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October 29, 2016

Jimbo Fisher

Tallahassee, Florida

Clemson - 37, Florida State - 34

JIMBO FISHER: First of all, give a lot of credit to Clemson. It's a very good football team, very well coached football team. Played their hearts out. They made enough plays to win. They made one more play than we did to win the game and they're a very deserving team. They did a great job.

It's a great atmosphere, great environment. Thanks to our fans that's what I think of Doak Campbell, that's what I think of the way. The atmosphere and the environment, the things that went on, fans were ready to play.

Give our kids great credit for competition, they played hard, wanted to win, made plays at times kept battling back and in those games it was a heavyweight fight. They were going to throw haymakers, we were going to throw haymakers, we kept going at each other. And we had an opportunity to either seal it back up or win it at the end and we didn't get it done. And we let that go.

It was a good two minute drive all the way down. We had field goal position, had the ball 40 seconds, a time out, we were in great shape. And to have two very costly motion penalties. And then got behind and got a sack and lost it out.

But kids battled back, made a lot of great plays, missed the two point conversion which was critical. Thought we had that it was a great throw. Came out of the route too quick.

But still, guys battled, they played hard left their guts on the line. They played very hard, but we got to play better. And great opportunities in the game, moved the ball well, ran the ball, threw the ball. Very good defensive football team that caused a lot of problems, lot of blitzes. We were able to get some running game, got some passing game going at times, they did on us. They just kept, like I said, a heavyweight fight, just kept going back and forth and unfortunately, we left some out there we would. And very critical plays in the game. Looking here, Dalvin had another great game. Deondre threw the ball well. Got pounded, got hit a little bit. You saw a great step-up by Nyqwan, Noony, really stepped up and really played big in the game. I told the guy, I love the way he's been developing in the game. And Kermit, some of those guys, and they had good players, we had good players and heck of a team. But unfortunately we come up short. Questions?

Q. The chop block call?
JIMBO FISHER: It's ridiculous, it's not a chop, it was not a chop. And I'm going to tell you what, you hold coaches accountable, players accountable, hold the damn officials accountable. It's garbage. And then to call another penalty on the sideline is even more garbage. Its cowardly, it's gutless, and wrong.

Now they can take it, fine it, do whatever they want to do with it, that's a fact. Look at the film. It's ridiculous that they do it. That was a huge call in the game. Now, still had chances to win the game after that. That's ridiculous and the guy wasn't even in position to make it and plus it was 10 yards down the field so the penalty should have been marked from there, not from the line of scrimmage. And it was targeting on 12 when he got hit in the belly, when he got knocked out, the crown of the helmet right in the chest. He gets killed at Miami, we don't call it, he gets killed here. Both of them bad. Real bad.

Q. What was the explanation to you?
JIMBO FISHER: That ain't none. We didn't miss nothing. Typical ra, ra, ra, ra, zip, boom ba boo. It's terrible. Guys lives and careers on the line and you're out there missing calls that obvious. Ridiculous. Shouldn't be out there.

Q. The false start when the clock was running was that something else that --
JIMBO FISHER: Yeah, the clock's running, they run the clock, we're out of bounds, now had nothing to do with that. Still had the motion, shouldn't have had the motion. But they didn't even see it until we saw it.

Q. The targeting on Trey Marshall --
JIMBO FISHER: I didn't think it was targeting. I still don't. I don't think he lead, he lead with the side of his helmet, I didn't think he lead with the crown. They review that and they can review Deondre, who's a quarterback being exposed on a two step deal and don't call that. Whoever's in the booth is bad, too.

Q. Well, after game like this, when you have a chance to sit back, do you call the ACC?
JIMBO FISHER: You're dad gum right I am. Send in the calls. They can take it any way they want it.

Q. Does something like that, do those calls, do they over shadow what happened?
JIMBO FISHER: No, no, no, no. They were critical calls in the game and, listen, Clemson won the game. I give them all -- that's not why we lost the game. It's just a shame that you could change and seen what happened if you call the game properly. That's their job.

Q. How difficult is it too for the players, so many guys laying it on the line --
JIMBO FISHER: It shouldn't be difficult, because we still, even them, me, everybody, still made enough mistakes. You played your guts out, but you got to play better. We still had opportunities to win the game and didn't get it done and had a lot of opportunities. I mean, it's great, they played their hearts out -- I have nothing -- I love our players. But we got to play smarter and better in some key situations, because this is really a hell of a football team and it's a shame because it's that close. It's that close. But you got to get over the hump. And that's what these next four games are going to do.

