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October 5, 2011

Jimbo Fisher

THE MODERATOR: We now welcome Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher.
COACH FISHER: Good to be back in practice for game week this week. It was a well-received little rest we had. Got some guys healed up. Moving around much better. Feel very good. And look forward to playing a great Wake Forest team. Wake Forest is having a great year, playing very well. Doing a great job on all three phases; they always do. And we are going to have to prepare well, play well to have some success. Looking forward to the opportunity.

Q. What can you do better defensively coming off your last game against Clemson?
COACH FISHER: Well, I think we've got to be smarter, not giving up big plays and not isolate ourselves. I know some of the big plays, be able to convert on the field. We have to get off the field on third down. Third down and long was a problem in the last game, whether it was a penalty or they converted, and we have to get better on their down defense. We need to play the run well, which we actually did in that game pretty well. But big plays on third down is the big thing we focused on.

Q. The pass defense, is that a big concern with Wake Forest?
COACH FISHER: Oh, yeah, Wake can throw the ball. They are throwing it very well and playing very well, and quarterback, receivers, do a great job. So it's definitely a concern, because wake, that's one of their strengths.

Q. Could you just talk about Tanner Price and how much better he looks from last year? And do left-handed quarterbacks cause any different programs than going against right-handed quarterbacks?
COACH FISHER: Well, I just think when guys like to escape, used to playing a righty and guys usually try to escape to the right. And I think lefties, guys want to throw from your strong hand which is a big deal, whichever side you are, whichever hand you are, and I think from that standpoint, you have to be careful.
But he looks much better. He's throwing the ball with a lot of velocity, a lot of accuracy, good decisions, he plays alive with his feet, converting on third downs, understanding where things are. I've been very impressed with the film I've watched.
And the receivers I think have done a great job. They have got three guys, one guy, No. 2, he does a tremendous job of -- he's leading our league if I'm not mistaken in yardage per game. Makes great plays, scramble well, coached well, getting holes, understands where the holes are, protect well.
But they do a really good job, I mean, they really do, and he's the key. Any time a quarterback can make those kind of decisions and those big-time throws just like did he last week on third and 15 to get them right back out of there, and the things he did; he's a playmaker.

Q. ACC has been a league dominated by defenses; do you see the worm kind of turning a little bit with your team and Clemson and Georgia Tech all putting together pretty good offenses?
COACH FISHER: Well, I think that comes and goes. I still think there's always going to be really good defenses because in the south, you're talking about defensive linemen. To me the key difference in the south is defensive linemen. This league has always had them, good corners. I think you'll always have that. But when you get experienced quarterbacks that can make plays, I think from that standpoint, it does -- that's when you can have your good years.
But I think defenses, they are always going to be a premium because you're always going to have great defensive players. A lot of that in my opinion kind of goes on how the quarterback does, and when you have a good one, it really makes a difference on offense.

Q. Can you talk to me about your offensive line in the sense that you're leading the league in passing, but your rushing offense is not that good, and your pass protection has been a problem; I think you're last in the league in sacks per pass. I just wonder, can you talk to me about the stability of that unit?
COACH FISHER: I think last week we pass blocked very well. I think the first game, the sacks all came when Clint got in the game and recovered -- throwing away, took a couple. But last week I thought we pass-blocked very well until the last play in what we did. But I think they have pass-blocked really well, I really do.
Run blocking we just never had them. You have to understand, we never had Datko, Faircloth all spring, we only had him about a week of two a days, a week and a half of two-a-days and that's the first time they had played football. And they were all experienced guys, they had all been around, but they had not played because of injuries.
And where we were, then we put in a new center and new guard, and that continuity -- if you watch our tape, I mean, the runs are close. They are one guy. It's not like -- a couple of times we had missed assignments, but sometimes it's just one guy and that's how it goes. You have to continue to fight that fight until you can get that, and I think it does make a difference. But we have had an issue as far as that goes.
Pass pro, I'm not -- we have actually I thought pass blocked well, I really do. Thing is, we have played two really good football teams the last two teams, too.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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