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September 12, 2015

Jimbo Fisher

Tallahassee, Florida

South Florida -14
Florida State - 34

JIMBO FISHER: Again, give tremendous credit to South Florida. When I said they were a good football team coming in, they were very good on defense, athletic, strong, good players. Like I said, three of those guys we tried to recruit the heck out of, recruited some of the others. Offensively did a really nice job. Kicking game, they have a very good football team. Willie Taggart is a heck of a football coach, got them doing the right things, and played their hearts out, very tough, very physical football team.

Us, again, like I said, we're still a work in progress, but I'll tell you what, simple goal is to take the next step. We had a lot of -- we wonder what would this team do when it faced adversity. Well, it faced it in the first half, came out there and had penalties, put ourselves behind the 8-ball, it was 7-7 in a very tough, hard-nosed game, and we came out the second half and I was extremely proud. We scored every time we had it on offense, and on those drives overcame two or three huge penalties, actually scored, we had the field goal, come back and score on a touchdown. Very proud of the offensive football team in that regard. Got to get a lot better in a lot of areas, but once we got communication and got going again, I was very proud of them.

On defense I thought we played outstanding all day except for the one trick play that caught us on a blitz and we had a busted assignment, and they hit one on us. But for the most part, our guys rallied to the ball, kept the quarterback uncontained most of the time, but at times he makes plays. We knew him, I recruited him out of high school, also, very good player. Their back is a good player. But I liked what our defense did.

Special teams, we had too many penalties early and we didn't punt the ball, again, like we needed to. Roberto was really good. He missed one kickoff he come up a little short on and we was trying to get him to hang up there. But his field goals were good, he's hitting his PATs and he's getting back in the groove. Like I say, he's just a fraction off right now what he normally is. We'll get him back and get him going.

Other key component, I thought except for the one punt, which was we kicked it in the middle of the field, we're supposed to kick a direction is what caused that punt return, and it really hurt us. But very proud of the kickoff return team. I thought the key to the second half was the opening kickoff in the second half to set the tone, give us great field position. Kernon had a big-time run there. We've worked hard on that. It really set the tone for the second half went in and scored a touchdown and then we scored, like I said, every time we had the ball.

But hard-fought game. I'm kind of glad it happened like that. Now it's all over with, and I'm kind of glad because I saw some of these guys' eyes on the sideline which I had never seen in those situations before, but it was a lot of work to do, and we know that, and we'll have to get on the road and go play our first conference game against Boston College in a short week, so we've got a lot ahead of us right now.

Q. Is there any concern on your part, as fabulous as Dalvin was today, that he carried too much of a burden there for a while?
JIMBO FISHER: No. That's what good players do. Wasn't one on Jameis, either. That's why he recruit well. He did today, but other times, you know, Rudolph had a good -- some big catches in the second half, and those other guys. Right now that's what good players do. When you need them, they step up and do that. But guys had to make blocks for him to do that, too, so it was a great -- that's why you get those great players.

Q. What makes him such a great runner?
JIMBO FISHER: Vision, patience. He's really fast, extremely fast, but a lot of fast guys run into the pile. He can still run with great tempo, and he has great eyes. I don't care what back you say they have great eyes. They see things before that happen and they get that feeling, how they cut, and then he's a finisher. I mean, he has great speed to finish those runs, and he's strong. You look at him now, I mean, you think those little guys are fast, but he's at 205, '10 pound guy that's really big and strong, too, so he's a combination of everything.

Q. What would you say about his focus?
JIMBO FISHER: Love his focus.

Q. The whole process he went through, he could have lost focus?
JIMBO FISHER: He could have easily lost focus. He's a very mature guy. Like I said, he knew things, the facts of what was going on, and we were fortunate that that was the truth, and very proud of he stayed very focused and committed to doing that. It's very tough to do.

Q. Is he the best that's ever played here?
JIMBO FISHER: I'm not going to say that yet. I've coached some pretty daggone good ones now. But I'll put it this way: He's in the roll call, I know that. He's a little early. Second game of his sophomore year now, guys; come on now.

Q. Is his ceiling limitless in your mind?
JIMBO FISHER: Yeah, I mean, he -- as you see, there's still a lot of things he can do better. I mean, even last week, as great as he ran, we looked at the film, he was too drastic, herky-jerky on things, could have pressed some blocks a little better and open field running and inside running and things he can always do, pass blocking, he does that well, but catching -- there's always things he can do, but the thing about it, he looks at it and says, "yes, sir."

