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FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY FOOTBALL MEDIA CONFERENCE
September 14, 2015
COACH FISHER: After watching the film, again, proud of our kids, the way we played in the game, responded to some things in the game. Like I said, we need to start better on offense. Like I said, if we look back on the film, it was an accumulation of things. Maybe a fullback, maybe a tight end, maybe a guard, maybe -- just a few little things out of whack. Had some critical penalties, which set us back.
We had the clipping right off the bat with Izzo. Then we had one by Jalen Ramsey when we were in great field position. We had another one by Marcus Brutus. All those pinned us back in field position, and we didn't overcome as well. The big run by Dalvin was about the only thing we had. A couple of opportunities in the first half, guy missed a block, guy missed -- little bit of everything.
Then how we responded at halftime offensively, very pleased. Guys took the adjustments. Guys got their feet back on the ground. Wasn't vast things we did, we just got things explained. Went out and executed and scored every time we had the football. Ran the football, threw the football.
Everett looked like two different people. I think he was 11 for 15 in the second half. Had a really nice touchdown throw. Dalvin continued to run the ball really well, move the ball really well.
Defensively, first half I thought we did a real good job. Played really good, gave up the one little play down the sideline, but had a great red zone stand, got a pick, saved points. After the punt, they returned back. They tackled well, got good pressure on the quarterback, had three sacks in the game. Kept good contain on a really athletic quarterback. He didn't get outside. The second half, they had the one, got to roll the trick play kind of down the sideline, they hit, which was a good play by them.
But I thought we played pretty well. Giorgio played well. He was our player of the game on defense. Of course, Dalvin was on offense. Jalen had his normal game. Marquez played well. You saw Ro'Derrick Hoskins jump up and really make some nice plays. He's really developing and adding a lot of depth to our linebacking corps. Feel very comfortable with him.
Up front, Mal played another pretty solid game. Sweat is getting better and better. Derrick Nnadi had a good solid -- just good play. Trey Marshall adjusting after Brutus got ejected from the game, to go back and make all the calls and do everything in the secondary. Bringing Tyler Hunter in, did a really nice job and felt comfortable with that.
I thought Derwin came in and played well. Roberto kicked the ball well. Had one kickoff a little bit off, but we've got to cover better on the kickoffs. We were getting across lane in the I-violation. In other words getting out of the lane one time and almost getting a return.
Roberto kicked it really well. Field goals were good. The kickoff return game, I thought, set the tone for the second half. That was huge getting the big return coming out. Bobo did a great job of getting to every punt, fielding every punt.
And Kay son had two bad punts. He had the one down the middle, which was returned, which should have been tackled right as soon as they caught it. We missed a tackle. But at the same time, he needed to kick it in the middle and needs to kick it to the right. The other five were pretty good. Had another low one. He's got to get better at what he's doing and continue to get there.
Overall, faced the adversity. Like the way our kids responded in the second half, played really hard. I told you South Florida had good players. They have good players. They're coached well and athletic. And we knew it was going to be a tough challenge. Overcame rain, overcame a lot of things.
We went through some adversity, and we'll need to going on the road playing a very, very good Boston College team, giving up 1 1/2 points a game, less than 50 yards a game. They're scoring on offense. They're doing the same things they do on offense and doing the same things they do on defense. They're really well coached. It will be a great game on Friday night. We'll have to really play well.
Q. What do you remember about that game two years ago that you guys played? Obviously, it doesn't affect --
COACH FISHER: Two years ago, it wasn't a big deal we got control in the third quarter and stayed ahead. We were down 17-3 and come back, and we were up 24-17 in the half. It was a battle throughout most of the half. Didn't we win 48-34, I think it was?
They're going to play real hard. They're coached really well. They're athletic. You don't see anybody talking about them being big and strong, but they're deceivingly athletic. They run on the edge as well. The secondary play, a lot of man coverage. Did a lot of two traps in the different looks they have. They blitz you. They pressure you.
Offensively, they give you a lot of different looks, can run the ball with good skill guys. They sneak the throws down the field, and they can get you. It's a tough place to play. They're well coached. It's going to be a great environment.
Q. Dalvin over his last four games, he has two games of 30-plus carries. I look back, between the players you had before Dalvin and even back to LSU, only twice have any of your running backs rushed 30 times in a game. What makes Dalvin unique where you're comfortable giving him 30 carries?
