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September 14, 2011

Jimbo Fisher

THE MODERATOR: We now welcome Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher.
COACH FISHER: We are very pleased with our team's performance last week against Charleston Southern. Played a team that obviously we were supposed to win, but I liked our attitude, we practiced very well and went out and played very well and got an early jump and a lot of our young guys got in and played. Very pleased with our performance. Played hard. Had a couple penalties that we have got to clean up which was very disappointing but that's part of football. Sometimes we have to coach and fix them.
But kids are in a good place, played two good, solid football games, got to get better, got a great opponent this week in Oklahoma and preparing very well as of right now.

Q. Wondering if you have looked at all at Bob Stoops' career and whether there may be any similarities to yours, although you've coached different sides of the ball coming up.
COACH FISHER: I've had great respect for Bob. I always admired him as a coach when I coached against him.
I guess the similarities would be that we were guys that were fortunate that our head coaching jobs came at the universities where you would want to stay and we were both patient I guess in our careers and didn't take earlier jobs that maybe had opportunities to take and took some chances that way and worked out that way.
I would say if that my career goes as well as Bob's does, I'll be very happy. He's done it a long time and been as consistent as anybody in the country and is an outstanding head coach. From that standpoint I think that would be probably the biggest similarity to me.

Q. Exactly what I was getting at. And specific to this game, one of the more anticipated games for Florida State in a long time, how do you keep your guys zeroed in on the game?
COACH FISHER: We have talked about preparing for games and we talked about it last year, and we understood it as a young football team last year that you want to play in these games, but you have to prepare for them more than you want to play in them. If you're prepared to play in them, then you have a chance to have success and that's what we keep talking about, living in the now.
In other words, that worked for us, means, what am I doing right now, what can I do right now to get myself prepared for what's about to happen later on. I can't worry about tomorrow if I don't take care of today. And that's something -- we don't only preach that this week; we do that year-round in our program about what we are trying to do, and hopefully it will really help us out in moments like this.

Q. You have three quarterbacks that can start just about anywhere in the country. How does that depth help you and how has had a competition helped each of them improved?
COACH FISHER: Well, I think one knows that if one of them slips up -- any time I think you have competition on a team, you know that if somebody is playing better than you, they are going to play. So it does motivate them.
But they are very close. They are friends. They share a lot of information and they talk about it. The thing about it that is very unique, in today's ball there is so much three wide-outs to four wide-outs that they are on the field together a bunch in nickel situations, and all of them can play nickel, dime, all those situations, and it's great to have them.
But they have used that as a positive. They have not split or been divided in any way, shape or form. We started all different combinations of guys and they all can play nickel and dime and those things.
So to me it's been a very, very positive -- and I tell you it's been a very, very positive thing for the young corners on our team to see how those guys work and how those guys react.

Q. Looking back at the ACC expansion in 2004 and 2005, it was anticipated you and Miami would be battling it out, and obviously that has not happened. How critical is it that you stay, from a conference standpoint, on the national stages, and how much do you need Miami to pick itself back up and get that program back to where it was?
COACH FISHER: On the national stage I think it's always good for somebody in our conference to be in the national spotlight, for any conference. You always wants to have some teams that are up there battling for it. Hopefully -- I want it to be Florida State also. There's no doubt about that. But I think it's good the more teams we have.
But I do think we have an outstanding conference. And I say it all the time, people don't realize, we have produced the second most NFL players than any conference in America, and we are very close to the SEC who is No. 1, so we have great players.
From a standpoint of Miami battling back, I mean, I don't think it's great for the conference what Miami does, because they have great tradition, they have a great name that gets national recognition. But unfortunately I have got enough problems at Florida State; we want to try to make sure we try to stay up there.
But the more teams that are in that national spotlight for that, I think is better for the conference, there's no doubt.

Q. Wondering how much, if any, motivation players have been taking from last year's result into this game and to what degree, rightly or wrongly they have kind of circled it on the schedule?
COACH FISHER: I don't think there's any motivation anymore. I think you're two different football teams and we are different people and they are different people. A year can make a big difference in a lot of things; good, bad, indifferent, it doesn't matter, and I don't think as far as motivation. I think it's motivating that you're playing a top team in the country and you want to play well and you want to compete well against them and have a chance -- have a chance to win the game.
I think that's your motivation, and circling on the calendar you always know your big games coming in and your opportunities when you play great opponents. I think that's always something that you look forward to. But the thing we have to remember, too, it's one game, and if we have success in it, we have to keep it in perspective and go on and play the rest of the schedule. And if we don't have as much success, we have to keep that in perspective because we move on and play our conference schedule.
But at the same time we are not running away, understanding that there's a great opportunity here in front of us.

Q. What do you guys have to do better against the Oklahoma passing game this time around?
COACH FISHER: I think you know just got to contest the throws a little better. I think the biggest thing last year that got us, the pace of it and being in the second game, our kids just were not quite ready and didn't have enough knowledge of our defense in my opinion. A lot of it, we were not getting lined up. We were not getting in position and then it just snowballed; and then we were behind the chain, one guy was off, this guy was off. You get frustrated that those type of things happen to you.
I think the biggest thing was getting lined up and getting your calls and getting in position, and our knowledge of our defense and our ability to practice that a lot more and understand the speed that Oklahoma goes with, I think is the biggest contention.
And then I think because what happens, when that happens, not only does your body try to react faster, your mind does and as soon as your mind starts going faster and faster, you stop thinking and making the good decisions about where you're going to be.
In this game, we have to be quick but we can't hurry. We have to be in position to do what we've got to do and keep our minds and think and process the information.

Q. What's your message to the team about how to deal with the pressure of this game?
COACH FISHER: You prepare for it. There's not pressure if you prepare. It's like a test when you go to school. Every test you take, you take in a math class, there's pressure when you take the test. Well, if I study for the test, the pressure is not as great. We have to prepare. We have to have great preparation and understand what we are doing going into the game, and then trust our preparation.

Q. How much emphasis is being made on fundamentals this week, because it does seem like the offensive line penalties -- things like that are preventing the team from being really great this year --
COACH FISHER: I missed the last part, I couldn't hear --

Q. The receiver down a little bit too much, especially in the second half -- just little things; is there a lot of emphasis on fundamentals this week in practice?
COACH FISHER: There's always fundamentals. There was great fundamentals. Fundamentals win games and we have to be taking the right steps and doing the right things.
The interception was not from a stare down. It was from a route that was four yards short. That was where that came from. But that -- fundamentals is what wins games and big games. It's not a trickery or anything else. It's just being fundamentally sound in what you do.

Q. Will have a strict script this weekend --
COACH FISHER: We'll do what we do. He'll run our offense. He'll check his plays and run his things, and we will do what we do and do our game plan.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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