He's like, tell me what else I can do, coach, to get better, and he loves all the things about ball.

Q. What's it like coaching him? First back, 200 yards since Sam Smith.
JIMBO FISHER: I know, that's pretty good. I saw we threw the ball around him. We didn't run it. We've had some pretty good ones around here, but he is very dynamic, and he comes to work -- the thing about it, he comes to work every day. I mean, he likes everything about football. He doesn't just like playing in the game. He likes to practice, he likes to lift weights, he likes to run, he likes to train, he likes to watch film. You know what I mean? Like all the great ones do. He's a heck of a player.

Q. You talked about the difficult situation in the first half. How did Everett handle that just mentally?
JIMBO FISHER: Good. I mean, coming off -- at times, okay, I didn't see that, I didn't see that. There was times he come off of that and didn't see what we saw, and I call them flash look plays, real quick and got off, and things were there I felt. But that happened to me playing quarterback. I mean, it happens to all quarterbacks. You go through that, and you've got to get your feet, set your feet back in that pocket and say I'm going to be fundamentally sound, and that's hard to do. It's like Jameis could do. Sometimes play bad and then all of a sudden have the ability to come back, and I was proud that he was able to do that in the second half and make good decisions, and the best thing about the day again, didn't turn the football over. We had the one fumble which we got back, but taking care of the football and not being careless with it, that's two games in a row on offense.

Q. That offense, first and second half, obviously they scored every time -- was there an adjustment?
JIMBO FISHER: No, we just relaxed and communicating. Some of that offense is fine, 10 guys right, one guy wrong. Just one block. They were moving on some stunts. A guy wouldn't reach a guy and get penetration and knock it back into another guy. I mean, it's just -- here's the way I say it. It's like when you rent a car. You get all those big moving parks. If you take a spark plug wire off, what's the car do? It doesn't run. And offense is like that, too. You can be everybody perfect and one guy is off, one guy didn't reach, you know what I'm saying, and get penetration, and then that guy takes a turn, that guy takes a turn, that guy takes a turn. There was one -- I thought he missed a read early in the game. Then the next play, the receiver didn't side adjust. He was ready to side adjust. Just everybody -- two or three guys just kind of take a turn, all of a sudden halftime is over. You only get about five possessions a half, you know what I'm saying, and some of the immaturity showed.

But what I was proud of, to be able to -- a lot of the guys can't respond. I want them to be able to see what they did and come back the second half, and responded in a good way.

Q. You said Dalvin has the ability to carry a team when they need it most. When did you learn that Dalvin had that?
JIMBO FISHER: When I watched him in high school.

Q. Obviously early.
JIMBO FISHER: Yeah, you saw him. I thought he was really special then. Then once you get here and you realize after you get him here, halfway -- when he started to play in two or three ballgames last year, when he got on the field, you started to see that, because he can finish. A lot of guys can do those and get yards but they don't get touchdowns. I mean, the thing about him is he's so fast that he finishes runs and changes numbers on the scoreboard, which is not always the case with great backs. I mean, you know --

Q. What's it take to be a good finisher?
JIMBO FISHER: Well, I think heart, desire, and then pure ability. I mean, some of those -- you know what's good about coaching running backs? You coach them and you've got to get those cuts, but him and God has had a meeting, and I mean that as far as ability. I mean, he is blessed with great ability. But he works with that ability. He doesn't waste that ability. He takes care of his body, takes care of his mind, he studies. He does all the things he's supposed to do.

Q. I think you mentioned that Everett can be hard on himself. Did he mentally stay stable?
JIMBO FISHER: He did. At halftime, I talked to him, I said, listen, go back to basics, go back to fundamentals. I'll take care of the calls and how we do things, I'll get you in a rhythm and then we'll get going, you know what I'm saying? Like I say, here's all you can do: What did the coach tell me to do, where did he tell me to look, how did he tell me to look, what's my fundamentals, and you've got to do it over and over and over again. Sometimes in ball, like I say, sometimes the ball doesn't go in the room when you're shooting basketballs. What's my form? Baseball, how can guys go 0 for 30 and then go 10 for 10? You're a skill position guy like that, sometimes it leaves you and you've got to go back to your fundamentals and believe in how you're coached and believe in yourself.