COACH FISHER: Look at the results. And also body. I asked him yesterday, how do you feel? He said, Coach, I feel fine. Some guys can't take that wear and tear. His body feels really good.
I wasn't planning to go give him 30. It was just how the game went, and he was making plays in a big critical game at critical times. Wanted to give Mario more, but when he got that hot in a big game -- just like the other one, the ACC Championship game, if I'm not mistaken -- it doesn't bother him. He can go. We don't do that all the time, but we'll do it if we have to. He's got to get his touches in the game. If he's hot like that and he can finish, we're going to continue to give it to him.
Q. In baseball, you have pitch counts. Do you have touch counts?
COACH FISHER: We do, unless a guy gets hot. You might say, we can throw it 25, 30 times in a game, and all of a sudden, they can't defend it, and we might throw it 35, 40. You got to change your game plan as you go. You can't say this is scripted. Sports that are scripted, that's a movie. Sports aren't scripted. You've got to play by ear. You've got to play by guts. You've got to let things happen and do it. If it was a movie, we'd replay them and get a redo on that, but you don't get that.
It's just kind of how it goes. We do. We want Mario to get a few more touches. Just the way the game went. It was just a different deal.
Q. Based on how the GPS readings look, would you scale him back at practice?
COACH FISHER: I'll tell you what, his GPS ratings weren't that high. That shows you the condition he's in. That shows you the great condition he was in. It wasn't any higher than it was last game. It was very minimal, so it's not even -- it kind of shocked me, you know what I'm saying? Again, to me, that's a great tribute to how well a conditioned athlete he is.
Q. On the offensive line, from the center spot to the right, how secure are the starters?
COACH FISHER: Very.
COACH FISHER: Uh-huh.
Q. Are there any freshmen who might have the potential to be a Brad Johnson of this year as far as stepping in?
COACH FISHER: In time, if we get some guys. Cole Minshew has a great thing. I think Mavety, if he gets healthy, has a chance. All those guys, they're helping build depth across the board, as many of those as we could possibly have.
And Derrick Kelly. We started to put Derrick in a few times but didn't want to break the continuity once we got rolling in the second half. Didn't want to break that. Derrick is ready to play and can play just as quickly.
Q. How much can you get out of that film watching them play somebody like Howard when they give up 11 yards or total offense?
COACH FISHER: You still get to see formations and what they do. You know that -- you look at their players. A lot of the guys, especially on the defensive front, front seven, have been there the last three years we played them. So it's a lot of the same guys. They lost a few, but they haven't lost very many.
Secondary guys with one returning starter too. So lost some of their defense. Offensively, they're bringing some people over some more. They lost a lot of their offensive linemen and some of those things. But you can still judge what's going on.
Q. When you guys played Boston College these last two years, did they do anything significantly different for the game against you that you hadn't seen?
COACH FISHER: The first time they did, the first time. Last year, I thought we defended them pretty well. They got some points. It was just a rain game. We only had the ball eight times. Our drives were very methodical in that game, boom, boom. We scored 4 out of 8, I believe it was. Had the opportunity. We missed a field goal once. Had an interference call one time I thought they missed.
Other than that, I think it was just a very methodical game, more like a pro game. You had limited possessions. And they moved the ball, did some things, and they'd move it, punt it. We had to drive a long field the whole game. Very much like a pro football game when you watched last year's game.
The first year, the unbalanced looks and all this stuff, the hurry no huddle, and they up tempoed you a lot at home. They'll do that more at home. That was something we hadn't seen, remember, in the first half until we got adjusted on a couple of more runs, and they got up 17-3 on us up there that year. I'm sure they'll have something. That's what good coaches do. They'll do something there.
That first year was more of not seeing something than really last year. Last year we played them pretty well defensively.
Q. Under an Addazio-coached team, you almost had a couple of pretty big near upsets at Temple. He upset USC last year.
COACH FISHER: He beat USC up there. Clemson was 17-13 last year.
Q. They had a touchdown in the end zone that would have won it for them. Anything that Addazio does specifically that kind of lends him to --
COACH FISHER: He understands the type of game and players he has. He lengthens the game. He gives them big opportunities with the different looks and different formations. They stay physical. They're very well coached. Defensively, they're aggressive, but they don't give up big plays. They make you be methodical as you drive down the field. They lengthen the game, shorten your possessions, and that allows them to do what they do. But at the same time, they're dynamic.
