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October 31, 2015

Jimbo Fisher

Tallahassee, Florida

Florida State - 45 Syracuse - 21

COACH FISHER: Proud of our team, the way we competed in the game. Loved the energy, the enthusiasm, the fire. They did what we asked them to come out and do. I was extremely proud of that. Not sulking, not feeling sorry for themselves. They practiced well during the week. The did some things. I think they found out a little bit about themselves they could come out and do that.

Again, we knew Syracuse was going to come in and play. They got a great start. We got off to a poor start. They did a good job with their front people. A couple good front guys up there. With all the new linemen we had, Jacques in the first start, Sean in his first start of the year, Eberle in there, first start ever at center. Thought he did a real nice job. We had a lot of pieces to move back around.

I was very proud of those guys, the way they got into the flow of the game and made the plays. We played with great effort, tenacity, and played as a team in what we did. We're still not perfect but we keep getting better. Very happy.

Hit the deep ball well. Got the ball vertically down the field. Got the protection to do it. Not only just the routes, the catches and the throws, but the guys blocking up front. Then we got the running game going. Young backs, Jacques did an outstanding job and we were able to keep good balance which we want to be able to do. Hopefully those guys will be able to add depth in what we do and take pressure off Dalvin at times in future where we are at and coming up and getting those linemen back healthy.

Defensively, I thought we were really outstanding. Did a great job getting off the field. They hit a couple plays, but for the most part the drive before the half was big, but our drive coming back, they tried to squib it, I think that's what they were doing, I'm not sure what they were doing. We got the ball, the two-minute drive right there before half. Again, stole the momentum and got it back. It was critical.

Our defense did a great job pressuring the quarterback, tackled well. Did a good job keeping leveraging on the football, getting off the field on third down for the most part.

The coverage team was good till the end. That's ridiculous. We hit the ball where we wanted to hit it, punted it, did all that well. Whistle hadn't blown. Play the whole game. That was the only disappointing thing as far as that goes. We'll get that cleaned up and get better and get ready to play a great Clemson team.


Q. Jacques had a huge game today. What did you see from this man in his first start?
COACH FISHER: A lot of poise. As the game went on, he just ran with more power, more confidence. These guys hitting me hard, but I'm still pretty big, too. You know what I mean? Getting that feel, getting back in there.

I thought he did a good job on pass protection, caught the ball when he had to catch it, did the things there. Very happy for him. I thought Johnathan Vickers, when he had his opportunity, ran well. You see those two young guys. I'm happy about the depth that's added and they got quality playing time. We're fixing to get down this final stretch, we're going to need those guys.

Q. Why was the downfield passing so effective?
COACH FISHER: I think they gave us opportunities with the looks and Sean throws the deep ball very well, we ran good routes. We have been getting better at it the whole time. And our protection was better. We protected better up front. Early they got some sacks but we kept doing it. We were accurate with it. We've been working on it. It's been pretty good in practice. It has been. We had to get it into the game.

Q. Travis, a game like this can do a lot.
COACH FISHER: I was very happy for him. Travis is a heck of a football player. Going to be a great player. We could hit him a couple more times maybe and had some more touchdowns.

But Travis catching the ball, made big plays in big moments. That corner catch was a really nice catch in the corner down in the end zone. The third one I thought was good. The two deep balls. The first one, the effort to get in the end zone, the desire to get in there. That's what he's capable of all time when he has focus, plays with a lot of fire and passion and attention to detail. Very happy for him.

Q. How does a play like that spark a team?
COACH FISHER: It does. It's about energy. It's about passion. I think that's why I think some of our young guys, I said before, we walk on egg shells a little bit because they're such good kids. Sometimes I want them to be a little bit more knucklehead and give me some juice and then come out of it. They don't want to make a mistake. That's kind of what we got into last week out there. Guys not wanting to or have toughness, but that spark, nastiness, I'm going to go make a play, change the game, you know what I'm saying, instead of waiting for somebody else to do it.

When you're young like that, sometimes that happens. You thin, I'm young, I can't do it. I didn't see no limits on making plays. Ain't one in the rule book. Seeing a young guy go do that, I think it goes through your team.

There was a play Derwin made on the fumble. You know what I mean? Ripped that play, stripped back. I think it's getting contagious. I hope it will. We're going to need it to.

Q. Travis had a rough game last week. Did you challenge him this week?
COACH FISHER: What do you think (laughter)? You know me.

But in a good way. It's not challenging. You know, you got to be honest. Everybody calls it challenging. I call it honesty. People who care about you, they love you, tell you the truth. People that tell you what you want to hear, they don't care about you. When you do well, they need to tell you. When you do bad, they need to tell you. Not to be personal.

Listen, if this is what you want to be, where you want to go, this is what you got to do. This is what you do. He stepped up.

I'm going to tell you another guy in that group that was huge. Bobo. Bobo's attitude with that group, leading that group, making sure they did the right things, his attitude, how he went out and played with energy, he started a lot of that, too. That was on Travis. A lot of credit going to Bobo's leadership during the week and off the field going in that game a lot.

Q. The way Sean and the passing game clicked, does that make you reevaluate things?
COACH FISHER: I'm always reevaluating things. I'm always reevaluating things. I told you, we had two good quarterbacks. I said it before. We have two guys that can play and win and can play games. Everett's health, we still got to get that and see where things are. We'll go from there.

Q. When did you know this week that Sean would be the starter?
COACH FISHER: I didn't all the way till Friday evening. Everett actually passed an impact test, but he still had some symptoms when they did some more things on him late Friday. There was some dizziness and things like that.

So we repped Sean with ones. They both got reps during the week. It was just symptoms he had. They were lingering. It's not worth the chance to put somebody out there. We're not going to do that ever. I don't care if it's the national championship. Never going to do that.

Q. What is going to be your process this week determining the starter?
COACH FISHER: I'll wait and see the health of everybody, what I always do. Best player will play.

Q. When was Everett diagnosed with a concussion?
COACH FISHER: I don't know. I mean, got hit. They checked him out. Actually evaluated at halftime. Felt good. It was okay. Everything was good. Come back and he said Sunday he just started having some symptoms.

I said, Hey, make sure you tell them. We're not going out for anybody. They evaluated. That's why he sat out Monday a little bit. Plus he was banged up, got hit a couple tiles.

Protocol is to get a little bit to see if you can come back with work. He threw a little bit, did a little bit in practice. Impact was down, but enough you can still go out and play and see if the dizziness comes. We limited his practice and reps just like the doctor said, and we did it all through the week.

Q. Sean, the way he continues to prepare...
COACH FISHER: Hardest job in ball, man: backup quarterback. Hardest job in ball. I mean, you can say it all you want. Because to play that position, the demands of it, not just physically but mentally, especially what we do, are ridiculous. I mean, as far as a true offense, you know what I I'm saying? You're never called upon until you're called upon. Sit and again and again and again. You say, Why am I doing this? Why am I doing this?

Takes a very mature, selfless team player to be able to do that. When his number was called, he stepped up. I couldn't be any happier for any one guy.

Q. The fact he's been here before and done this, does that help him out as far as the receivers? Doesn't miss a beat?
COACH FISHER: No, he didn't. In practice he doesn't. He's on them, he knows what's going on. You know what I'm saying? He's been doing that in practice.

Q. Changes on the offensive line to run the ball the way you did...
COACH FISHER: It was huge. It really was. I mean, it was really huge. Eberle to go in at center, make those calls, do what he did. Getting Mavety back in there. Getting Brock Ruble, right tackle, getting his confidence back. Now hope Derrick Kelly can come back. Now you get Kareem Are healthy again. Now your body starts to come back. That's just huge. Hopefully real wet Hoefeld back some. You know what I mean?

That depth, what they did, the tight ends in the running game. I'm going to tell you what, Freddie Stevenson, we were lined in the I-formation, that sledgehammer fullback does a lot of work. That guy did a heck of a job, too.

Q. What impressed you most with what Sean did today?
COACH FISHER: The thing I was happiest about was the game management, the poise, making sure everybody was on the same page. Taking care of the football and staying aggressive at the same time. Staying aggressive smart in how he played the position.

Q. (Indiscernible.)
COACH FISHER: Oh, yeah. He made his checks, he made his reads. He knew where to get to the ball, getting in and out of runs. The run right before half on the seven yard line, that was a check. He checked us out of something and almost got it down to the one-inch line, you know what I mean, down there. It was huge.

Q. (Indiscernible.)
COACH FISHER: I was lying, right, all that (laughter). I was lying to y'all. I was lying to y'all. No, can one of y'all raise your hand and say I was wrong (laughter)? No, I'm joking. But it is, I like getting on y'all, too, see.

Hey, we're going to form another one. George has been catching the heck out of the ball. Guess what, he's going to get another one, another one. That guy can be a big-play guy. He has learned to play. Getting him in there, being able to do that. The confidence to be able to say we're going to go in there and do that. Heck, that guy is playing his tail off.

Mavin keeps growing in what he does. You saw Noonie out there for the first time. I said he was ready to go. You have to remember how much time all those guys have missed. Noonie had an injury. It's hard for a young guy in general. Then you miss this, you get out of shape, you get back in condition. It's hard to get in that continuity with those young guys.

But, hey, we're going to need every one of them, we're going to play every one of them. They're all going to be big-time players. I'm extremely happy with that.

Q. After the tough lost last week, is that what the team needed?
COACH FISHER: I was happy. Again, not just the performance, but the enthusiasm, the attitude, the demeanor, the leadership, the camaraderie, the love for each other, understanding how to appreciate a good game and win. You know what I'm saying? From that standpoint, extremely happy.

Are there things we need to get better at? Yes. We're not perfect. We're a young football team who is growing each week. I'm extremely happy from the attitude, the desire, the culture of the organization. They enhance what we believe in.

Q. Is there a fine line between the players not making a mistake and playing freely?
COACH FISHER: It's hard. It's called maturity. At the end of the day, can't do it. Got to look at the man in the mirror. Got to look as yourself and have confidence. That word 'confidence'. Knowing you can do it, knowing you have poise to do it, know in the situations you have to do it in.

You can coach till your blue in the face. They have to be able to go out and do it themselves when it counts, make a mistake, poise, move on. It's all maturity and growth. How did you do your job? How did you know to do your job when you were young, growing up as a kid, something new to you?

It's no different. Players are just like we were as children. Everything's new to you. Then you figure it out, you get real good at it. Sometimes you make a few mistakes.

We want them all to be magically perfect. It doesn't happen that way, man. That's just the way you got to play. There's got to be trials, tribulations, ups and downs. The thing is, what you got to do, play the next play. Don't worry about the result, don't worry about the scoreboard, just play the next play, believe in yourself, grow confidence in yourself.

Thank you.

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