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September 13, 2017

Jimbo Fisher

Greensboro, North Carolina

JIMBO FISHER: We were glad to get back to practice yesterday. We had not done anything since last Thursday going through Hurricane Irma, and Tallahassee for the most part got a lot of power outages and things like that. But all our kids were safe and everyone's family was safe, and that was the most important thing.

It's good to get back to practice and get back on the field yesterday. It's good for the kids. We're out of school all week, so they'll have some time to get away and study film, and get back to the normality of the things and get back on the field and take the everyday grind of everything going on the news away and get ready for a game.

Unfortunately, we don't get to play this week. We'd love to play, but we understand that's where we are as a state, and we have to adhere to that there and help everyone in the state as much as we can. But we're looking forward to getting back, had a good practice yesterday and looking forward to another one today.

Q. I know at LSU you had to deal with Hurricanes with Katrina and then getting back to play. Is there any experience you can use from that to this experience or how unique is it?
JIMBO FISHER: Oh, it is, because not many people get to go through two of them like that. We had a game postponed there. And then the players were going to stay at home, then they moved it away and played out at Arizona State and had a heck of a game. Then turned around two weeks later or a week later and had another hurricane with Rita. We had two of them. We had to move the Tennessee game which was very troubling.

It was a lot more damaging there. We had 20, 30 players lose everything they had. Their families were living with them in the dorm. It was much more than that. As far as the impact of distractions and things like that, it was very similar. And I explained how we handled those things and hoped that we'll be able to get through it.

Q. With practice this week, do you handle it like you would have for a bye week?
JIMBO FISHER: No, we got a little more because we're off five days. We'll practice Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and a little bit on Friday and give them off on Saturdays. We'll have a good Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. We'll cut it back a little bit and won't have too many hard days in a road. But we're back in the game mode. That is the thing you have to get back into and playing fast. But we do good on good, and we'll do that each day to try to keep the game speed.

Q. I know there isn't school this week. Are you guys able to practice on campus?
JIMBO FISHER: Yes, we are. Everything's open here. We have power and everything's good, and we're able to practice right here on campus.

Q. It's going to be a long layoff obviously between games. How do you handle that especially with a new quarterback who is going to be starting and having such a long time in between being game ready so to speak?
JIMBO FISHER: Well, the big thing is trying to teach him what we do. Your regular reads on run plays, pass plays, blitzes, checks, try to get more reps of that as possible. And we try to keep, like I say, we do good on good. We always do that even on game week. It's a different parts of practice to keep the game speed. So we'll do that and try to keep him as game ready as we possibly can.

Q. I know you said earlier you want to get back to routine normalcy? What are the things you can do to get back to a sense of normalcy with the time off? What do you do to get a routine back after this delay?
JIMBO FISHER: Having the exact same practice schedules and meeting times and everything else. You can't with school because they don't have school. But some of the online guys can keep all that stuff going on there and try to make sure they're all caught up on their academics and keep normalcy during the day, and having your regular practice schedule in the evenings and afternoons -- not evenings, but afternoons.

Q. I know you said you wanted to play a game this week, and the reasons for the delay aren't great, but is there anything beneficial from having this extra time for the offense with breaking in a new quarterback? Is that a positive in any way?
JIMBO FISHER: Yeah, it is, as far as you get more practice time like camp. You can treat it like camp and do a lot of the same drills and isolate things that way. So as far as that goes, it definitely is.

Q. You've obviously had experience against Lamar Jackson and against the Clemson defensive front. If you could just size up that match-up? That's a big one, obviously, this weekend.
JIMBO FISHER: Well, it is. You're deep in the front could set the tone for the game. No matter how great your quarterback is, if they can't protect him, and the escapability and creativity that Lamar has creates another set of problems too. Because you want to lay your ears back and go sack him, but at the same time you get out of a rush lane and he can create so many problems down the field whether he's running, throwing in that regards. It's going to be a chess match. We're going to have to bring different blitzes. I'm sure Bobby will have different protections. You've got two great coaches on both sides of the ball that are going at each other and two great teams.

So it will definitely be a match-up. Like I said, there are going to be some guys around Lamar to help you make plays. But at the same time, they'll have to take those limits away and try to contain. At the same time Clemson's going to have to try to contain them in the pocket. It's going to be a heck of a thing to watch. You have two great teams on both sides and just great teams in general. It will be a great match-up.

Q. You've had some success with red-shirt freshmen quarterbacks before and you're going to be starting a freshman quarterback going forward. What is the key to putting one of these less experienced quarterbacks in a position to succeed? How do you go about planning for that versus having a returning starter?
JIMBO FISHER: Well, I think the other thing is making sure the guys around him do a great job. They have to do their job. The offensive line, the receivers, the backs have to be where they're supposed to be so he can process the information and do the right thing. And be where he doesn't have to -- as I say in the quarterback, a lot of your issues come from when somebody else has a mess-up and didn't let their problem become your problem. You don't try to fix it -- you're trying to fix it and create a problem for yourself. They have to do their job around him and which is going to allow him to function. He's going to have enough instincts and things to play.

He has knowledge that I think is very good. It's just a matter of those guys around him playing well. That's not putting him in bad positions or field positions or things like that. But it's going to happen, having the plan and getting it to him ahead of time that he knows what he's got to do and when he's got to do it.

Q. I'm just wondering how, since you've been through stuff like this before, how tough do you envision this being for the Hurricanes for Miami. They're not allowed to go on their campus at all.

Q. Yeah, it was the first time in history it was evacuated. They're still not back, but they can't practice there so they haven't practiced at all. How tough do you think that would be for a program?
JIMBO FISHER: Well, there's two things that happen with that in my opinion. One, the actual not practicing and playing, definitely because it's been such a long period of time being off and getting back in the groove, and obviously getting your mind and body back in shape of taking hits and not taking hits and the everyday grind of that thing and the normalcy of it. But two, sometimes it can bind you and pull you together. Like it did that year at LSU with the two Hurricanes. I thought it brought the team very much tighter together.

They understand that we have to face a lot of adversity, and sometimes that's also really good. Listen, you have a great coach in Mark Richt and a guy that's been through a lot. I'm sure he'll understand and he'll have a great plan for that. But as a team sometimes they can rally them together. At the same time, the physical parts of it of not being able to do it becomes tough and challenging. There is no doubt. Like I say, I hate that for him and I hate that for the people of Florida that we had to go through that.

But it's going to be challenges, but sometimes they can pull you together. I think the first experience as a team will really show. Obviously they have that with Mark and they'll do a great job.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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