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FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY FOOTBALL MEDIA CONFERENCE
October 10, 2015
Miami - 24
COACH FISHER: First I want to say great -- my hat's off to Miami. I knew they would come in here and play well. I knew they wouldn't quit. I knew they'd play hard. That's a talented football game. They got Stacy Coley out there who's a great football player. They coached a heck of a game and played a heck of a game. That's what Miami-Florida State is supposed to be about. That's the way it is. That's the way it always is.
Florida State - 29
To me its just a tremendous atmosphere for college football. To me, that's one of the greatest rivalries in all of college football. That game has so many national implications and so many great players in it. I think that's another one tonight. You have so many great players. A lot of young players on both sides just keep emerging and jumping up.
More important -- and I mean this -- it's a privilege to be part of that rivalry. To sit here and say and coach in that game with all the great Miami players, all the great Florida State players, and we retired, to me, the best linebacker in college football, Marvin Jones. I think that guy is as good as anybody that ever played it. You think how good he was, and he never got a victory in three years against Miami. How important this game is, and you don't ever take it for granted and how hard it is to win those games. It's special. That's Marvin's game. Marvin has a win over Miami now.
Most important part of our program, the thing I was proud about tonight, we didn't worry about anything else. We didn't worry about the scoreboard. All we worried about was the next play. That's how we got to play. Trust the process. Trust of process of how we do everything. The right outcomes. When the process is right, the outcomes become right. You can't worry about outcomes. I'm not worried about playoffs. I'm not worried about ranking. I'm worried about one thing. Getting better each and every week and keep making our team better. That's all we can control, and that's what I'm worried about.
Our guys learning how to practice, learning how to train, learning how to compete, learning how no matter what it is, just playing the next play. Learning how to sleep, to eat, to do all the right things daily. If you do all those things consistent and create the right habits, good things happen to you. That's what this team has got to learn.
There was a bunch of babies out there, but they grew up tonight. They grew up in a big time atmosphere. I was extremely proud of them. But we're learning how to get there. Ultimately, we will, we'll find it.
Going into these tough environments on the road, coming back home, the fans were outstanding. What an atmosphere for college football. That doesn't get no better than that now. When that chop gets going, I can't say it don't give me goose bumps because it does. That right here.
We've been challenged. This team gets challenged in a lot of different ways. And tonight the offense stepped up. You saw a lot -- our passing game really opened up. You saw a lot of those young receivers making plays. You saw Dalvin Cook, one of the best pure players in college football. That's the most yards, 222 yards on 22 carries, and he wasn't even supposed to play. That guy is something different now. There's something in him that's different. I'm glad he's on my team, I know that.
But you know, here's our goal as a coach. Keep getting the most out of these guys each and every week. They give it to us. It ain't all perfect. We ain't perfect. We left a lot of points on the board, and it has to do with Miami. We had red zone, tight zone opportunities. We could have got in there, missed a field goal, did this, did that. But you know what, we just kept competing.
I'm going to watch us grow. Hopefully, we can take it to the next step. We're going to play a great Louisville team. We'll celebrate this 24 hours and move on, next game. Big game, that's what you do in Florida State, you play in these games. Now you put that one behind you, and you go play next week and get ready to play Louisville. That's what we've got to do.
Very proud of them. Happy for them. We'll continue to have our evolution, and hopefully we'll keep going.
Q. That's the first time you trailed all season and responded with one right downfield. How did that feel?
COACH FISHER: Big time. You know why? The look in their eye. Last two weeks, I said that, at Boston College and making that point at Wake Forest, I didn't like the look in our eye on the sidelines even when we had leads and could put games away. It was guys wanting to win but not having the look in their eye to win.
Tonight they didn't flinch. We played the next play, it was there. It was there. Not because -- just maturity. They understood. It just takes time. You've got to evolve. You've got to go through those experiences to understand what you want. They didn't blink and went out and executed. Didn't worry about the offense. Just executed the plays.
Q. The killer instinct you talked about last week, when was it that it hit you, okay, this team has it?
COACH FISHER: I'm not saying we still have it just because we responded on one drive. We got to show it every week, and killer instinct to me is how you practice. It's being on time tomorrow for all your meets, going to get your treatment, going to all your classes. Doing everything off the field the right way. And taking it to the field because that's when it's fun. This team is still evolving into that, but we're learning.
