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September 21, 2011

Jimbo Fisher

THE MODERATOR: We welcome head coach Jimbo Fisher.
COACH FISHER: We are presently having a great week of practice getting ready for a great Clemson team as they were able to play a great game against Auburn last week. We played a very hard-fought, tough physical football game against Oklahoma. We had some opportunities to prevail but unfortunately we didn't. But I think we competed very hard in the game, played very hard in the game. But again moral victories aren't -- (indiscernible). It was a great atmosphere, great environment, one of the best I've ever been in as far as our stadium and the things that went on, and I thought our kids played with a lot of heart and a lot of soul.
And we have a great challenge ahead of us getting back on our feet this week to go play a great Clemson team on the road. As I say, right now, kind of our schedule is really beginning as far as our conference schedule and all of our goals and aspirations in which we want to play with and it's a very important football game this weekend.

Q. Among the challenges, they have a freshman wide-out, Sammy Watkins, who has made a very big splash so far and certainly had a tremendous impact from the Auburn games. Wonder what your impressions of him were that you've seen on tape so far.
COACH FISHER: Oh, very, very electric, great with the ball in his hands, they hands it to him, they throw it to him, play extremely fast and physical. Seems to be very mature for a freshman. To handle what all he's doing, and they get the ball to him quite a bit; and to me, I mean, I think he's an outstanding player and will be an outstanding player for a long time.

Q. I know you can't sign everybody from the State of Florida of course, but did you recruit him?
COACH FISHER: Yes, we did. And if I'm not mistaken, the way it went, Florida State just wasn't a school that he was highly interested in. I mean, that happens sometimes. That wasn't a school that -- if I'm not mistaken, he had a brother that was at Florida at the time. I may be mistaken on that. I thought that was right.
But we did try to recruit him. It was just not a high interest level on his part from what I remember, but we thought he was an outstanding player.

Q. FSU has last four in a row at Clemson and this is a program that historically has played very well on the road; Dabo just said that Clemson had better team on those particular days and I'm wondering, beyond having loudspeakers, broadcast crowd noise and practices and everything, how do you get your kids ready for a hostile road environment?
COACH FISHER: Well, I mean, they understand. A lot of our guys been in it. Some of our younger guys have not been. They understand what's going to be there.
All they have to do is look at this past weekend at our stadium and just flip it and what it's going to be like for the opposing team. But you mentally prepare them and you talk to them. But you can't -- you don't want to scare them, because I mean in the end, those fans, they can't jump on the field and jump all over you. So it's still a football game and they are still just yelling.
So it's just ability to have maturity and be able to block things out and focus on what you need to focus on, and I think maturity will have a lot to do with it in what we do.

Q. What do you need to see your team do better this week than against Oklahoma?
COACH FISHER: We competed very hard, just finish a couple of opportunities, not have some critical penalties at some critical times and be able to get the ball -- we had a couple touchdowns we had called back, and we can't have that. You know, be able to finish. And when we are tied, not give up a drive at the end and not give up a drive at the beginning.
Our defense played super, but in close games, everything matters and that is what happens. I mean, there's a few plays that always determine those kind of games, and we just have to continue and we have to run the football better and we have to continue to try to find ways to run the football.

Q. Defensively for your defense, what challenges does that Clemson offense pose for you?
COACH FISHER: They are no-huddle, fast paced, multi-formational, have great players, well-coached; they can throw it; they can run it. The quarterback can run it. There are as many challenges there as there is anywhere. They do a super, super job.

Q. Oklahoma's running back, Dominique Whaley, what why are your impressions of him, and is it difficult to prepare for a guy who has seemingly come out of nowhere this season?
COACH FISHER: I don't think it's any more difficult to prepare for than any other great back, but he is a great player. And he blocked very well and he had success and ran very hard. I don't think it's any harder, but that doesn't mean he's not a great player, either. I mean, I thought did he a great job. My impressions of him is very good.

Q. Wanted to get your opinion on the expansion of the ACC the past week, with the addition of Syracuse and Pittsburgh.
COACH FISHER: You know, I haven't had much time to really think about it, but they are two great institutions. They are great football institutions, great basketball institutions, great academic institutions, and I'm sure there are other parts of them that are great and have great tradition. So two very nationally-recognized programs, so I think the ACC strengthened itself.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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