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FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY FOOTBALL MEDIA CONFERENCE
November 7, 2016
COACH FISHER: Hello, everyone.
Great for our team to come through in the situations they came through the other night offensively, with a huge drive defensively with huge stop at the end of the game. Again, very difficult place to play. Always play us very well up there, which someone alerted em to the other day, which I had no idea, it's the first time in 20 years they had won back-to-back trips in Raleigh, and again, it's pretty amazing, think back to the 90s.
But again, they did a good job. NC State had a good football team. Played very well. Proud of the way our kids competed in the game. Kept getting better. Kept persevering, whatever it was, the challenges they raised up to, and great for them to finish the job and go get a big stop on defense and keep taking steps toward where we want to go, keep working to get better and better. And that was a very hard-fought game. Very proud of them there.
But we got to pass it. Got to turn the page very quickly. Boston College, Friday night game, one day short. Right now I feel like right now I'm a day behind and working and trying to get everything in and making sure you get enough rest and still get enough practice time and able to execute on what you've got on a shortened week.
Had to do this before, so it's just things that we have to look at and see, and get ready to rock and roll on. And again Boston College, extremely good defensive football team. 15th in the country. Eighth in rushing defense. Big, strong, physical guys. Play the box real well. Play a lot of man, big, long, lanky secondary people. Tackle very well in space. Hit you very well.
Offensive, pound the football, multiple formations, multiple, and balanced they are throwing the football much better now as the years went on. Quarterback is really beginning to grasp what they are doing. Throwing the ball down the field, backs are running well, and always have the tight end throw backs and things like that. They make you really play.
Special teams are extremely sound on defense -- I mean, on special teams, play well, good runners, punt returner is very quick, agile. Gets the ball north, south very quickly and do a really good job in that regard.
We're going to have to turned real quick. Get back on tour and move things up preparation-wise a day and be ready to rock and roll, so need to go very quickly. Questions.
Q. Boston College, like a lot of teams, will have a good game and the next week, not so good. When you're watching film -- what is it that makes it hard?
COACH FISHER: Well, it's not that. Just sometimes guys out there continue to hit some big plays on them and played some, and last week of course the quarterback was so dynamic, again, trying to get him on the ground in what they did and then they threw the ball really well, too.
But again, you know what you're going to get. They are going to play you tough and physical. Every week, though, even when they have been defeated, they are still -- their up front people play great and they play tremendous leverage. Sit edges on the defense, play inside their hands real well. Technique very physical.
Some guys just got space plays and being able to get ahead of them and then force them on offense to try to do some things they are not as used to doing and then the game multiplies a little bit on them but that's been key. But they are again very sound team and play very solid. Steve does a good job with them.
Q. With this game, let -- inaudible?
COACH FISHER: During the bye week? Oh, yeah, we look to some things at our future opponents and things that we had to go to get there. But you still couldn't put a game plan in, because you still have games going on and you still have the other games coming on. But we looked at things during that week to try to give us a leg up.
COACH FISHER: Solidly. Thought he had a solid game. A couple mistakes on some things but played very solid. It was good to get him back in there and did a nice job. He played a very solid football game.
Q. Pass protection --
COACH FISHER: For the most part, yeah. We had a couple that we gave up and a couple, we had missed communications on. We didn't get passed all the way down the line on one of them, one of the sacks that we got. And there was -- for the most part, I think that was the only one, as far as the miscommunication goes.
And then we got beat once or twice. But there again, they are a good defensive front and they can rush the passer. But for the most part we got the ball in and out -- when we had to throw it. Got it in and out of our hands, made good reads, got open quickly, and for the most part got in the middle of guys and blocked very well, much better, much better.
Q. Followed by SEC and Friday BC, is this as tough a --
COACH FISHER: It is. You go on the road and they are quality opponents. We had as good a schedule as anybody in the country this year but that's the strength of this league. I think this league is, again, a very good league.
And you come back on a shortened week; sometimes you come back on a Thursday and now we're coming back on one day. But BC has the game deal now. They have to travel. They had an early game but it's give and take, it's tough.
This league, like I say, people get to know you. People know how to play you. Matchups within the league; teams get used to playing each other, how they do things. It's going to be a tough road, there's no doubt.