Q. What did you see from Everett tonight maybe that was different from others? He seemed much more comfortable.
COACH FISHER: He did. Decisive. Played not scared to make a mistake. Playing to make plays. But also still managing the football and taking care of the football at the same time. You can do that. And trusting his eyes. Processing what he saw. And reacting, not thinking. You can't think in football.
It's like you know the test. You prepare. I see it, react, play. That's what you've got to do. And it happened tonight. He processed it. That's what I'm proud of. Now you've got to go back and have the same preparation next week and move on.
Q. Jimbo, at what point did you know that Dalvin was going to play?
COACH FISHER: I didn't ever really know. We practiced him on Wednesday, he said he felt good. We practiced him on Thursday, he said he felt good. If we'd have practiced him on Monday, he'd have said he felt good. But after Thursday's practice, we gave him our GPS, you can tell the yardage and the speed.
What I didn't know was how sore he'd be the next Friday, how sore he was the next day. On Friday he came back, I felt pretty good on Friday evening that he was going to play. Not because he said so, but because the numbers in his body said so. We wouldn't have put him out there otherwise.
Q. When you see him that first time he touches the ball, do you think is this guy human?
COACH FISHER: I just smiled. I just smiled. Hey, I see it every day.
Q. You used Golson's legs a lot more tonight. Was that something he's more comfortable with or something you saw against Miami? What was the impetus on that?
COACH FISHER: Do what we've got to do to win the game. We have a lot of things we use. There's a lot of things you don't have to -- it's about winning the next game and doing what you have to do. You don't show everything, and you don't have to do everything. We've got a lot of things left in our tank that we have to do, and we'll use them if we have to. We thought it was needed, we knew they'd score points. They're an excellent defense.
We had to be diverse. And plus we had to have a plan too if Dalvin got hurt or one of the other guys. We had to get yards in different ways.
Q. You guys had trouble on third down all night until that final drive with Golson, one with his legs, one with his arms. What did he show you in those situations under pressure?
COACH FISHER: Just made the plays when he had to make them. I'm disappointed it was 3 out of 10. We had the daggum hawk route for one right there. We overthrew a vertical for a touchdown in the end zone. Actually, we dropped the ball. Dalvin was human. He actually dropped the ball, would scored on second down.
Third down, we talked about that. Third down red zone, we're usually better than that. We kind of flipped the script. A little bit lesser on third down red zone today, but we made the plays in the field. What we've got to do is combine those.
And we trust him. We like the calls going in. And he stepped up. The look in his eye was different. There was a confidence, and hopefully, that can grow. That's going to happen as he gets used to us calling the game and practicing more.
Q. You had several hits on Kaaya from the defensive line. What did you think of defensive line play tonight?
COACH FISHER: Good. I wish we'd gotten a little more pressure tonight, but they did a good job. You go blitzing that guy, he exposes you. He's a really good quarterback. At the end, we got pressure and got hands up and batted balls. Those last two drives, they got hot in the fourth quarter. The defensive line stood up and did a great job in the fourth quarter.
Q. You were in a lot of situations like this last year, you had a lot of guys playing more -- playing bigger roles this year. Is there any carryover from last year? They were so young.
COACH FISHER: But they still have to go do it themselves. What they've got in their repertoire is the trust that we know to stay true to the process. That's what we keep saying. Just trust us. Trust your coaching. Trust yourself. That's the big thing. Once they start trusting coaching --
But the hardest person to trust in this world is yourself, you know what I mean? You don't want to disappoint. You've got to just let it go. Don't be scared. Big deal if you don't make the play. Just go full speed and let it go. They did that tonight, and hopefully they can get over that hump and go.
Q. Your defense was able to contain Miami's running game? Was that part of the plan coming into the game to force them to throw a little more?
COACH FISHER: You know Kaaya's going to throw it. Still when you can run the football and stop the run, that's still football. I'm a guy that likes to wing it around as much as everybody. But you've got to be -- because of the physicality of your team and dominating the line of scrimmage. We wanted to be able to stop the run, and our defense did a really good job of that tonight.
Q. Miami was 8 of 16 on third down.
COACH FISHER: They did a nice job.
Q. Four of those came on that one drive. What was it about that drive that they did so different? Was it coverage?
COACH FISHER: Just rhythm. Sports is a rhythm. It's a momentum. You know what I mean? All of a sudden, you feel it, you see it. What's hard, what I was proud about, they got the momentum of the game in the second half. Our guys flipped it on offense. Then we flipped it on offense. Got it back down. Our defense, who had been giving that up, came back for two straight drives and did it.
They got in the rhythm, got the play calls. They hit the right call or the guy makes the right throw. Sometimes, even you make a good defensive call, they make a play. They get in a rhythm. They got good receivers now and a good quarterback.
Q. Did you think you lost Dalvin on that play when he came up?
COACH FISHER: When he first came off, he said no. He said it started to, but I caught it. He said, I just felt it get tight, and when it loosened back up, I took off.
Q. Did you feel like you left some points out there?
COACH FISHER: No doubt.
Q. You could have been up by maybe three or four touchdowns.
COACH FISHER: There were inches on the throw. Dalvin dropped the ball on the flat. Then the next play we overthrow the vertical. Then we missed the field goal. Then we go for it on fourth down. I think we got those three points back because we held them and got the ball back.
We wanted to win the game. Sometimes in big games you do. You're right, we left points in the red zone. There's still a lot you've got to clean up. When you play those emotional games like that, you've got to pass it on and go to the next play and keep playing.
Q. Florida State had a history of maybe leaving points on the board --
COACH FISHER: I didn't get beat. Are you talking about the high snap on the field goal in 1987?
Q. In settling for field goals in the red zone. Tonight I guess our offense made sure it didn't matter.
COACH FISHER: They just played the next play and did what they had to do. That's learning how to win and learning expecting to win and having the culture to win.
Q. Whether it was throwing the ball or running the ball, did you feel you did take advantage on the boundaries?
COACH FISHER: I said going in, I liked our playing this week as much as anything. I felt very good about it, how we executed in practice. And more so because we executed it in practice. I'm seeing we didn't leave as many plays on the practice field as we had. The last couple of weeks, I've been saying, we've been leaving plays on the practice field. And guess what, we've been leaving them on the game field.
We had those same opportunities in the other game, and we just didn't do it. Now, hopefully, we can learn from that and go next week.
Q. The way this defense has played, Miami had the ball on that last drive. Did you have any doubt they weren't going to stop it?
COACH FISHER: I felt really good. But I'd rather have the ball at the end. But our defense does rise up. There's so many character guys. Marcus and those guys --
Just calm down with the radio. You beat Miami. Tell Gene he can sit there and talk a little bit. Keep jabbering down there. It's Miami-Florida State. You don't win six in a row very often. Calm down. They ain't going to quit talking.
Q. Jimbo, you guys were missing offensive linemen.
COACH FISHER: We lost Kareem Are in practice on Thursday. We didn't know until before the game he wouldn't play. Mavety stepped up and played the whole game. That guy can be a big time player for us.
Q. You had a lot of guys out, a lot of --
COACH FISHER: Exactly. Terrance Smith. How big was Nate getting back in the game with Trey Marshall off the field? And that hurts because Trey is such a -- in our secondary back. We had a lot of guys we didn't have out there. We're not full strength, but that's football.
Everybody has injuries, and the world don't care. You got to move on, next guy up, next guy got to play.
Q. How big is this for recruiting?
COACH FISHER: Huge for recruiting, huge for everything. The history of the rivalry and the state and what we're doing. It's big. It's really big.
Q. That was a tough moment for Trey when he had to leave the field.
COACH FISHER: It was a tough moment for me. Tough moment for Charlie.
Q. But as far as the team, the defense growing through that, you're getting closer to plug and play?
COACH FISHER: We are. Guys get in. Nate last week. Terrance last week. Trey this week, you know what I mean? That's what I tell those young guys. You never know when it's ready, and I'm proud of them. It's a great job. All right. I got to go.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports