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October 13, 2010

Jimbo Fisher

THE MODERATOR: We will welcome Florida State Coach Jimbo Fisher.
COACH FISHER: We are very excited with the opportunity to play Boston College this week. We know Boston College has a great football team and is one of the well-coached, most physical teams that we play year in, year out.
And we are excited about coming off and winning against Miami. It was good for our kids to have success against one of our rivals. But that game is over and all of our focus now is on Boston College because we know that they will come in here ready to play, always have been, being coached very well, like I say, and always coming in ready to play. So we have a very tough challenge on our hands.

Q. You have a guy up here from here in Connecticut, Will Tye, who was a pretty low-key player before he went to prep school and headed south. I'm working on a story that talks about how much the Internet is changing recruiting. I don't know how much you knew about Will beforehand with the situation. How much did you guys see his highlight film, maybe online or some of the camps he signed up for, or was it just having Bjorn (phonetic) around that caught your attention?
COACH FISHER: It was Will that we knew of and we researched nationally. We always recruit nationally. We recruit inside out from the South and work our way up. But we heard of Will and were able to get video of him and watch it online and were able to make contact with the coach and start the process.
We thought he was an outstanding player and very dynamic and brings a lot of skills to the table.

Q. How did he go along with that process? How did he bring it up? Just like anybody else would, getting the film out there?
COACH FISHER: There was film out there. And we had heard about him from the recruiting talks. And we research all areas of the field, we have people that are assigned to every area of the country, outstanding people. And we try to do a great job with the recruiting services from those areas that have names and guys that have interest and guys that have opinions. They can head you in the right direction. They know -- especially when it is an out-of-area guy.
It is very easy to find video on guys today, like you say, online. We were very impressed and very fortunate to be able to go up and get him.

Q. Jimbo, did you expect that your running game would be as good as it is before?
COACH FISHER: We thought we could be pretty good at it. I mean, I don't know how -- I mean, before -- I don't know if we're unbelievable at it, but we are running the ball very solidly and doing a good job with it.
We thought we would be able to run the ball and we have experience with the offensive line. Some backs have been back. We have a quarterback that gets us in and out of the right things and does a good job that way. We felt we could be good. Like I say, we are having a pretty good year at it so far. Like I say, we are only halfway through. We will wait and see how it goes. We thought we would be able to run the ball this year, we really did.

Q. I have heard that the Gatorade was pretty cold. Is that the first time you have ever gotten doused like that before?
COACH FISHER: Yeah, it was, it was. It was the first dousing, that's for sure. It caught me off guard. It took your breath away, that's for sure.

Q. I suppose it is something you wouldn't mind having happen again then?
COACH FISHER: No, I mean, because it means our organization, our team is having success. I mean, against a great rival, those are pleasant things you have to deal with it if you are having some success (chuckles).

Q. What have you been most pleasantly surprised about with your team this year?
COACH FISHER: I think their ability to focus and practice and prepare for games and to play together. I mean, I don't think it's one phase. I think it is all phases, just as our camaraderie and our unity and ability to understand and respect each other and on our football team and want to prepare well so that our teammates can have success and our guys are doing a good job of being good teammates.

Q. Is there a certain phase that's improved quite a bit in the last three or four weeks here?
COACH FISHER: I think defensive we're gaining confidence. I think we really are. I mean, it was a tough year last year and a tough start out there in Oklahoma.
I think our defense is really starting to gain confidence which is a great thing. Like I say, confidence is a great thing for an athlete. I think we're continuing to grow in all phases of our team. I mean, we have miles and miles to go. There are still a lot of mistakes out there. I like the approach of the whole group.
Defensively, I like what we are doing because I think they are starting to really believe in themselves.

Q. Just to follow up on the running game a little bit, can you talk a little about the development of Chris Thompson and the capabilities -- his big-play capabilities.
COACH FISHER: Chris has always been a steady-eddie guy. He was the guy last year that came in as a freshman and put a lot of pressure on himself. In the off season, has done a great job in the weight program and his knowledge of the game and studying and getting confidence in what he does. Like you say, he does have pretty good top-end speed to be able to make long runs. We're doing a good job of blocking down field to get those guys down.
Chris is such a wonderful kid. He is exactly what you see. When you talk to him, what you see is what you get. On the field, off the field he is the same guy. I'm glad he is having success because he is a guy that's very well-deserved. He is doing an excellent job at working hard every day and taking advantage of opportunities.

Q. Is it hard to -- with Jermaine Thomas being the guy that you turn to first, obviously you are trying to work Chris in as many plays as you can. Is he making a bid for, you know, maybe a little bit more playing time?
COACH FISHER: We will keep the same rotation. As you remember, before Ty Jones got hurt, Ty was the leading rusher before Chris and Jermaine took off. Ty Jones who will be back this week will be our leading rusher. We will keep our same rotation and keep those guys healthy and try not to overuse them and use them as much as we can and keep that three-back system going.

Q. I will keep you on the same topic here. I know that you have always talked about that big back, but you got these three -- I guess Ty is fairly good sized back. Basically, you are getting a lot of success with that rotation. If it is one kid -- I think they got about 1100 yards between them and a dozen touchdowns. If they were one kid, they would be in the Heisman talk. Can you talk about the advantage of the rotation as opposed to one guy doing that?
COACH FISHER: I think it keeps you fresh. If one guy gets hurt -- for instance, Ty has missed a week or so and having two other guys that are very capable. The durability throughout a game and keeping guys fresh so when the fourth quarter comes, as you could see last week, a lot of our yards -- I mean, we came -- over 100 some of those yards came last week in the fourth quarter. So we were able to break a lot of those runs, which kept us fresh.
I think the duration of a season, I mean, the amount of hits that a running back takes and the pounding he takes. Running backs, it is a very physical position. And I think the durability from lasting throughout a whole season, I think, helps our football team also.

Q. That would be your preference, I suspect, going into each season. I mean, I think you have commented previously, too, that you like having that type of a situation. You don't have to worry about one kid going down. Is that right?
COACH FISHER: You do, I think -- as a coach you definitely do. If you have one guy that's phenomenal, you will give him a little more carries. Not to say any of these guys aren't, but you want to have depth because you always have to plan for injury. And that's part of football.
The bangs and bruises, the health, all those types of things. I think, like I say, it is better for your football team because, like I say, if one of them gets nicked or knacked, it doesn't drastically change what you have to do.
THE MODERATOR: Coach, good luck this weekend.

End of FastScripts

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