Q. There was a stretch defensively where you were pretty much lights out and then gave up a couple --
JIMBO FISHER: Yeah, but that's what happens when teams get momentum and they get urgency. When you get, when you're like fighting, you're in a fight and somebody starts whipping you, all of a sudden you get an urgency on your side and you start making plays. And I don't mean this in any disrespect, I think that's why sometimes the way -- it was going good and, listen, the other time has an urgency too, that's what a competition is about. Just like us, they had us going for a quarter and a half and all of a sudden, bam, we got on them and bam, bam, bam, and they got us and we got them and that's what happens when two really good football teams with good players and teams are used to winning get competitive, that's what happens. I mean, you -- it doesn't matter what's going on, you find a way to put that behind you and go make plays and that's what happened. Our defense played great, we give up some things, we got to get that fixed, we're going to look at that. But it just, their competition and their athletic ability and want to too and then ours coming back and theirs coming back that's just what happens. I wish I could ever figure it out. I haven't in 29 years.

Q. Marshall, when he's out, you're down effectively three starters.
JIMBO FISHER: We are. Big time. Big time. That's a critical call. I mean, so I still don't -- I mean, I know -- and that big guy's coming down. So when it hits him, it hits him in the side of his helmet and knocks him right here and got his shoulder in here. I mean the guy's 235 pounds.

Q. Was it tough to tell how the young guys did?
JIMBO FISHER: It is until you see. I don't want to, you know, who knows, some mistakes but we'll watch the film before I make that. I love our competitive spirit, I love our team, I really do. We got to play smarter in key situations, got to play better and that's, I got to get them to do it. That's me. That's on me.

Q. Did you get a sense of some of the pass protection breakdowns were guys got beat or --
JIMBO FISHER: I got to wait and see. At the end there, I thought it was a three or four-man rush and we, I don't know, I don't know, I don't know what happened. There was a couple guys just got beat. They were right there and they just got beat. And then -- I'll look again until. We don't say no things until we see the film.

Q. Did it feel similar to North Carolina where you guys take a lead late in the game and are able to march down and score the game winning touchdown. What is it about this team that's had some tough luck at home?
JIMBO FISHER: Got to play good teams. You got to go make the plays. We had a chance to go back and score again. We had to it down in field goal range. The two-point conversion, if we convert that, that would have been a tie, stayed as a tie right there, too, so, but you play good teams and you got to finish, got to keep finishing.

Q. Talked about how Francois just keeps getting beat up game after game. Talk about his strength.
JIMBO FISHER: He did good. That's what he's got to do. If it's what you got to do, it's what you got to do, you got to stand there and take shots and hopefully we'll learn to protect him a little better as time goes on.

Q. You mentioned doing it at the outset, you got your leading receiver Rudolph to go out there and do what he did?
JIMBO FISHER: He finally, last week, he come on in practice and accepted the challenge and had some meetings with him and to grow up and not be, and as I say, he is great, but just little things and silly things and he did that and that's what he's got to get out of. Now he did that and you see what he can do. The guy is, the guy can be a tremendous football player. And I love him. He's got to get -- we just got to get him going.

Q. Your thoughts on Dalvin?
JIMBO FISHER: Outstanding. He played well. He had some big runs.

Q. Is that about as good a game as you seen him play?
JIMBO FISHER: No, I seen him play a lot of good ones. I'm not trying to be -- I mean, really. That's just Dalvin. And he got space and he out ran angles and played really well. It was a shame, because that was another big run, that was a 60 yard run they took back. They had the momentum going right there, too.

Q. When did you think of your defensive line play, they got after Watson all night.
JIMBO FISHER: They did. Again, I'll wait and see it, but they had their moments. They really stopped them and played well and played physical. And then, of course, Clemson come back and made some plays, that's what good teams do. Our guys played hard. They played physical, they played hard. Again, we just got to learn to play those two or three critical plays a little better.