And then turn around and go up to Syracuse. We have to go all the way up to Syracuse and come back and play a good Florida team. It's going to be very challenging.
Q. Marshall's (ph) status?
COACH FISHER: Still evaluating him right now. Hopefully things will get cleared up but you never know. We thought it would be last week. But he's feeling much better. Still doing really well. Have to make a judgment on how they come out with exams and they check them every day or two days.
Q. When you've got so many injuries in the secondary --
COACH FISHER: Oh, no doubt. You're talking about three, you're talking about losing Nate Andrews, Trey Marshall and Derwin James, you talk about those three guys. I mean, but that's why I was very proud of the guys. I saw Ermon Lane doing what he's doing, A.J. Westbrook had some nice plays, and Calvin Brewton, those guys just keep getting better and better, even Kyle in there at nickel doing those things. Very proud of those guys, and they are stepping up and competing their tails off.
Q. The fourth game, any closer --
COACH FISHER: It's all on the doctor's own timetable. There's no -- it's what they feel. They were upset that he was doing, it, yeah, because he feels really good.
But again, their timetable, because if it tweaks or turns, you know what I'm saying, they were getting on him that they didn't want him to do it, you know what I mean. But he feels really good. Like I say, there's no -- it's not like you can test it. Like you can do a knee sometimes. Like even when you ACL, you can actually judge those better than you can, because you can test on the Cybex machines, strength, change in directions, run, you know what I mean.
There's no gauges for cartilage on that. It's just the amount of time on it to heal and make sure is sews up. That's the issue. He's dying to go. But the doctor is trying to be, the protocols and how they do things.
Q. In the regular season, though, has there been any thought to just shutting him down?
COACH FISHER: Hasn't been any thought of anything. He is shut down. I mean, he ain't doing anything. He's rehabbing, is what he's doing. He is shut down. He's not doing anything at all.
So have to judge and see when he's healthy to play and then we'll judge. We're not even thinking about it because it hasn't even been brought up. It's not like it's a major ligament. It's just a -- it's just a piece of cartilage that they are trying to make sure sews and he keeps in there.
Q. Anything on Bobo?
COACH FISHER: Yeah, Bobo had surgery this morning. He'll be -- he'll be out. He had surgery, seemed to go very well and he's already on his way back home.
Q. How tough, for obviously a senior?
COACH FISHER: Oh, no doubt. Like I say, how precious those things are. Sometimes I don't want to do this, I don't want to do that, and all of a sudden it's taken away, and you realize how valuable it is to you. I'm not saying he did. I'm saying it's a shame that a guy the end of a senior year was having a really good senior year to have that happen.
Q. Playing on Friday night, interfering with high school games, thoughts on playing --
COACH FISHER: Big Ten is not -- TV is making these things. It's the networks. That's who has your contracts and those things like that. And you agree with them because the financial things that goes with your conference. They are going to saturate the field with games and that's just the way it is. You're going to see games on all nights of the week, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, just like the NFL. It's just the way of our world now.
I hate it just because of the high school parts of it and the different short weeks. It's just -- and no coach, I don't think any coach likes it, really. But that's just what we're in and that's the world we're in. So everybody's got the same boat to deal with.
Q. Can recruits come on Friday night.
COACH FISHER: They can. They can come in. If they miss school or do it, come in, but it makes it difficult. They have to miss school and whatever else.
And with this being Veteran's Day, a lot of people don't have school on Veteran's Day, I believe. I know Tray doesn't. Public school's out? Yeah. So on that regard, being Veteran's Day. But it makes it tough, it definitely does. It makes it much tougher, and plus most of them will be playing.
Q. Going on the road for a Thursday night game?
COACH FISHER: Probably. Yeah, most likely. You got a Thursday or a Friday, either way, which I don't -- I ain't crazy about those, either.
Q. Did Bobo's situation get worse?
COACH FISHER: He tried to rehab it. It was there and they just said, see if you can rehab it, and see if the swelling will go out. It's because his senior year, see if he could play, and when he realized he couldn't, had surgery.