Steve does a heck of a job. He's a great guy too. I really like him.
Q. Anything particularly challenging about a Friday? Or is it kind of like a Thursday?
COACH FISHER: It's just you're a day earlier. If it's Thursday, you would be two days earlier. We haven't had one of those, a short week in a while. But it doesn't make a big difference in how we practice. Having to make decisions on what I thought we wanted to do, but having to read GPS and gauge this thing, it's still uncharted territories. For the most part, we have a pretty good feel.
Q. Touch more on that GPS. Is it a week like this when it really comes in handy where you can adjust on the fly?
COACH FISHER: It comes in handy every week. It really does. Now it makes you have to question how much work -- you've got to get enough work with enough rest. Good thing, it's early in the year. Guys ought to still be pretty fresh.
Q. The offensive line had trouble with some stunts and blitzes. Was that all on them?
COACH FISHER: No, a couple times -- actually, he took a sack one time. It wasn't on him either. The receiver didn't break it off. He didn't do it, so he got hit. One time, we had one earlier we did where the tackle sat out on the wrong guy. We double blocked a guy and had a chance on a one-on-one post for a wide open touchdown and just over set. One time we got on a twist. We held the ball just a hair longer.
It's kind of a combination of both, a little bit of everybody. That's how offense is. Again, it's just -- put it this way. If one note in a song is off, you can tell it. You know what I'm saying? It's not the same song. That's kind of how offense is. You've got to have them all clicking at the same time.
Q. It seemed like the last couple of years, you guys, if you got behind the chains, you could make big plays. Is it a little tougher to make those plays right now?
COACH FISHER: I mean, we did the first game. This game, because of a down and distance and the field position in the type of game. Also, the weather conditions. That was also something you had to factor in too, the lane, the wet, some of those things also made you a little cautious to do things. As you said, we're learning each other. We'll still be able to do that, I think.
Q. Casher and Featherston, any chance they'll be back?
COACH FISHER: Casher, maybe he'll practice tomorrow or the next day and be ready to go. Featherston, probably not this week, but we're hoping. He looks real good. He's starting to come around. Hopefully after the break.
Q. How did Izzo respond on Sunday?
COACH FISHER: Good. He's a little sore, but he's fine. He went out and practiced and did everything. As far as the run and stretch and strides and that stuff.
Q. A couple of non-calls by the officials, specifically on Dalvin's horse collar, Mario's helmet coming off, that the referees didn't see? What kind of explanation did you get about that?
COACH FISHER: Didn't see it. And the other one, we missed it.
Q. They didn't see the helmet pop off?
COACH FISHER: Well, I guess they didn't see the horse collar. Both of them said they didn't see that and didn't see how they didn't go down. Still, if you grab a guy to me, that's the same thing because he buckled him. Anyway, we'll see. They just missed it, what they said on the helmet. Saw a lot of other things.
Q. After the game, did you get a chance to look at the targeting call in the replays?
COACH FISHER: A little, and I could see on the TV I look at, he's going to hit the guy. I wish he would -- he should shoulder the guy. As he went in, he tried to hit him in the shoulder. When the guy lowered his shoulder, his head hit him in the side. It was not an intentional targeting because, when guys move. But legally, if you call it, you call it. Boy's got to use better technique. We don't want anybody to get hurt. We don't ever want that to happen, and we don't teach that. So it was kind of close.
But if it is, it is.
Q. A little bit more about Dalvin. He started doing this late last year. So was there a point last year when a guy coming in as a freshman, he had to get used to more of a workload as the year went on?
COACH FISHER: Well, I think that and also assignments and comfort level in the program, what you're doing, how you're going to call things, blocking schemes, proving to yourself that you can go out there on the field and do this. If it happens once, well, then does it twice, oh, maybe I am pretty good. They all think they're good, but still there's an adjustment time, I don't care what you say.
I just think he keeps feeling more and more comfortable with what he's doing.
Q. Do you get to a point where at times you're like, I've got to get Mario in there?
COACH FISHER: No, we have a rotation to get Mario in, and we have every game. This last game we didn't because the thing about it, we wanted to get so many attempts for Dalvin first. It usually happens in the first couple of series, and we get Mario right in there. But we were three and out, three and out. Long period of time in between. So that's why he didn't get as many early.