Q. Talk about Dalvin's runs --
JIMBO FISHER: I ain't worried about that. I'll finish up here before I go down there.

Q. Dalvin's runs, the two runs, was there just a play calling something that opened up?
JIMBO FISHER: No, we saw it, they rotated secondary and we had checks with it and we got in the right plays and we -- and then we got hats on a hat. Got a hat on a hat with a ball carrier and they had to support the other way and we got checks into the calls where we got them to the right guys. And things we saw at halftime we thought we could get, and then our quarterbacks did a nice job of getting in there. We had them called and we left them and we checked into them.

Q. The long run by Freddie --
JIMBO FISHER: Check out too. They had the run the other way and they over loaded back to Dalvin the other side and we had a nice check and got it the other way. That was really big play by Sean to come in the game for one play and go in there and make that check, that was very critical. I mean, a really big-time play. That's is something that went unnoticed. I don't want it to go unnoticed, that was really big to come off the bench like that and make a check like that your first play in was real critical.

Q. You mentioned getting them to play better on critical situations. How do you do that? Experience --
JIMBO FISHER: Experience and get them to do it. Just put them in it. Relax and do it.

Q. Was there a common theme to the false starts as to --
JIMBO FISHER: They jumped. I don't know why they jumped then. Need to get them fixed. It cost us big time.

Q. A game like this, some of the things you seen before, whether it's poor pass protection, false starts, things like that, at what point --
JIMBO FISHER: Well, some things on that side there, the guys, them guys are pretty good on that side, too now. They were giving up about 280 yards a game. They can rush and do some things. They're stemming and moving and doing some things in there on the pass rush and stuff. Them guys are, they're some pretty good players in there. Finish your question, I'm sorry.

Q. I was going to ask --
JIMBO FISHER: The false starts are inexcusable. Should never happen. Period. End of the conversation.

Q. Between those and then of course just the pass protection and other things you've seen throughout the year, how do you guys go about just further evaluating how to eliminate those, one part for you is, hey, the team that you're playing, they're just good, that's going to play --
JIMBO FISHER: No, you got to fundamentally go back and do it. Quit doing it. Don't do it in practice. We have noise, we've done concentration, do everything. Can't get anxious, can't do it. Or if you keep doing it, replace them.

Q. Do you see it in practice?

Q. What's the difference then in the game?
JIMBO FISHER: If I knew I would fix it. No, you don't. They're anxious, jump. Sometimes guys say stuff in games, people say stuff, we say stuff in practice. We do that. We put noise on, we do everything on them.

Q. Is it surprising to you that this line was here last year?
JIMBO FISHER: Yup. Very. But it's got to do it better.

Q. Is it more, do you think it's more of a mental thing like across the line they know that the opponent might be a little bit quicker than them?
JIMBO FISHER: I don't think it's that, because they play against guys every day. They play against Sweat and Nnadi and all those guys every day, you block and go. And I don't think it comes from a bad play, it's guys wanting to get a jump, wanting to get the block, wanting to get a step, thinking that guy -- you just got to relax -- at the end of the day it's relax, poise, and experience usually does it. And I thought we had gotten out of it, but went back to it.

Q. This is Florida State, so there are no moral victories, but what do you take from this moving forward?
JIMBO FISHER: We played hard. Like I told them down in the locker room. We played hard, I love you, we played great, your heart, your soul, but, again, we have to find ways to do some little things better, a couple little things. We got to practice that way, you got to make it a priority, and you got to go make your mind up that you're going to go do it. Again, I love our players, they're good enough players. We got to go do it. We got to get them to play well at those critical times. And, like I say, it hurts them. They were hurt, big time, because they put their heart and soul out there. And we'll go back and look and there's a lot of little things in that film that they're going to kick themselves for, but that's the way it is when you play big games. And as a coach we have to make sure we're doing the right things and coaching them, too.

Q. How do you go from deflating to encouraging for the rest of the stretch?
JIMBO FISHER: Point blank. It is. It better be or, I told them, if you go out there deflated on Monday, don't come out here, I'm going to run you off. You better come ready to win four great games down the stretch. That's how you do it, you tell them, and then make them do it.

Q. Have you ever been flagged for arguing a call?
JIMBO FISHER: No. I wasn't flagged. No, it wasn't on me, they called somebody else on our sideline. Said he said something to him. And he didn't, the guy was saying something to himself. And didn't say it to him. And to make that call at that time? That's ridiculous. After you knew you just blew a call. I hope everybody told him his name on TV so he get his name out there. Everybody was there to see him. They can take it any way they want it. Somebody needs to get something done.

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