Q. How did he take it?
COACH FISHER: He took it -- he knew -- he knew it. I mean, it was the alternative because he knew the swelling and everything wasn't coming up. It's not really news. I mean, you know it. You know it. I mean, and of course he's sad. I mean, there's no doubt.
Q. You talked a lot about the next man up mentality. Is that exactly --
COACH FISHER: Oh, yeah, Dooney (ph) and Alden (ph) and all those guys are all taking advantage of opportunities and getting forced in there, and they have got to learn on the run and doing what they are doing. Very proud of them and they are making plays. Love them; I have the whole time. I think they have unlimited potential, and just got to keep getting consistent in what we're doing.
Q. When you watch the film, were there more mistakes --
COACH FISHER: Was there what? No, he made some. He made some. Every player makes some. They have got a critical situation, certain situations, that when you're in tight games, that even get magnified more, you know what I'm saying.
But at the same time, they are making those plays to keep you in those games, too, and doing those things down there. That's part of coaching. And one of the fine lines of coaching all the time is how much do you give a guy, and then you depend on a guy in key situations.
Because he just sits there, and I've done it, too. As a coach, why don't they put that guy in the game and play, he's better. But all of a sudden, the critical situation, he bites you, you know what I'm saying. But that's what it is and that's coaching all the time. Trying to get him enough, trying to put him in the right situations.
But you never know till you do it. You've got to let him go. Like I say, one day the bird's got to fly out of the nest, and they are doing that and they are doing very well. Very pleased with the progress they are making. I mean, going out and making the plays and things that they have been doing.
COACH FISHER: Discipline. I mean, just keep staying on guys and coaching the heck out of them, just like we do in practice.
We have officials every day in practice and they give us a list of things we did wrong, if there's penalties, we evaluate our films. And whether you're holding your hands or foot placement or you jumped off-sides, you lined up -- we have a daily requisite every day. That's why we have officials at every practice to go through all those scenarios and just keep on guys about discipline and knowledge about what they are doing and confidence in what they are doing.
Q. What do you think separates him from maybe some other great backs?
COACH FISHER: I don't know. When you start saying who is better -- guys have records. But to say who is better, I think you're going down a slippery slope.
That's why I don't ever like to compare players, eras, when they played together. Everybody has been great in their own regard, but to have his name put out there with some of the guys that he's in company with right now, shows you how elite he really is.
I mean, whichever one you like the best of those guys, but he's definitely one of those guys, one of the elite guys that's ever played here. He's so dynamic. He's learned to catch. He catches the ball well now and he runs physical and big plays. He's been very special.
Q. In an interview last year, he said -- inaudible?
COACH FISHER: Those guys, all competition, go right back --
Q. -- their ability, to do it --
COACH FISHER: Their ability to do it but Eric (ph) also played four years. I mean, Dalvin was doing playing three and -- inaudible -- played a lot of ball and they ran a lot when he was a freshman, too. He carried it a lot. Dalvin didn't even play six games as a freshman.
Last year he was the focal point, he became the focal point at the end in what he did; the first year he wasn't. He had about a thousand for half a year. And we had Jameis threw the heck out of the ball.
So that dynamic. He's a very special player, and one of the unique guys, both of him and Warrick Dunn, you go back to Sammy Smith, all of them, I don't know who all is on that list, it's crazy. But to be associated with those names is quite an honor. They are all great in their own regard.
Q. Whenever his career ends with you all and you look back on it, what will you think of?
COACH FISHER: How dynamic he was, how explosive he was, how consistent he was. I mean, extremely consistent in how he played week-in, week-out. Very dynamic, very explosive, game changer and a tremendous competitor.
Q. What's the most impressive thing you've seen him do?
COACH FISHER: There's no one certain thing. To me the most impressive thing is how consistent he is doing it. I mean, how he does it over and over and over again. We all say, well, that's just Dalvin.
To me, that's a sign of greatness is when you start to take that greatness for granted and to me, that's the most impressive thing I've ever seen him do, how hard he works, but just how consistent he is at being dynamic, which is extremely, extremely hard, especially when everybody in the world is trying to stop you.
Q. Will it hurt your recruiting in any way that you have this one home game, where obviously you won't be able to bring as many high school kids here that are going to be playing somewhere.