Then all of a sudden, Dalvin gets hot in the second half, and we didn't want to take it out of his hand, and that's kind of the way it went. We're going to get Mario touches, and we plan to get him touches, no doubt. Mario is doing a great job.
Q. Is it kind of like you look at it and say, I'd like to get him out there in the third series?
COACH FISHER: Third series unless there's been four, five, six carries in a row. Depends how long the first drive goes. You get three, four, five touches right there, and all of a sudden, you want to get it swapped over.
Q. So a little bit kind of out of left field. You're a fiery guy. How do you balance as a coach getting your point across on the sidelines with not overstepping a boundary and being too harsh?
COACH FISHER: That's called coaching every day. Sometimes you're harsh if you want to get a point across, and sometimes you don't. Depends on the kid, depends on the situation, depends on the moment. You can be behind at halftime. I wouldn't be mad. You can be behind at halftime, and I can go in and wouldn't be happy. It depends on the situation. That depends on the moment. That's called coaching and managing people. Whatever you think you need to do to get the job done.
Q. Do you ever worry about overstepping -- kind of stepping over a line and getting too harsh?
COACH FISHER: I always do. But at times -- and if I feel like I do, I go back to a kid and say, you know what, I probably got on you too hard. I have no problem saying that. I probably challenged you too much. I got on you too much. I do that all the time. If I feel like I've done something wrong, I tell kids. They can come talk to me any time. We have a great relationship in that regard, big time.
It's like a parent. Sometimes I'd have my dad whip me and then come hug me 30 minutes later and said, you know, I didn't want to do that, but I had to do that. This is why. Or I tell them why I did it to understand the big picture of why you do things, if you do it that way. They're kids. You're a parent.
Q. Talk about Golson. Did he just struggle Saturday with the rain, or do you see improvement on him this week against Boston College? He played against them last year. Do you see any improvement this week coming up hopefully?
COACH FISHER: Yeah, I thought he played really well the second half. Came out and went 11 for 15. We played well on offense for him to come back with 157 yards and a touchdown, 11 of 15 in the second half. I was extremely proud and saw that he can come out when we're not playing as well, come back in the second half and play extremely well.
Q. I saw him play against Boston College. I know that Coach Steve is familiar playing against Florida State because he was a Gator coach. What does he bring to the game? He's a good coach up there at Boston College. Talk about the game Friday night.
COACH FISHER: It's going to be a very tough game. They're going to be well prepared. They run the ball, very physical. They create a lot of I-violations with their boots, and they're going to get the ball down the field defensively. They're big, strong, much more athletic than people think. Cover well in man coverage. Play a lot of two. Mix up coverages. Pressure the quarterback. Great on special teams. They do it all. It will be a great ball game. They always play us very well. It's a conference opponent.
I always say this. When you get in a conference, teams get used to playing you every year. There's no, hey, this is part of what we do every year, and they get comfortable playing you, and we get comfortable playing them. That's why anything can happen in conference games. That's why they're always so up and down.
Q. You mentioned earlier that Everett looked like two different people first half, second half.
COACH FISHER: The whole offense did.
Q. How much of that, though, is Everett, him calming down in the second half, and how much is it the guys around him kind of helping?
COACH FISHER: Really both. That's doing what we had to do. Say Bobo catches that one ball. The first naked, we get a clip, we gain nine yards, and all of a sudden we get a first down, we get that momentum going in drives. Bobo will catch that next ball, and we'll go down. You don't know where that goes. As a group, that just set us back.
I think it's both his maturity, being able to relax at halftime, go back to his fundamentals, make good reads, and I thought he picked up the blitz, got the ball out to Bobo, quick passes, checks out, saw their blitzes. Did a really nice job in the second half, was very accurate and very efficient. Hit some big third down plays in the second half and did what he had to do.
Q. You see him being able to calm down, like you said, how encouraging is that going forward knowing he can isolate that bad first half?
COACH FISHER: It's great. Never coaching him before, you don't know how they're going to react in that situation. It was very pleasing to watch, that's for sure.
Q. After two games, I know it's still a small sample size, but where do you think he's at with this offense?
COACH FISHER: I think he feels good about it. I think he understands things. We just got to continue to get all the little details of things and the nuances of it. Also recognizing things just quicker and quicker. I think he's doing that, and I thought he's about where I thought he would be.
