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September 15, 2010

Jimbo Fisher

THE MODERATOR: We now welcome Florida State head football coach Jimbo Fisher. With that, we'll ask for a brief opening statement and go to questions.
COACH FISHER: Hello. Yes, we have rebounded I think pretty well this week in practice. Oklahoma played a great game against us. We're looking forward to playing BYU. I think things went well this week. We're relatively healthy. Our attitude seems to be very good. Looking forward to this upcoming game and challenge against BYU.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for coach.

Q. In terms of fixing problems that were exposed in the Oklahoma game, is this team of yours a lot farther behind than you thought they would be or were you not too surprised by what you saw against Oklahoma?
COACH FISHER: No, I thought we would play better in the football game, I really did. I think it was an accumulation of the speed of their no-huddle offense, which they did a great job of in the atmosphere. And they got so hot so early. Like I said, it kept pressure. They did a great job.
We moved the ball, scored the first drive. We had a big return down the 30, got a penalty. Then we had another 11-play drive the very next drive, got down to their 40. Got a motion penalty and got set behind. Missed the third down. It was 21-7. Got it back and it was 27-7. I think that kind of snowballed from there.
I think it was a good test to see where we were at. I was anxious to see where we were at. I don't think you get a clear vision, in my opinion, especially on defense. But I think they got hot and the no-huddle offense had a lot to do with it, the speed with which they ran it with. They did a great job.

Q. What do you think you need to do better?
COACH FISHER: I think we have to learn to tackle better in space, get a bigger sense of urgency. Maybe on defense getting lined up against those no-huddle teams that do that. I think up front we were actually decent on the frontline. Did a pretty good job. We got to tackle better in space, and offensively have to understand that when teams get hot like that, you got to match things. You miss a read, can't have a penalty or dropped ball. We got to convert on third down just a little bit better.

Q. I know in your opening statement you talked briefly about the attitude, positive attitude, of the players going into practice this week. I know that Bob sent out a press release that spoke to that matter. Can you tell us specifically what are you seeing from the players in terms of getting back to practice and preparing for this BYU game and not getting down after that loss?
COACH FISHER: Well, we told them two things. One, we've been very analytical with them. This is why this happened, this is why this happened, and show them the mistakes. We didn't rant and rave, we didn't go crazy. They understand that we're going to be with them no matter what. We didn't play as well. We told them we're going to coach a little better, you're going to play a little better.
It's one game. Everybody says, Well, it's just one game. I don't believe in that. I said we need to learn from it. There's a learning experience there. Being on the road, being in a hostile environment, being against a really good football team. We have to not make the same mistakes we did, like I said, tackle better in space. Important third down conversions. Really pass protect when we have to when it's third-and-long, but then show them why they made mistakes, how they can have success in the future.
We have to move on. Like we tell a player, don't let one bad play become two, don't let one team beat you twice. So that is what we have to do. We're going to have a great challenge because BYU is a very good football team.

Q. The secondary, it's been a problem here for the last several years. You got a slow start this year. Do you think you have that type of athlete at safety and cornerback?
COACH FISHER: I don't mean to say you're Deion Sanders or Terrell Buckley. I still think we have some very talented guys back there. They're young. I think it's a matter of just getting confidence, getting plays. Like I said the other day, I think things snowballed on them a little bit. I do think there's talented players back there, I really do.
Whether it's going to be a Deion Sanders or Buckley... They could develop into some great players, too, at the same time. I don't mean to cut them short. Those two are two of the greatest that ever played in any school.
But we got some talented guys back there. I still believe that, I really do.

Q. It sounds like you may be facing two quarterbacks on Saturday. Can you talk about preparing for that type of situation.
COACH FISHER: Well, I think you have to defensively be careful when you prepare for two, you say, He does this, he does this. If they ever cross you up at all, you still have to be sound on all facets of your game. But you do have some, as I say, it takes time because you have to understand the quarterback runs, those things, understand how to fit. If they get an extra blocker, when they do those kind of things, we do them, too, so we understand how to do that.
I think it's a time-consuming thing that you have to make sure you dot all your I's, cross all your T's, and you don't get too one-sided when each guy gets in the game. You have to be sound all across the board.

Q. Coach, last year when you went out to BYU, you were coming off not the best of overall performances, probably played one of the best overall games of the season, maybe several seasons.

Q. Do you bring that up at all, a similar kind of situation?
COACH FISHER: I don't know if you can compare situations. But as far as overcoming adversity and dealing with that, you tell kids, and they have done it before. You like to pull back history. Not that you played so well against BYU, but whoever you would have played against, that you overcame a game that you didn't play as well the week before, then come back and played very well the next week.
They have done it themselves. It is a good reference as far as that goes. You have to remind them. It's a mindset, the way you do things, and you got to move on.

Q. Coach, last year Christian Ponder had a great game against BYU. One of his weapons was when he left the pocket and ran. Was there something that you saw with the BYU defense or was it just his natural ability to see gaps?
COACH FISHER: I think that was it. I think his instincts in the game. They did such a great job in coverage, they do rush it, get up the field. They created some seams and separation between the front guys and secondary.
Christian had a naturally instinctive ability to fill pocket pressure and step up and scramble. He's not afraid to use his legs. When you really watch that film, that was a lot of it. There was a lot of him being instinctive. There was a couple that were called but really not many. It was more him being instinctive and just being a football player, reacting to the situations that were at hand.

Q. Do you feel that's going to be something he'll be able to use again this year?
COACH FISHER: I think he has. He'll always do it. He made a couple nice runs in the Oklahoma game. First drive, he scrambled around a couple times, made a couple nice plays. I think it's something in his game. I think it's something you can't count on as a coach because those are yards that, as I call them, they're Christmas gifts, you know what I mean? They're there because something happens. You can't count on those.
But he does intuitively seem to get a couple of those in a game.

Q. Coach, what do you think is harder, traveling east to west or west to east to play one of these games involving two or three time zones?
COACH FISHER: You know, that's a good question. Six of one, half dozen of another to me. I've never come west to east, so I've never had that experience. It is a factor, though, because of how you have to do things. Especially when you're going three time zones, it's usually proven in the NFL to be a hard thing.
We were successful with it last year. I'm sure BYU has done it quite a few times and will adjust to it. Honestly, I couldn't answer that question.
THE MODERATOR: Coach, thanks for being with us. Good luck this weekend. We look forward to talking to you next Wednesday.
COACH FISHER: Thank you very much.

End of FastScripts

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