COACH FISHER: I don't think so. I really don't. I don't think there will be anything -- because recruiting now is done -- years ago maybe it would have done it. But the way accessibility and the way people get to your games and get to your stadium and do things the way they do now in the world we're in now, I don't think it has as big of an effect, I really don't.
Q. When they had the announcement about going to Friday nights on a limited basis, Michigan already said they are not doing it and Penn State said they are not doing it at home. Maybe they are different, but do ACC coaches have the option to say no, no, we are not doing this?
COACH FISHER: I say stuff all the time but it don't seem to work. I mean, maybe they have some things that we don't, I don't know. I mean, I don't know how they could do that. I'm not aware of what their circumstances are. But they told us we'll play when they tell us to play.
Q. Do you have the option on short weeks --
COACH FISHER: As far as like --
Q. A Thursday night and then get a Saturday game before that, with the short week?
COACH FISHER: Oh, I would definitely be saying that. You know, if you do it, you should have an off-week somehow to get back in an off week before or whatever. But that's just the world we're in. That's TV. That's where we're at. And like I say, I don't know if sometimes always putting these games out here is so great, that many. Sometimes it keeps you hungry when you don't see as many.
I can remember, Monday Night Football is just like another game. When I was a kid, that was a dag-gone spectacle. Your whole week was built off Monday Night Football. It was ironic, you only got to see the one game. Think about Saturday. Remember Saturdays? When you had the one game, the one game. You might catch a second late one or something like that, but you listen to it on the radio and you have the one game on TV that you watched. I remember back in the day; I know it seems so foreign to people today, but that was pretty special.
Like remember baseball. Remember the Saturday afternoon game in baseball. To me, I guess I'm kind of historic like that. I kind of like that. It was pretty neat.
Q. Inaudible -- make plays, would you like to have gotten more?
COACH FISHER: He's doing fine. He know what is we're doing. He's growing and doing exactly what he needs to do.
Q. Are you surprised?
COACH FISHER: Yeah, he can do some things -- (indiscernible) -- he made a really good catch. It was coming down on the right dag-gone end line. He's a talented guy. He's going to keep developing practicing and playing well for us.
Q. You have the longest streak of not losing back-to-back. Is there a secret to that?
COACH FISHER: I think you have to learn to put it away. I mean, do it, put it away and then emphasize it.
But I think also, I think you've got to be careful building games up too big. Because I think that's -- you know, if you build a game up so big, it's your Super Bowl, and all of the sudden it's the middle of the year and something happens, you lose it and you have got five games left to play, there's a lot to play for. Then all of a sudden you go on a two-game skid, I mean, in that regard, I think there's a fine line in there.
I never believed -- I understand, all games, all games are big, because they count a win and a loss. They don't think all games are big, lose one; that's what I always say, and they become big games.
But also the emphasis of putting so much emphasis on a big game where you can't play, it's like the season or bust, I've never believed in that, because you have a whole season. That's one of the things.
Now they are all important. Some games because more important because of standings and things like that, I understand that. But you have to be able to get emotionally high and ready to play and you have to keep things in perspective in that regard. I've never tried to blow certain games up to be just do-or-die.
COACH FISHER: Very efficient in the red zone. Third down, we could have picked up a couple more third downs, which we've dropped off just a hair the last week or so which we were really, really, really good. We're still up there tops, in some of the middle part, top of the league, but we were right at the top of the league and keep getting at bats there.
Had a couple drops there were critical that hurt us in the game. But, you know, we're blocking much better, running the football, moving the ball well and just finishing those drives. We've just got to get them the drops in that last game. Got us a couple times and hopefully just get started. Finishing up the drive early, two of the first three drives we had drops.
Q. The penalty, what do you tell Brian Burns --
COACH FISHER: Well, I tell him, first of all, one thing I like, he tried to avoid the contact. Now, again there may be contact and if that's part of the rule. I have to get an interpretation. I don't know what else to tell the guy but the teaching point there was that you did see a guy slide and you tried to avoid it and not be catastrophic.
Now did you make contact, maybe you did, but you know, after doing that, and in that regard, I can't tell him a lot of things, but the thing I was proud of him was he didn't try to finish the hit. He was blatantly trying to avoid the shot and to protect the guy.