Q. A lot of the players after the game, they just wanted to have more of a sense of urgency at the start of this game. How do you balance that with just feeling out the pace of the game?
COACH FISHER: That's part of maturing. I don't. You talk to them about it, and you've got to be quick but don't hurry. That's what they got to understand. That's a term I learned a long time ago. It's an old John Wooden term. You've got to be quick. You've got to have urgency. But the thing you can't worry about is someone else. You've got to worry yourself. Understand who you are and what it takes for you to get ready to play every time you play.
Q. You said Cason only had two bad punts. Do you think Cason is getting into a better --
COACH FISHER: Hopefully he is. What you miss is the direction of punts. When you miss, you can't miss in different places. That's what those things are. A couple of line drives, we can't do that. You cannot do that. The rest of them, he had five of them at 40 yards and over 4.0 hang which is exactly what we want. You don't want to outkick the coverage too. You kick at 50, and guys in the back can return those too. You want to kick in that 42-44 range and get over 4.0 hang and be able to get there and be more consistent.
Q. It looks like Marquez is playing really well on the other side.
COACH FISHER: Doing a real good job. Letting people know -- because he's going to get tested over there. What I like too, the physicality. Beating blocks and making tackles, along with playing the ball down the field. I always said this, Marquez is an extremely, extremely talented guy. He's never been a solo football guy until now. He's always been a basketball, football, back and forth, even the first year here. Getting him out there and really learning what his potential is is fun.
Q. He said on his interception, he said he knew, when they put the 6'5" guy, he knew they were going to come at him and adjusted accordingly. Is that mental side something he's good at?
COACH FISHER: It is, instincts for the game. They put a big guy out here, they don't put a big guy out here to stand out there. Just your instincts for the game. He played it really well. It was a good play.
Q. Ro'Derrick Hoskins, you touched on him a little bit earlier. What can he bring to this defense?
COACH FISHER: Athleticism, size, lift, coverage skills, pass game, tackles in space real well, good size, 233, 234 pounds. And then more depth to help Reggie and those guys. Like I say, it's like Dalvin and those other guys, it's a lot of snaps. So we are able to split up our play on defense. And if we have injuries, one of those guys we feel comfortable playing in the game.
Q. With that being first real playing time on first team defense, how did he respond demeanor-wise?
COACH FISHER: Probably our runner-up for player of the week. If I didn't give it to Giorgio, would have probably given it to him. He was a close second in his production points and what he did. No knock on anybody else, he just played well. Starting to really come on.
Q. How's Reggie's knee?
COACH FISHER: Been fine. His health is good. He's played well.
Q. Was the weather any part of the dropped passes?
COACH FISHER: No, I don't think so. You've got to play in all weather. We practice in that stuff. We go practice in that rain and do those things. That's part of it. You've got to make those. It really wasn't but one or two if I'm not mistaken. Wasn't a lot of dropped passes, I don't think. I can only think of one right now, and it was Bobo. He pulled his head out of it.
Q. Ja'Vonn's got broken up. Then a couple in traffic.
COACH FISHER: Not that. I'll tell Ermon could have made a nice catch on that go. Ja'Vonn, when was Ja'Vonn's?
Q. Across the middle.
COACH FISHER: That was a bad throw. I don't put that on him. He should have set out wider and hit it out wide and really should have worked the tight end on the big.
Q. What about Saunders in the end zone, the corner?
COACH FISHER: Who?
COACH FISHER: Now, I would like -- I think, in another two, three weeks, he'll make that catch. I really do. I thought that ball was really well thrown where we could get it. No one could get it. It was in the corner. That was another maturity play of him in the second half. I think Mavin will make that catch in the future.
I think it was a tough catch, but I think as he grows and gets to play more and gets confident, he'll make that catch. I've seen him make it a ton of time in practice. You all are tougher on receivers. I'm tougher on quarterbacks.
Q. Is Mavin a guy that just needs to make that first play?
COACH FISHER: Yeah, he just needs to go out there and play and keep playing. He's going to play. He's a redshirt freshman. I have tremendously high hopes. I think he's going to be an outstanding player. It's all part of maturity. Just got to be patient. It's going to happen.
Q. Something Roderick Johnson said after the game, with us, it was more we need the ball through the technique. It was nothing the coaches did. It was all on us. What's it like for you to hear from a player like him that these kids understand what they need to do right and there's an acceptance of it's our fault, not anyone else's.
COACH FISHER: That's really good, and it's very mature of them to think that way because what happens, you know your assignment. All of a sudden, things start to go, and you forget all about -- those techniques, you've got to do them over and over and over and over, where learned behavior becomes habit, you know what I'm saying?
Sometimes those young guys are just not there yet, and when they get a stunt, they worry about the result too much instead of staying true to the process. That's part of being young in how you do things. That's part of our growing, that we have to grow, and we have to -- if there's ten of those in the game, we've got to cut them down to seven and cut them down to three and eliminate them. That's just a process we've got to go through.
Q. Roderick also said after the game he thought you needed to work on getting a quicker start in these games. How do you do that?
COACH FISHER: Again, have the urgency to get yourself ready to play but also have confidence. Sometimes when you're young, I can't go out there and mess up. Guy's either half empty or half full. It's always got to be half full. You can't play that way. That's what some of those guys do.
Last week we did, we had a fast start. This week had a penalty right off the bat, just set ourselves back. Sometimes trying too hard. A couple of those were trying too hard, wanting to do too much. Got to play a little smarter.
Q. After that first half, did you find yourself having to talk a lot to Everett? Or since he's an older player, just worry about the younger ones?
COACH FISHER: No, I just want to get the feedback, what he's seeing, what he's feeling, see where he's at. No different than what I would do any other time, young or old.
Q. Dalvin said at the halftime, you came in and just told them to have fun. He said it was nothing he'd never forget. What was that conversation like?
COACH FISHER: Like I said before, you go in there, we didn't play well, I could be mad. What would that do? We've got to improve. We've got to fix some problems. We've got to relax here. This is what we're going to do. This is how we're going to do it. Then go enjoy doing it.
Football is a tough game. Go enjoy playing the game. Don't worry about results. Go play the play one at a time. That's why you lift all them weights, run all those sprints. Go out and have fun and execute what you do. That's what you've got to do. You've got to play this game without any fear. Can't worry about results. Can't worry about winning. Can't worry about playing. That's a totally different mindset.
That's what we got them back to in that halftime. That was the quote with Matt. Sometimes -- there's other times you may even be ahead. You can be upset because the temperament of the team is right for that. But at that time, it wasn't. That's what they needed in my opinion. We had to help them. That was our job to help them.
Q. Defense has run 17% on third down. Is that where you expected them to be through two games?
COACH FISHER: No. Zero. I want them all shut out.
Q. On the quarterbacks and the defense.
COACH FISHER: Exactly right. We emphasize situational football. You can play well and have yards. We saw it all -- you see it everywhere. But turning the ball over, getting turnovers, making third downs, getting off the field on third down. Red zone, are you scoring or stopping scores in the red zone, you know what I mean? And taking care of that football.
Those are key -- like I say, you can play game well, situations poorly, and lose. You can play the game poorly or very average and play situations very well and win a lot of games. I think that's the one thing they're doing getting off the field on third down is very critical. We put a lot of emphasis on that.
Q. Jalen's already had a few pretty spectacular pass breakups. Did he get a finger on that one deep ball that looked like it was over his head?
COACH FISHER: I don't know. That's a good question. I couldn't tell on that. I don't know if he did or the guy -- something happened to the ball. It might have. Again, he's getting those long arms up there and even getting a hand in front of somebody's face can make a difference. I'm not sure if he did or not.
Q. Do you think his ability to jump and close --
COACH FISHER: And his lift, and he's long on top of that. It makes a big difference. Especially if you play little guys. They have trouble -- the wing span, just like receivers. Big wing span, big defense span the other way. It's huge.
Q. I think it's like having Jalen be the -- kind of take away the field. Did you see teams throwing away from him consistently?
COACH FISHER: A couple teams went at him because sometimes you want to go at a corner who's aggressive. Sometimes you try to make plays, and you can make plays on them. I think six of one, a half dozen of the other. I think you'll see both and both depending on each team.
Q. With so much spread, is that a thing anymore being able to take away half the field?
COACH FISHER: Yeah, how you can protect other guys, though. When you can lock a guy up and help a guy, it makes a big difference.
Q. Going back to targeting for a second, nine players in FBS games ejected --
COACH FISHER: That's the most I can ever remember. I don't remember that happening last year.
