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October 18, 2017

Jimbo Fisher

Greensboro, North Carolina

JIMBO FISHER: Proud of our team. Come off a very hard-fought victory on the road against a very good Duke team. Played very well. Thought we did some good things on the offense in the game.

Got to finish a little better in some scenarios but still very consistent how we moved balls. Made plays when we had to. Defense had some really nice key stops in the game. Did a great job in some transition defense.

Had a great week of practice, building off of that. Guys have gotten much better. Kicking game was very, very good in the game. Looking forward to coming in and playing this week and getting back home to play Louisville. He's got an excellent team. Lamar, of course, we all know who he is but there's a lot more to Louisville than Lamar.

They are very good on defense as far as playmakers. They can rush the passer, Hearns, and 91, can both bring it off the edges. Linebackers are athletic and they are always athletic in the secondary, and Lamar is dynamic in the offense. They can throw it, run it; Bobby does a heck of a job and they have a very good team.

We are going to have to be very sound in all three phases and to continue to grow. Let some of our young players -- running game -- West keeps emerging, Cam keeps running the ball better. James is getting better and getting Noonie back in the mix was very good. And just continue to grow on offense and get better and keep playing well. Looking forward to a great game this weekend.

Q. First question I had for you was regarding the pistol formation, something you've used before and used it a lot this past week. What are the benefits to using it and how does it work with what you have personnel-wise on your offense right now?
JIMBO FISHER: Really it just -- I-Formation is no different than gun formation when you're in split backs except now what you're doing is the combine the I with the gun. You're cheating the back one way or the other giving any loaded sides and you still get I runs and still got the ability to read and pull and have your zone reads and all the things that come off.

Sometimes they even give you better vision on what's going on. It's a combination of both that we've used for years and years, I guess, at different times. It was just a good mix-up for the game.

Q. Wanted your thoughts on Josh, how he performed his first start, what you liked?
JIMBO FISHER: He did really well. First of all, for a young guy making his first start penalty-free. He had a pressure or so here and there, but the situations we were in, did an excellent job of run block. WE ran it very well. Ran it to his side very well.

He ran away, got his cut blocks and he did his things he had to do in that game, and I thought played very well. Kept his composure. Made adjustments on the sideline. Was in the game. Understood what was going on. And I think Josh has a really good future ahead of them. We've just got to get him more experience, but he is doing a really good job.

Q. And finally, are Marshall and Jacob going to be practicing this week? Are they available?
JIMBO FISHER: We'll see on injuries. We'll update on Thursday.

Q. I wanted to ask you, after the Louisville/Wake Forest story broke last year, did you either in-season or during the off-season look at your security protocols and the way that you guys vet people that might be around the program or at practice and that kind of stuff? Was there a re-evaluation after that story for you guys specifically?
JIMBO FISHER: We always did because I didn't know it could be touched into or whatever -- we always try to keep that; that's always an issue of security, people get your film, get your video. It's happened in college football off and on at different times. For years and years that's happened, so you're always checking for security issues in that regard.

But yes, we did, to update. It's so new now, it passes me up. I just made sure our technical people were on top of it.

Q. How much in your experience, how common is something like that? Not necessarily something as overt as what happened with Wake Forest but just coaches talking among themselves, you pick up and hear different things. How common is that information disseminated, do you think?
JIMBO FISHER: As far as I know, it's not very common. I mean, I've heard of it before at different times, maybe just a few times in 30 years. I mean, not that I'm aware of, but I don't think it's very common at all.

Q. Urban Meyer said last week that he thought there should be a cap on how many road night games teams have to play each year because of challenges associated with travel and all that. Just wondering what was your perspective on that, and do you think there should be any changes made in regards to how many nights team have to play on the road each year?
JIMBO FISHER: Well, it definitely is tough, there's no doubt about that. Because you're getting home at four, five, six in the morning sometimes when they are late games.

But at the same time, it's primetime. It's network time. That's when it's going to happen and if you're a great team, like they have a tremendous team and we've always been in those games ourselves. Our program has been tremendous and Clemson, Alabama, everybody; but if you win and win big, those games are going to be there.

I do see the issue with it. I agree. I mean, they are very tough because of the coverage and practice, but I don't know how you can do that. But at the same time, I totally understand where it's coming from and that's the way you get change is to bring awareness to an issue.

We've got to do -- at the same time, we've got to do what's best for the kids and that's what we always try to do. That is a good point. They can be tough, there's no doubt.

Q. Just was wondering about last year's game against Louisville with this year's coming up obviously. What do you remember from that game and just how, I guess you guys ended up being a ten-win team. How much did that stand out as a significant moment in the season, do you think?
JIMBO FISHER: Well, I think it woke some guys up because we played a really good quarter and half. It was 14-10 and they got the big third down conversion -- I remember the drive and score that we turned it over and then they turned the faucets on. Shows you how dynamic and explosive they are. They did a great job and earned every bit of it.

But also, showed there's a lot of character here in our kids when they rebounded back and ended up having a great season; we won the Orange Bowl. It says that one game does not define you but at the same time, it show how explosive and how well balanced things are. You have to be ready for everything. When you're on the road and things happen, you have to be able to rebound and you have to be able to have damage control to keep the game intact so you can get back in it.

They played a heck of game, there's no doubt.

Q. What was it, really, that went wrong for you guys and what went right, went well, for Louisville?
JIMBO FISHER: I don't -- they played well, were ahead. Got a good drive and then we turned it over and momentum switched and they got another score before the half and they came out and got a punt return. They just got the momentum in the came and kept making plays and played very well, and we didn't match them play for play and they did a great job.

Q. With the way your defense has been playing this year, is there a sense that -- offensively there's been struggles but defense is going to especially us in the game --
JIMBO FISHER: Well, that's what you always hope for, but you're going to have to be ready to score points because they score points on good people; it doesn't matter.

We continue to -- I say I'm pleased with our offense as far as our growth on things. Now we have to get to the points; that's the last final step to finishing those drives because we've got especially much, much better: Average seven yards a play, third downs are getting better. We're learning to run. We have balance and all those things.

But at the end of the day, when you're playing somebody as dynamic as them, they are going to score some points and we have to score points on offense.

But at the same time, our defense, they have got to compete and play very hard. You never know, they can go out and have a great day, too, and they have had some really good days. You have to be ready to score points but at the same time, if you're on defense, you can't expect that we're going to give things up. That's got to be your mentality. We'll see this weekend.

Q. Do you feel like you are closer to being able to put everything together on offense to score more points than you have the last couple weeks?
JIMBO FISHER: Yeah, we'll see. Hopefully we will. We'll continue to play well. We've been much more consistent establishing the running game. Got to hit a few more big plays and things and hopefully runs will break or our guys will make guys miss when they get out in space and finishing touchdowns runs instead of getting a 30-yard gain.

It's not their fault. Those things will happen. It's just like I always say with turnovers: You being keep tackling well, being in the right spot on defense, rushing the passer, all of a sudden, turnovers come.

It's just like on offense: You keep making right plays, getting the ball to the right guy, getting it to them in space, blocking the right people, you'll finish those drives. You look back and say, wow, was that so hard, but you've still got to grind through that. We've gotten much better the last two weeks with our running game, protecting the passer, James is growing in what he's doing. I feel much better getting Noonie back involved. It's been pretty good.

Q. What was the biggest key to getting Noonie back last week?
JIMBO FISHER: Getting his routes, getting him open, understanding where he was, making plays and executing the looks he had.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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