Now, whether that's the call that's right, I mean, I'm sure, I guess it is. They made it. We'll have to wait and see what we want to do. I'm kind of at arms because I don't really know what to say or how to do that, you know what I'm saying. Sometimes that happens in ball. That's a situation that happens. We have to look at it and see.
Q. In the last drive --
COACH FISHER: When? Because eight guys in the box and playing one-on-one.
Q. That's my question --
COACH FISHER: Eight guys in the box, played us one-on-one. We had -- we dropped the ball for a 15-yard gain. We were pass blocking very well. We threw a 37, the 40. That was the things that did. We give it though them a lot in the end of the game. We did in the Clemson game. We did in the North Carolina game, we went down and scored and did some things. I mean, whatever they dictate.
Q. So if he doesn't have the ball and when he is not getting the ball --
COACH FISHER: And also time constraints. All of a sudden, you get behind the chains right there and let them pass rush and they were playing the run very well. You know, you do it and we topped a couple. We tried one in the Clemson game. Remember we tried a two-minute drive at their midfield, and we tried to pop it and they cross -- we throw a bubble in that play, walk down the sideline.
But you know, you still, you mix it in when you think you can, and also time constraints; and also if you throw a couple passes, you get a chance to get the ball back, if you run the ball, you eat up another minute, minute and a half with three minutes ago, and you only have one or two maybe time-outs left, you might not have another chance to get it back, and we liked the matchups we had throwing the football. We got hot throwing the football.
Q. The senior Day festivities, pretty momentum guys.
COACH FISHER: Really are. I mean, 15 overall seniors, nine scholarship seniors in what we got. So there's some guys, they are winding down and it's coming there and what they do, I think the fifth year seniors I think are 55-9 and the fourth year guys are like 43-7 or 6, maybe 6. Yeah three this year will be six. 43-6. Both of them averaged over 11 wins a year. Should be able to average 11 wins or more a year for their career. A couple have two or three ACC -- some three ACC titles, a national title, been some really good, productive guys that have played a lot of great football here at Florida State. Happy days and sad days.
Q. You now have 35 Bowl appearances what does that say about the consistency?
COACH FISHER: Don't ever criticize any winning you have. All of a sudden it can be gone, it can go away, it can happen extremely quickly. You appreciate all those. I always do. You get frustrated, we didn't play as well, didn't play as well, the culture of learning how to win and expecting to win and pulling games out and doing that, I mean, as good as it's ever been done in college football.
You just tie the record, all the time. And to have the consistency Coach Bowden had; the consistency we've been able to have. There were some streaks, I remember sitting here against Maryland in 2009, and we didn't think we were going to go. And Greg Reid on a punt, they kick it to the ten, reaches out-of-bounds, stand on the end line, reaches over, grabs it, on the ten-yard line, when he ain't supposed to catch it and runs it all the way back to the 50-yard line. Then EJ (ph) leads us down on a two-minute drive and we beat Maryland to get our Bowl-eligible win, because I think we lost to Florida next week, and or I think was National Championship -- might have been the National Championship, I can't remember what all that was.
But how close that was to coming away. And 35 years, no matter what, going to Bowl games, winning football games, the history, the tradition of the culture, we are doing it as anybody in college football and in college football history. The consistency; it's the legacy of what Coach Bowden left and what he did and hopefully what we are continuing on and build on that legacy and take it on up.
Q. 2006, was there discussion --
COACH FISHER: I think it's something we need to go back and look at for wins, because they are giving, all of these academic things going on with all these other schools, they are getting wins and all that stuff back, Coach Bowden had nothing. There was one tutor (ph) no one knew about and that's kind of, I think it should be looked at, I really do, for his sake and the school's sake.
COACH FISHER: You have no idea. In recruiting, you don't want to go there, they have got good players; you want to play for a while, you do this, do you that. And then even from within, you don't get complacent, but, well, you expect to win.
Or like I tell our kids, each year, you commit and we expect to win here but you've got to go do it. Coaches, we've got to do it every year. You can't take nothing for granted. I mean, all those things.