Q. You think that's just a fluke this week or officials watching closer?
COACH FISHER: I don't think they're watching it closer. I think it was more of a fluke and had those hits. A lot of emotional games and kids trying to play. I don't know. They watched it last year. That was a huge emphasis last year, and we didn't have a lot. We've got to keep going back as coaches and re-emphasizing that too.
Q. Can you legislate something like intent? Obviously, Lamarcus wasn't trying to lead with his helmet. It seemed like the kid's helmet almost hit his. Is it just the letter of the law?
COACH FISHER: I think you have to. When you're going with player safety, I understand that from their standpoint. That way, for a young person doing it, if there's any doubt, you just don't do it. That's what we're trying to get across. We all want to keep this game around for a long time. But I think it's tough. I think it's extremely tough.
Q. Do you think refs are calling it more because they have the advantage of looking at it and reviewing it and making the call right?
COACH FISHER: Maybe they will. I think that's a good point. It depends on the person. I can't answer that really, but it's a good point.
Q. It seems like a lot of heavily favored teams struggle the second week. Is there something about that second week?
COACH FISHER: You look forward to playing your first game. You're emotional. You want to do things. So then it's like, oh, okay, it's here. Maybe this ain't so bad, that release syndrome. Then you go back to the one-week routine. It's the first time they've only had one week to get ready for a game. So preparation time, young players, who you're playing in the third week.
I know people don't want to hear it -- and I don't want to hear that. It doesn't matter. I only want to worry about this week. That's how people think. That's what kids -- that's our society. That's what human beings do. That's what fans do. That's what writers do.
You ask me, do you think this week will be tough with the big game coming up? Wait a minute, how is this not a big game? Every game is a big game. Well, that's a big loss. A loss is a big loss. No loss is big until it happens. You know what I'm saying? My point is I think it's human nature to have to defend against that, and it's just -- could be a lot of reasons. But there was a lot of them, daggum.
Q. What do you think of Friday night games?
COACH FISHER: I mean, it's what we do. I'm not a huge fan. I'm not going to say I'm a fan of it. I'm a Saturday guy, period. I think for the kids' benefit, the welfare of getting back, academic, the whole ball of wax and everything you do. I think Friday nights are for high school football. I think that's one of our great things we have in this country.
But at the same time, it is what it is. We're looking forward to going up there and playing. I'm not going to sit here and say I'm a huge fan of it. I'm not.
Q. It also speeds up the process, right? You have to be doing a lot of stuff yesterday and the day before.
COACH FISHER: Exactly right. And bodies recover for kids, extra travel during the week. There's a lot of things that -- more days of school and all that. Football is not that bad. You only have four or five games away a year anyway. Still I think it's tough.
And sometimes guys have to play Saturday and play Thursday. It's very difficult. They do it in the NFL. Well, they're getting paid a lot of money to do that in the NFL.
Q. Did you watch Jameis?
COACH FISHER: Some of it. I didn't get to see much. I was having to cram to get ready. I talked to him the night before. Had some good moments, tough moments. But a typical first game. Threw a couple of touchdowns, I believe, and a couple of mistakes. They got to keep getting better, and he will.
Q. Cool for you, though, Rashad caught a touchdown in the opening week, Carlos scored his first game.
COACH FISHER: I heard about that.
Q. Did you hear about that?
COACH FISHER: I do hear about it. GAs, they're breaking down film for the next week, they've always got TVs on. I always tell them, if they hear something, come tell me. Occasionally, someone will walk by, and I'll want to hear something. I'm happy for them.
Q. Thursday, what's the plan for Thursday? Are you going to be in town Wednesday night?
COACH FISHER: We'll get up. Kids work on school in the morning, get a little extra sleep. Then they'll do their schoolwork with our tutors and all that stuff, get a lot of things ironed out. We get a lot of individual time with our tutors and get that work done and have the normal meetings we have on Thursday.
Big thing is two nights before is critical for sleep and rest and getting them together and home. The next morning, you get up and pack so early anyway. You're up at 6:30 the next morning, packing, getting all your stuff ready to go, and you end up not getting as much rest. We found out, by going that way, our rest and bodies, and it's actually helped us in school as far as our assignments with tutors and bring all the academic folks with us.
It's been very efficient for us in all phases, not just for ball. In academics and everything else that goes with it.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports