and appreciate what you're doing so they can advance more than they need to go.

Q.  Even in that brief reflection, do you feel comfortable your team won't lose sight?
COACH FISHER:  I don't think they're going to lose sight.  I don't.  I know their goals, objectives, and they've done for a long period of time.  If they would have done that, they would have done it a long time ago.  Somewhere in there.

Q.  When Jameis was coming off, was he giving (No microphone)?
COACH FISHER:  Yes, he was.  The first one wasn't bad.  They were on inside leverage.  We ran a slant, we got to flatten it a hair more, and the guy came through Pender's shoulder, but it's a legal play.  He thought Pender would beat him to the point.  That guy beat him to the point.  It's not bad.  The second one, he should have just checked it down.  Their backer got down, he tried to get up and over, then the backer bumped our guy when the ball was in the air.  That's not relative.  Knocked him off, a big bodied receiver could have gotten there.  He got knocked.  He probably should have checked it down.
The last one was a heck of a play.  The one in the fourth quarter.  They were in rat coverage, they were cover one, and they've got a guy floating in the middle.  The guy had the guy across, then the rat jumps and he's got to replace back.  He saw it at the split second, jumped up and right on his fingertips.  The read was good.  That was more of a great play by them because the guy was wide open behind him, and they just made a great play.  The sprint out he threw flat.  Had the guy on the sideline and he just threw it too flat, didn't have the ball up enough.
Like I said, sometimes, I always say this, and you remember me saying, it's easier to be greater on defense consistently than it is on offense.  There is going to be a day on offense, that's why you can't get away from running the football and you've got to play great defense.  Sometimes those putts, they don't go in the cup sometimes you're shooting the basketball, it's in and out of the rim.  Sometimes in baseball, guy can go 0‑3 and three strikeouts and next day hit three home runs.  There is a rhythm and timing when you're a skill guy, and sometimes you can get back into that groove.  In this game, he didn't get back in it as well.  Sometimes that happens.  It's just a bad game.  That's what it is.

Q.  Your opening statement you touched on Cook.  Tell me how you've seen him mature and what's leading to that?
COACH FISHER:  I think before when he first got in the game, like all high school kids, very highly publicized, every run's going to be a touchdown.  You know what I mean?  I'm going to take that ball, and usually you can bounce that sucker outside guys as fast as him and just outrun everybody down the sideline.  Well, he did that early and he kept‑‑ take a two‑yard run and make it a four‑yard run.  Take a four‑yard run and make it a six‑yard.  What I'm saying is when it's there, get physical, drop your pads, hit your pad level.  You don't realize how strong he is.
He's a 202, 205‑pound guy and hit that thing.  I said run with a little more pace, trust your eyes, let the game slow down, don't try to make every play a home run.  You will naturally have home runs.  When you hit space, ain't anybody going to catch you and do what you do.  Then how he's grown is a pass protector because of the trust factor there.
And then as a lead blocker, which Karlos has excelled at in his dual role with the times he's had to be the lead blocker.  We don't know sometimes when we check our play, one of them is going to be that when you have them in the game together just based off what the defense does.  And him watching Karlos has really helped him.  He's still got a ways to go, but he's developed himself in all the phases.
Well, you trust that you can call the game.  Sometimes when young backs are in the game, you have to call when they get the ball or a couple pass protections that they understand.  If you don't, they can be in trouble because your star quarterback can get killed.  You know what I'm saying?  Now his knowledge and learning of the whole offense, I think, is what's growing and you feel confident with him in there and he's running the football really well.

Q.  Was there a point for him or for you in terms of‑‑
COACH FISHER:  Probably four or five weeks ago.  You start seeing it in practice, all the different looks.  Kind of like big Rod, he was ready a couple weeks before he played, and you just notice.  You're used to yelling at him, and you realize I didn't yell at him in a couple days.  What's going on?  You watch that film everyday, and that's why we practice our good people just to keep that speed up.  Well, he's blocking so and so, and that guy's a good player for us.  He's running and making that guy miss who is a really good player for us.  All of a sudden you notice it over a period of time for a couple practices, you know?

Q.  On Terrence's interception, how good of a job did the guys do in finding blocks?
COACH FISHER:  You're talking about Jalen circled up, the other two guys got behind the tailback, and Terrence slowed down and acted like he knew what he was doing running the ball, didn't he?  But let him set up.  That was a total team effort.  That was tremendous; it really was.

Q.  (No microphone) did it slow down Jameis?
COACH FISHER:  I think it slowed down the whole football team.  I think that was a key play and turning point in the football game in my opinion.  They really turned their back.  That could have been 16‑0 or whatever it was.  It was an unbelievably critical point in the game, tremendous, tremendous.

Q.  Your receivers with 42 yards (No microphone)?
COACH FISHER:  They played a lot of press, and I thought grabbed a little bit.  But you have to fight through and be strong.  We elected, we've worked nickel a lot of match‑ups.  We like Nick, liked the backs a couple times and we ran the football.  Couple times Jameis missed them.  We had plays there and he missed them.  He missed a read on a 3rd and 2 late in the game.  Bobo coming across the middle might have scored.  I mean, with Scot free, he looked back, and somebody came in his face and he flushed off of it, just a combination of things.
I think they can play much better, no doubt.  But at the same time, it's an accumulation of different things in how the game went.

Q.  Is that secondary (No microphone)?
COACH FISHER:  That was one.  They were good ones.  But we've faced some good ones.  Those corners at Wake and some of those guys are really good.  There are a couple others.  All those guys, I mean, we played some brilliant teams.  You've got to remember, we faced, is it ten?  I don't remember what the number is of top 40 defense and six of the top 15 or five of the top 15 defenses in the country we've gone up against.

Q.  7 of the top 40.
COACH FISHER:  It should be more than that.  It was 10 going into last week unless somebody dropped.  It was like ten.  Like the top 25 is like six or seven.  So we faced some pretty dad‑gum good defensive football teams.

Q.  How much will it help having (No microphone)?
COACH FISHER:  Oh, no doubt.  Just for giving them an idea of how it's going to come and getting that.  You've got a realistic look at how that's going to happen.  There is no doubt that that will help.  There is no doubt.

Q.  And also the impact that Charles Kelly has had on this defense?
COACH FISHER:  Well, going against it.  I don't want to oversell and I mean this because coaches leave programs.  We played when Dave was at Auburn, (Indiscernible) was at Miami.  They can give you an idea, but you've still got to go out there.
The secret to this thing, everybody wants a magical defense that you're going to run against Georgia Tech, but there isn't one.  You've got to take on a blocker and beat him.  You have to be sound in what you do, and make tackles.  You've got a great football player that plays great.  These are the thing that's stop other offenses.  Now having a conceptual idea or way of doing things and two, three, four different ways to do things, I think that will really help from that standpoint though.

Q.  Terrence said in the conference call the key thing is not watching or not playing the ball on demand?
COACH FISHER:  That's exactly right, eye discipline.  Eyes are the greatest thing any athlete has, bar none.  Reliability, size, because I say it's not how good a player you are.  If you're looking at the wrong thing, you might as well have them shut.  Keeping your eyes disciplined so you can process and see and trigger that much quicker.  The difference in that, getting that dive or getting that pitch, sometimes you see them, they're inches.  Being able to react quicker and get on them to close the gaps, it's going to be extremely critical that we're able to do that.

Q.  Going back to (No microphone).
COACH FISHER:  I coached him that way.  He couldn't do that when he got here, and I say that and I joke.  It's between him and the Good Lord.  I mean, Jay's done a great job.  You have to understand like I said how it's being blocked.  The scheme, the tempo, how to run in certain things.  You really do have to teach a little bit and guide and then let them go.
But if you have to tell a back how to run, he needs to be blocking or playing somewhere else.  You know what I mean?  But you can help him how to press a block, how to read a scheme, tempo a run and tempo here and hit it here.  They can learn that way, but that's just reaction.  Those guys just naturally your body is quick, he's strong, great eyes, great vision.  Those things just you recruit those.

Q.  (No microphone)?
COACH FISHER:  Without a doubt.  I don't think it's as much skill guys sometimes.  I think the speed of the option, how fast they do it and the reads they do it, consistently when they pull it, when they do it.  But I think even the blocking scheme.  How those tackles release and cut, and the guards, whatever they do, I think that's very difficult in my opinion too.  This is difficult more so than the skew skill guys.

Q.  (No microphone)?
COACH FISHER:  You don't see it.  That's exactly right.  That offense is key in that when those offense goes, it's like any offense.  When the quarterback can really roll and catch a big old fullback in there and do that.  That quarterback has to be able to dive pitch, run, and if he has any throwing skills, and they've got them a good one.
We recruited Justin Thomas in high school in Prattville.  Thought he was a heck of a player.  He played all kinds of positions there.  He's very, very fast.

Q.  At what point did you guys start looking at the possible things that could change?
COACH FISHER:  About a week ago.  We started to get it broke down and have an idea.  But our problem was we were playing so many dad gum good people and playing two or three of your biggest rivals in the last three weeks of the season, you can't afford a lot of time to go away from that.  You have your mind in the Florida game.  Boston College is such an important game because of where we're at, and they were so different by their offensive approach.  You know what I'm saying?
You have your two big rivals on one side.  You have a Boston College team that's good on defense, and very different on offense and how they do things and then you get to this.  You have it broke down, but to spend time on it, you can't do it.

Q.  You have played a lot of run games.
COACH FISHER:  Well, I think from a physicality standpoint and taking on blockers and getting confidence and defeat blockers and do that thing, I think there is no doubt.

Q.  What kind of emotional or physical impact did you have against Miami and Boston College?
COACH FISHER:  I think Virginia before that, and before that was Louisville and Notre Dame.  Think about the stretch you've been on from that standpoint.  And what these guys have been able to battle through and achieve, I want them to understand how tough they really are, how mentally tough they are with what they've been able to accomplish, and how they've been able to overcome a lot of those things.  Sometimes they don't realize that at times.
But this game, like I said, you can be physically or emotionally tired and both are just as important, morale or legs.  Got to have great legs, but you have to have morale.  So you have to be able to manage those things and we have to manage them during the week, which is fine.  That's what we train during our off‑seasons for.  That's what off‑season is made for.  Now if you want to be a champion, you have to do things other people aren't willing to do.

Q.  What is Karlos's status?
COACH FISHER:  He'll have to be judged.  I mean, no matter what keep him out a couple days, they always do that.  Three days, and then day by day we'll see how he's doing.

Q.  (No microphone)?
COACH FISHER:  No, just some bangs and bruises.  But as physical as that game was and hard hitting as it was, we came out and very pleased with our conditioning and preparing and leading up to our guys, getting in and out of those games very well.

Q.  (No microphone)?
COACH FISHER:  Yeah, I mean, usually that guy at that linebacker position better be making tackles or he isn't going to be in there very long.  He's done a good job.  He has.  He's gotten better and better.  That was the key last week.  I thought coming downhill and really played in the run game.  I think that was some of our issues in the past.  We weren't triggering getting downhill and getting double teams off of down guys.  If they don't come off, you make the play.  If they do, you're singling up your down guys.
It's very important for linebackers not just to make tackles.  Everybody talks about making tackles, and sometimes those interior guys inside, you've got to be very selfless.  Sometimes you have to take on blockers for other people, you have to spill it for them, and you have to understand that it's not always designed for you to make the tackles but for you to fill your gap and do what you do.  And I think we're doing a better job of that now, and that's why we're playing the run game.

Q.  Do you think they sneak up on people a little bit?  I mean, they're pretty quiet.
COACH FISHER:  I think they're very underrated at 12.  I think they're underrated with the wins and the quality of our league and what is going on, I think they're very underrated at 12.

Q.  It seems they're getting better down the stretch?
COACH FISHER:  That's timing and rhythm and all of that.  They're playing very well right now.

Q.  (No microphone).
COACH FISHER:  They were playing so well.  As a coach, you say, I want to play him but I finally got these guys playing like I want to play them and we're doing really good and you say okay.  I'll put him in, and you say we were playing good and then Matthew Thomas went in and screwed everything up.
You know, we took it out.  I joke about that but that is a tough thing for a coach to do.  You say guys deserve to play, and I do.  And sometimes you tell a guy, we're going to play you 30 plays and he plays 15 and he's upset after the game.  We tried to tell him how they're going to play and we planned on it.
We were doing so well.  As a coach, once you get in a rhythm or scenario sometimes, it's a fine line.  Sometimes you go ahead and stay with it, and that's a gut feeling.  You've got to trust your gut on what you do and explain to the guys because the object of the game is to be successful and win.  And those are tough calls, extremely tough calls.

Q.  The first missed field goal, they threw the flag and picked it up.  Was that Jalen?
COACH FISHER:  He can jump as long as he doesn't land on anybody.  It was a correct no call, but he can jump.  He didn't land on anybody, so it's not a foul.

Q.  What was that in the Florida‑Georgia film based on Georgia's defense, and your defense?  You look at the Georgia‑Georgia Tech film coming up this week?
COACH FISHER:  They're looking at all those films.  I mean, but it helped.  It helped.  We did some things a little different maybe how to attack you.

Q.  Will you be driving home the defense a little bit with a team like Florida, Georgia Tech what they can do?
COACH FISHER:  Oh, there is no doubt on that.  You point those out all the time, the discipline part of it.

Q.  (No microphone) are those always the same?
COACH FISHER:  Oh, yeah.  If they're not, they're first cousins.  They're first cousins.  It's just a style and what they do.  A lot of it is legal.  It's not illegal to chop somebody or cut somebody.  I say this all the time.  If you take complete cutting out of football, you're going to make it hard to run the football, you'll make it extremely hard to run the football if you turn it into a complete passing league if you take actual cutting out of the game of football.
Now I don't want anybody to get hurt, but how it's done and the way it's done if you do it legally is great.  I think Georgia Tech is fine.  I haven't seen anything on film.

Q.  Jameis has his things with school.  Is that going to affect your schedule with him?
COACH FISHER:  I don't know.  We're not allowed in there because of privacy acts to talk about it.

Q.  What is your opinion on the ACC going forward?
COACH FISHER:  Pretty good.  I mean, I keep saying it.  We've got a great conference.  Perception is driven home out there.  It's amazing how you can brainwash somebody.  If you're not careful in this country, you won't think for yourself.  If you listen to news all the time, they'll tell you what to think, how to think and why you do things.  That's why you have to make your own mind up, trust your own eyes and do it.
I'll say this as much as anybody:  I've been in both leagues.  I've been in both leagues for an extensive number of years, at the top levels of both leagues.  Again, the top teams in both leagues are very similar.  Top to bottom, I mean, I think we stack up.  But I don't think they‑‑ I think they've got a great league of football.  I think the SEC is wonderful football.  But look at the records of certain divisions, I think there is a lot of parity throughout, if you want to tell the truth about it.

Q.  Do you feel at all disrespected the fact that you were sitting 2 or 3?
COACH FISHER:  No, I don't feel disrespected that way.  I don't.  I think we make a point sometimes.  And I say this even for me, media standpoint or perception standpoint, I think we all become brainwashed just like I think y'all become brainwashed because people tell you things sometimes.  I say that out of respect.  I don't mean any disrespect or anything else.
I don't think there is a hill of beans‑‑ I think you guys say one conference is better, but I don't think it's that drastic.  All of them aren't very similar, if you want to tell the truth about it.  I think everybody can beat everybody in college football right now on any given Saturday or Sunday, Monday, Tuesday.  We play every day, don't we?

Q.  It seems you're the only one who hasn't lost on a Saturday in the last two years but you're not sitting No. 1.
COACH FISHER:  I think it goes back to perception.  You know what I mean?  Sometimes to devalue winning is ‑‑ guys never stood at this podium and understand it.  But that doesn't bother me.  That's just, I said it the other day, we're turning into figure skaters.  We're judging.
That is the thing I loved about basketball, football.  It's won on the field, you know what I'm saying?  But it is what it is.

Q.  (No microphone) he went for it on the SEC, and then the talk was it was just the SEC East.
COACH FISHER:  Wasn't Georgia a pretty good team that just beat the heck out of Auburn 35‑7?  I mean, had 650 yards against Alabama and then I mean you can‑‑ guys, you can take‑‑ that's why as a coach I don't always get caught up in numbers, but I understand why people out there do get caught up in numbers because you don't get to see the things, you know what I mean?  Perceive the game in the way it's being asked and the sacrifices and things they don't see.  Numbers don't tell you everything.  You know what I'm saying?
Numbers aren't the catch‑all for who is a great player, who is a great team.  That's why I always say on the Hall of Fame in baseball, they get so caught up in the numbers.  You know what I mean?  How about those guys stop turning the double‑plays up the middle.  What about the guy making the diving catches, and how they impact the game?  I just think there are so many other games we need to measure when we talk about those games.

Q.  Coach, the first question is the third of two calls against Florida.  The thinking there was what happened on that particular play?
COACH FISHER:  On the 30‑yard line?

Q.  Yeah.
COACH FISHER:  We ran a crossing route like we did on 3rd and 3 when we hit Rashad.  Came out the back door and hit him on a two and a half completion, hit a route coming across.  They played the rub, but we had to dig, that's what I was saying earlier.  We had Bobo Wilson coming across because we knew they'd be in on 3rd and 3 and we wouldn't have a chance to hit a big play and touchdown.  Had it, just didn't see the read and get it out of our hand.

Q.  I missed that a little earlier.  The next one, when you're looking at preseason, obviously in the off‑season and preseason you're spending your time doing all the game planning and so on for the teams on your schedule and spending your time on the teams that are going to need it.  Do your guys actually look at potential ACC Championship game opponents in the off‑season so that you're looking at Georgia Tech and that sort of thing, do you ask preliminary stuff at that point?
COACH FISHER:  Yes, we do.  Playing Citadel, that's one of the reasons I put Citadel on the schedule.  I wanted to play a team that was very similar to them.

Q.  The final question then, you were just talking about how numbers don't show everything.  I think just from what I've seen that is especially true with how Winston has played this year.  He didn't play especially well this week, but can you talk a little bit about how the numbers may not exactly show‑‑ if you disagree with me, obviously say that‑‑ but how the numbers don't necessarily show how well Winston has played this year.  People are comparing him to last year and sort of suggesting that he's regressed and so on.  But I'm not sure that's what I see.
COACH FISHER:  He's not.  Besides last game, I mean, that was the only poor game he's played.  The rest of them he's played outstanding football.  You have to look at the reasons why things were done.  If a blitz pick‑up was supposed to have been blocked, it wasn't, or if a guy broke the route off the wrong way, that perception of it too.
So I thought he's actually been more outstanding in the fact that he's had to overcome so much more with youth around him in different positions at different key times and being on the road and being able to bring us back and keep his fortitude and put his Will in the other guys.  I think that's why we are where we are right now as much as anything.

Q.  On Tuesday the Ohio State team lost their quarterback?
COACH FISHER:  Should have no bearing in it.  Their body of work and what they do should be measured.  This is not figure skating.  If Ohio State wins a game, wins it well and does what they're supposed to do, and that's what they feel is right, they should put him in there.  Their other quarterback got hurt and they put him in.  They have one loss then and they've done really well.  To me, that is total craziness if you think that way.

Q.  Does it concern you that potentially Jameis' hearing is next week?
COACH FISHER:  No, because we've proven we can win.  We beat a great Clemson team without Jameis.  We played great football.

Q.  (No microphone) could you play Clemson fully healthy with Watson?
COACH FISHER:  And their defense, and we didn't know we didn't have Jameis until the day before.  I mean, yes.  We look back on it, yes.  Again, this team found it another way.  Had a running game last week, did it on defense, done it with field goals, done it without Jameis, done it with Jameis.  We've done it again.  I mean, there have been a lot of things at this organization that have been pretty remarkable.  Extremely proud of our assistant coaches and players for being able to do that.

Q.  (No microphone)?
COACH FISHER:  I have no idea.  I really don't.  I have no idea.

Q.  Going over the stat sheets, what does Jalen do that helps this defense (No microphone)?
COACH FISHER:  It's the things he takes away.  On defense you have to be careful.  Reggie Northrup is the first guy to have a hundred tackles in how many years?

Q.  Since '09?
COACH FISHER:  Yeah, as great as he is, as great a player.  How good was Telvin?  He didn't get a hundred tackles, so Reggie was better.  He wasn't on the field as much.  He was a lot of three‑and‑outs and not as many plays.  So that's why I say that from.  You can't always ‑‑ you have to get caught up in how the domination of the game went before.  I'm not saying I don't think Reggie Northrup is a great linebacker.  I don't mean that at all.  But at the same time he had almost 30 more tackles than Telvin who was one of the best linebackers to play here in a long time.  But how the game and all that type of stuff incompetent ter acts is critical.

Q.  (No microphone)?
COACH FISHER:  Yeah, exactly right.  So all of that matters.  All of the different things.

Q.  (No microphone)?
COACH FISHER:  What he takes away.  Sometimes he ain't doing nothing back there.  It ain't what he's doing.  It's what he's taking away.  He can cover the slot, cover the tight end, he can blitz and be able to take up a big blocker which allows another one‑on‑one for one of our inside guys.  You can't always block in with the DB and stuff like that, make up for athleticism and size or batting balls and whatever he does.  His presence.  Then the threat of him always coming, you have to know.  So you're in the quarterback's mind, they slide the protection off.  We're bringing it from the other side and getting a guy free because Jalen's over here.  You know what I'm saying?  It's that kind of factor.

Q.  I'm trying to remember, the final reception against Miami you called timeout because you wanted Jalen?
COACH FISHER:  We wanted to make sure we got the match‑ups because most people go to the best players when they're going to get guys, and we wanted to make sure we got the guys in the right position to match up the way we wanted to match it up.

Q.  (No microphone)?
COACH FISHER:  No, no.  You know, the offense.  They do what they do.

Q.  You don't have a whole lot to lose by not kicking?
COACH FISHER:  Hines should have kicked the ball, should have called it off.  You know what I mean?  And that's what we didn't get done.  That's what I wanted to get done.  That's my fault.  I should have realized it.  They had it there early and they made a shift, should have punted the ball.

Q.  The punt team saw it out there?
COACH FISHER:  We could have, we just didn't do it.  We should have punted it.

Q.  The last possession before the first half, two incompletions (No microphone)?
COACH FISHER:  I think understanding what was going on.  And what we did, we missed a block, we had a blocker that should have come out for him.  If we would have gotten it blocked, that one guy, that sucker had a chance to head down the sideline and get that penalty right there.  That was a big play on the second one.  Which I thought, and I don't complain about it, I thought that's when he had his arm pinned back.  We catch that ball, and we took a 93‑yard drive, an 83‑yard drive from the 35‑yard‑line with 1:20.  We have a timeout, you catch the ball midfield, and you could get to a three‑score game and really put some pressure on them.  And that's what we were trying to do, and it just didn't work out.
You know, in hindsight you would have said should I have done it?  But with our quarterback and those receivers and where we were, we played two tremendous drives down the field.  I would have done it again.  We should have executed.

Q.  (No microphone) he coached offense at one point against Georgia Tech.
COACH FISHER:  He might have.  I don't remember that.

Q.  What is the most impressive thing about Georgia Tech that jumps out at you?
COACH FISHER:  Just their‑‑ I don't know if it's one thing, but it's their consistency of how to do things, just like over and over.  Just how they do it over and over.  But they will mix the looks and all of that.  But the consistency that they come at you.

Q.  (No microphone) those plays don't go your way, are those special plays that you have drawn up for you to take advantage?
COACH FISHER:  No, it's our baseline.  It's our base stuff that we go through, and our two‑minute things and what we do.

Q.  Special teams really struggled on Saturday.  They have one of the best in the country.
COACH FISHER:  Big time.

Q.  What adjustments do you have to make?
COACH FISHER:  Clean‑up fundamentals.  We've been very good on special teams.  We've covered well, and blocked kicks and done that well.  We had that block kick there, and had a couple of penalties.  We have to go back to fundamentals and do things the right way.  That was critical in the game for field position.  We had terrible field position on the day.

Q.  (No microphone)?
COACH FISHER:  I agree with you.  Not getting blocked, consistently, different thing.  We're going to switch some people up this week in our return game.  And it's been different people, ten guys right, one guy wrong.  Ten guys right, one guy wrong.  Just he's got to keep on (No microphone).

Q.  (No microphone)?
COACH FISHER:  Oh, yeah, we're going to make some adjustments.  If you keep doing the same thing and expect to get a different result, we've got to move some guys around.

Q.  (No microphone) do you sense they were purposely trying to kick it a little bit shorter being not afraid of the return game?
COACH FISHER:  No, I don't think so.  I just think it's how the ball went.  There are very few guys that can do that.  Roberto can, but there are very few that can do that.

Q.  What was your reaction (No microphone)?
COACH FISHER:  I was shocked by that.  They had a good year, bounced back, got to a bowl eligible team at 6‑6.  I hate that for anybody.  For the opportunity for those kids that went there.  I'm not blaming anybody.  I just hate to see that in a state so rich in football, like the State of Alabama and Birmingham.  At one time that was the football capital of the south.  That's where everything was based out of.  That's where everything was based out of.

Q.  You knew Charles from Florida in that 2012 championship game?
COACH FISHER:  Oh, yeah, he was a GA for us at Auburn in '93.

Q.  In that game and what he was able to do against your offense (No microphone)?
COACH FISHER:  Oh, yeah, and he was a great special teams guy, great coach, great recruiter, great person.  He was a guy that had always had on a list of guys.
They were Trojans there for the first half, and they dropped like 20 points a game when he took over.  Remember, we had a great first half at 21 points, couple penalties and couple things.  They kept the ball and they got close.

Q.  Is there a common trend with false starts?
COACH FISHER:  I don't know.  It needs to quit.  It's amazing.  One of them Jameis was twitching a play and the guy didn't hear him make the check.  The other ones they didn't hear, twice they didn't hear the snap count.

Q.  (No microphone)?
COACH FISHER:  They said that.  I don't know.  I don't think they were.  But I didn't think it was that bad or anymore than normal.  I think just nerves and anxiety.  It's a shame.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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