And like this year, in some of our losses or wins this year, sitting there with a blocked field goal, you're sitting there with a 54-yard field goal we lose on. And you're sitting there, Clemson, went up to three minutes come back, how close they all are to sit here being 8-1 or being -- it's hard. Winning is hard, so many good teams, so many good games; the NC State game.
All these, you'd better appreciate, and how fine; even if you are having great success, you have no idea how on edge we are and how close we really know as coaches, how close it is to be going the other way. Even these teams right now sitting at 10-0, 11-0, 8-0, 9-0, how close some of them could be 6-2,5-3 and it's that way every year and will always be.
That's why the scratching (ph) and fighting the culture, 35 straight Bowl games and all that is -- man, you can never, ever, ever, ever take any of that for granted. And I think we complain because think about all the great years, winning championships and Alabama is on a roll right now that's unprecedented, you know what I'm saying.
But Coach Bowden coaching won as many games as anyone and two championships. Joe Paterno, coached as many years, all-time winning coach, won two championships. One guy's won three; not many, and people get it, it's championship or bust and it is, that's our goals, but dag-gum, to win and have ten wins and 11 wins. That's what I hope doesn't go away with the playoffs.
That's my one fear of the playoff system; that we are going playoff or bust and we don't appreciate winning Bowl games, we don't appreciate beating your rivals, we don't appreciate winning nine, ten, 11 games in the year, having great success; that I think the culture of this game, if you're going to change it; and I said, we've got to be careful.
I had this discussion with some national people that believe the same thing and they see how this train goes. And it's our society, and you've got to be very careful of not appreciating winning and consistency and doing those things, for the kids' sake, for your sake, for everybody's sake, or makes it so miserable you don't even want to do it as a fan.
Q. Do you think Alabama --
COACH FISHER: Right now it has. Yeah, right now. And think about this, Michigan State and LSU and didn't do it. I mean, had to go to Pro Bowl and came back -- and what I'm saying is you learn. Coach Bowden never won a National title until he was 63. He won them at 63 and 70. Paterno was very old.
Nick win his first one, and he never even went to Alabama until he was 55 or 56 years old, you know what I'm saying. Coaches in different times and the urgency; and he had the right plan and had the right thing, and he got guys giving him the right resources and mechanics and everything is hit right, and you hit those runs.
It's been amazing what they have been able to do but the consistency of other programs and things that go on, I mean, it's hard. Extremely hard. You're right, I didn't even think of those programs you named there. I guess, Notre Dame, Michigan State, Oregon -- all those -- I haven't kept up. Again I keep up but I don't keep up.
And Mark Dantonio is still a phenomenal football coach, Mark Helfrich, Brian Kelly, all those guys. They didn't lose their knowledge of what goes on. Just how hard it is to persevere and win.
Q. No other team has two players that lead the nation.
COACH FISHER: I think DeMarcus in sacks and McFadden in interceptions.
Q. So there's a bright spot there.
COACH FISHER: There's great bright spots. Bright spots in the game we played the other day, so many injuries, guys went out there and done it.
I mean, there's a ton of great things and guys playing their tails off every week and they have made some great individual performances at times, those two have.
Q. How have you seen Demarcus grow in the last month or so.
COACH FISHER: A lot, and it's understanding where his help is and what to do and how to play every play, not just on the play to get the interception. But every play, being more consistent in what he's trying to do.
Q. He's cutting down on those big plays.
COACH FISHER: He is. And he's a sophomore. He was a true sophomore a year ago this year trying to learn it. And like I say, sometimes you've got to go through those trials, especially at that position. I mean, that's a position you have to have a short memory, because you're out there on an island now. There are not a lot of people out there with you.
Q. How condensed will Tuesday through Thursday be?
COACH FISHER: What we do here, today will be a Monday. We won't go in pads because we got back so late, because being a night game, there's no way we'll go in pads today. We'll go in helmets and shells and do our running and throwing and get the assignments and do things, and have a little bit of third down mixed in with it.
Tomorrow will be a Tuesday with some third down and we'll work some red zone today. We still have got some red zone and situations we do, and we'll mix two tomorrow and combine and then Wednesday will be like a normal Thursday practice.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports