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October 4, 2017

Jimbo Fisher

Greensboro, North Carolina

JIMBO FISHER: Very proud of our team the way we competed extremely hard, got our first win of the season and road win up at Wake Forest. Wake Forest has done a great job, extremely competitive game, overcame some adversities in the game, battled back from being in the depths on the road, made big plays at the end in three phases of the game, kicking game, defense, offense to do it. Very proud of ready of those guys, now we move on and play a great UM team. UM has one heck of a football team. Defense, front seven is tremendously good, athletic in the back end. Those young DBs and some older DBs do a great job mixing up coverages and their looks and have all exotic blitz looks, do a lot of things that way.

Offensively Mark Walton is as good a back as there is, plays tremendous. The receiver, 82, is great, 8, all those guys are tremendous players. The quarterback is doing a heck of a job. Their offensive line, the tight end is very talented, kickers. They've got a great team, so we have to have a great week of preparation, and looking forward to playing the game, and get ready to go.


Q. Could you just talk a little bit the last couple years of the impact that Dalvin Cook has had on this game specifically, and can you even recall a non-quarterback having the kind of impact on a rivalry the way Dalvin Cook has had?
JIMBO FISHER: I haven't thought about it, but now that you say it off the top of my head, no. I mean, Dalvin has had significant roles in this game and every year he played in it, he made big plays. Played his tail off. I mean, he was truly one of the greatest players in Florida State history, that's for sure, and unfortunately he had that bad injury but he was doing it in the NFL, too, so he was a great player. But he was a significant player in this rivalry, and it will always go down as you always want to play well against your rivals, and he did that.

But to answer your question, no. Did I think about it, I don't know if anybody ever has. If it's a non-quarterback, you're probably right. I'm sure there have been somewhere, I'm missing it, but just off the top of my head, I can't think of any.

Q. How much is the seven-game winning streak that you have over Miami mentioned, and do you feel that could give you guys a mental edge knowing that the streak has gone on for quite a while?
JIMBO FISHER: Well, I mean, you don't talk about that because it has -- you talk about past games and experiences we've had with them and how hard-fought all those games were and the things that we've had, but at the same time you've got to go out and play this game here. Those things -- we feel in this league, we understand the importance of this rivalry and how hard you've got to play, so it's -- I wish it could help. I wish we could carry all that over, but sometimes that's a lot harder to do. We're going to have to go play. But we respect them, and we're going to play hard.

Q. It seems like through the first couple of games that James has had a really good rapport with Auden Tate and has been able to connect pretty consistently with the other receivers less so. How much of that is just a matter of good rapport during the week, and how much of it is on the other receivers to kind of be able to get some more space and get open for James?
JIMBO FISHER: Well, I think the calls and the things that went on just happened to be there for Auden in those situations. I mean, in the first game, George had some tremendous plays. He had 80, 90 yards catching, and the backs caught the ball out of the backfield well, and like I say, he distributed the ball to the backs, the tight ends, different things there.

But Auden has -- and the way the reads went in the NC State game, and luckily it did on the last play of that game, it did on the Wake Forest game. But he's hit the other guys, it's just that not as much, but Auden -- actually Auden has played our best. He had our best camp of anybody, so he definitely is our No. 1 guy, so I think that's part of it, too. But he hits the other guys at times, and I think it's going to be both. I think as they get used to each other and get used to playing and how we call the game and the more that James can expand and do, I think all those things will factor in.

Q. Jalen Wilkerson has come off the bench the last couple weeks and seems like he has been productive. What's he doing well and bringing to the table for you guys?
JIMBO FISHER: Well, he's a very athletic guy, big, strong, physical guy, and his assignments and things he's doing has just done a great job developing and getting better. Like I say, you want to keep developing those guys, give them more snaps, give them reps throughout the year, and his size and strength allows us to do some things even though he's a 280-pound guy.

Q. And then sticking on the defensive line, Arthur Williams we saw a little bit of on Saturday. What's he done to kind of earn that playing time? How do you think he played on Saturday?
JIMBO FISHER: He played solid, made some really nice plays. Again, the same thing, and Marvin Wilson's role we even expanded more. He played more. All those guys are getting used to what they're doing. You feel comfortable putting them in the game, and they're playing much more consistent in practice and really playing faster because they're totally understanding what to do. It's great to see those guys doing it for sure.

Q. As you went from 21 points against NC State to 26 in the win last week, what's kind of the point of emphasis this week as you continue to kind of grow the offense?
JIMBO FISHER: Well, I think everything. Again, we have to eliminate the negative plays. Even if you have zero gains or one-yard gains, you can't have negative plays, which set us really behind the 8-ball in some situations. Got to clean up a penalty or two. We had two touchdowns called off the board in at that game that we've got to do a better job of, and then which will allow us to be more consistent in 3rd down, and again, keep working on trying to score touchdowns in the red zone and what we do and establish things.

Q. You mentioned Mark Walton earlier. What's your assessment of your run defense as you go into this test?
JIMBO FISHER: Well, we're going to be challenged, that's for sure. Mark Walton, I remember he was at our camp. We all recruited him. He's a heck of a player. He's competitive, he's strong, he's physical, he's tough, he can catch the ball. Last week he did as much damage out of the backfield catching the ball, not only just running. He is a complete player, and our defense is going to be challenged, so we're working hard on doing those things. But then you've got to be careful because they give up the tight end, the two receivers and the quarter -- they're a complete team. Mark knows how to call the game. We've got a challenge.

Q. How do you feel like the targeting rule is applied in college football today?
JIMBO FISHER: In what regard? Listen, targeting is a great thing that you have to get cleaned up. I mean, we had one last week that was a great overturn where we used the shoulder, and we try to teach them to do it right. We had an unfortunate one with Jacob Pugh where obviously he's swinging at the ball, and I didn't know that -- I didn't see that as targeting or anything of that nature, but they called that, that's fine, it is what it is. But I mean, I just think we've got to continue to make sure it's called the right way, and hopefully the reviews will clean all that up and the things that are going, which I think they have, and we've got to keep this game as safe as we possibly can, that's for sure, and I think that rule will grow into other roles. I think it eventually will. Like you hear people talk about how offensive players drop their heads and things. In time I think they'll have to keep looking at those things, but it's hard to -- football is a physical game. I'm not saying -- those things are very, very hard to call and do with officials. I think so far it's been a pretty decent deal. The Pugh one, they said it is, it is. I didn't know that, and that's a shame that that is, but it is what it is.

Q. Would you like to see a rule change, or what do you think about a rule change in which you save ejections for particular egregious hits?
JIMBO FISHER: I don't disagree with that. I think there is a point to that. That makes sense. I hadn't thought about -- I sit there and think about it, I don't think about -- I agree. I think some un-truly-necessary physical plays in the game. I think just because we target those guys but sometimes how -- I say this because the quarterbacks and things like that, when you're driven into the ground and things like that, you're just as defenseless as anybody else that's getting hurt or other people that are trying to be intent to hurt people. I think there is a rule for that, not just on quarterbacks, I'm talking anywhere where you would do something totally nasty that way. That would be a thought. I'd have to think through it and really, before I give an opinion, think the good and bad of everything, but that's a good point. Like you say, the one we had with Pugh I don't think was an intent to really hurt or maim, and I think that's a different kind. I agree with you if you're thinking in that regard, now that I think about it.

Q. I'm wondering your thoughts on the University of Miami quarterback, Malik Rosier, especially considering this is his first year starting?
JIMBO FISHER: I think he's done a great job, kept great composure, very accurate, athletic, gets the ball out of his hand, like he throw he made for the post route, the first one against Duke. I mean, that ball just barely got two inches out of his hands, he goes and stands in the pocket and run boots, nakeds quarterback runs. I mean, I thought he's done a tremendous job and playing very well.

Q. You had mentioned No. 8, Braxton Berrios, he's a senior --
JIMBO FISHER: Yeah, I don't want to mispronounce their names. Let me tell you what; Berrios is a heck of a football players. You talk about slides and catches the ball, can change direction, very instinctive, great punt returner, great ball skills. Just a really, really good overall football player in my opinion.

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