Q. Considering this is (inaudible) what are you going to remember most about Dalvin's play?
JIMBO FISHER: How hard he plays and how much of a team player he was. Not the numbers, but the big plays came at big moments for our team to be successful. Dalvin is a guy who has individual efforts, like some other great ones I've been able to coach in the past that don't do it for themselves, they were doing it for this team because the team needed it, and I truly believe Dalvin is that way.

Q. Talk about how your secondary played. You guys had a big interception in the end zone.
JIMBO FISHER: That was a critical play right there. To do what the defense did was extreme. I mean, they're tremendous. They're tremendous what they're doing right now, and very pleased with them and how they tackled and how they covered balls and batted balls, got good pressure on the quarterback. I mean, we did a good job. What were they on 3rd down?

Q. 1 of 13 or something.
JIMBO FISHER: We were 3 of 13. We weren't much better, were we?

Q. What did you see first half from Golson what you didn't like?
JIMBO FISHER: Just flash looking things, going through his procedures too quick. As a quarterback, you catch flashes of things instead of just -- as I say, slow the game down a little bit, and just more knowledge of what we're doing and how we're doing things.

Q. Brutus, how big of a deal was that?
JIMBO FISHER: That worried me, that Brutus makes a lot of calls, and the adjustments that were made there with Trey Marshall going into the back end and Tyler Hunter coming in showed our depth because Brutus is a really good player and is very pivotal to what we do.

Q. What do you think about the targeting calls?
JIMBO FISHER: I haven't seen -- I never saw the first one. That was a weird -- it was on a block. I'm not going to --

Q. There were three of them, though.
JIMBO FISHER: The last one I thought was -- of course it got ruled the right way. I thought it was right dead in the chest, and I mean, those are big calls. You're talking about guys sitting out a game. We don't want anybody to get hurt. If anybody is doing that, they should be penalized and punished. I don't know that. I've got to see the first one, but every time we scored a touchdown, every time we did a lot --

Q. Isn't it hard for a guy to slow down?
JIMBO FISHER: It is, but what you've got to do is just stay neck down and use your shoulders and not your head. Who was the last guy that did it? I thought that's what he did, you know what I'm saying? It looked like to me. Obviously it panned out. I'm going to have to see the first one.

Q. When you guys get in that 3rd and long defense, you've got a lot of athletes out there --
JIMBO FISHER: Guys in space that can cover, run and rush the passer. And not always getting a sack but flushing those guys, making him get out, making him throw balls in a hurry. In that regard, we've got some guys on the field now.

Q. Talk about the play of Marquez the first quarter.
JIMBO FISHER: It seemed very good. Again, I'll have to watch defensive film to watch all of it. I catch him on and off, but it seemed to be pretty good.

Q. You seem to be pretty good on injuries.
JIMBO FISHER: Yeah, I think -- Izzo got that little knee twisted up, but he came back and I think he'll be all right. I just saw Jake, he didn't say anything to me that he knows of right now.

Q. What changes will we see from Florida State as you guys prepare for Boston College?
JIMBO FISHER: I don't know if we'll change. We'll just continue to get better at what we do. Hopefully we just continue to do what we do and get better. You don't go change everything. I mean, what do you change? You've got to get better at what you do, improve at what you do and we'll add a few things here and there, but we've got to be who we are.

Q. The offensive line struggled early. It seemed like they kind of regrouped at half?
JIMBO FISHER: We did. We got back and put hats on hats, and like I say, just one guy was off and they did some movements and some twists that we knew they were going to do, and when one guy is off up there, it can cost you.

Q. But you never thought about moving anybody?
JIMBO FISHER: No. If you start doing that, then you destroy everything. You've got to have confidence in these guys. You coached them, you put them in there, you've got to fix things. You've got to believe in kids, too. You've got to believe that everybody wants to pull a guy, do a guy, do something -- I mean, that's just believe in the guy, coach the guy, let him go, and if he don't do it, then you replace him.

Q. You compared Dalvin to Jameis earlier as far as he likes to do everything, train -- was Jameis like that, too?
JIMBO FISHER: Oh, Jameis loved everything, to condition, to watch film, to throw, to practice. I mean, if you've practiced for 10 hours, he'd be happy. A lot of great players don't like doing that. They like the work that goes -- as I say, some guys like to play football, some guys everything about football that you have to do that a lot of guys don't like. He likes that.

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