home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


November 16, 2011

Jimbo Fisher

MIKE FINN: We now welcome Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher. We'll bring on coach, ask for a brief opening statement, then go to questions.
COACH FISHER: Coming off a very tough, hard-fought physical game versus Miami. Great game, one of the best rivalries in college football. Fun to compete in. Great to be part of that game.
I thought our kids played very hard, were very resilient, overcame a lot of obstacles like you do in rivalry games and came out on top. Credit to Miami. Very good football team, very well-coached team.
I know we have a huge challenge coming up in Virginia, very hot, 7-3. Very big, physical team, playing great on defense, not giving up many points, not giving up many yards. Offense is doing a very good job of moving the ball. Mike has done a tremendous job with them.
They'll come in here very confident, fired up and ready to play. We will definitely have our work cut out for us. We'll have to have a great week of preparation, no doubt.
With that I'll take questions.

Q. Before the press conference, Mike Finn told me Shawn Powell would be leading the nation in punting if he had enough attempts. Can you talk about the job he's doing. I think 39% of his kicks inside the 20.
COACH FISHER: He's been tremendous, he really has. I said it going into this season, I thought he was as good as anybody out there. The consistency level with which he's performed has been tremendous. And unselfishness. Not worrying about kicking the ball, taking pride to get the ball down that way, hitting them when they're in the end zone, pressure kicks. He's had a huge impact on us offensively and defensively.
Hopkins gets a lot of credit, he should, he's a tremendous kicker himself. Powell to me is just as good a punter. I think he's a huge reason why we're having outstanding numbers on offense and defense.

Q. Want to get him a couple more punts so he can qualify for the National League?
COACH FISHER: I hate to say that, but I'd rather not (laughter). I hope he stays under that ratio.

Q. Having just played Miami, how much do you invoke the Miami game, the Virginia/Miami game, to familiarize yourself with Virginia and the challenge?
COACH FISHER: Very much so. You have to watch that game. Of course, we watch them all. Coaches, we don't leave anything unturned.
It gives you a great feel for how Miami had to scratch and crawl to get back in that game. It shows you how dominant and physical Virginia is. I think it's a big eye opener for our kids.
Miami played tremendous against us. How good Virginia really is, we're going to have our hands full.

Q. Do you see any more of a spark to E.J. going up against some players he played against in high school?
COACH FISHER: I really don't. He's a pretty even-keel young man. He's very mature and he understands the importance of every game. I'm sure there will be some inside anxiety because he told me he does know some of them. We discussed players and things he does know.
I haven't sensed that in any way. In a way, I hope I don't. We sensed that last week with some of our guys from down in South Florida that played Miami. Sometimes that excitement doesn't always mean that's a good thing.

Q. Up here in Virginia, we keep an eye on E.J. What has he meant to you? When you don't have him, how has that impacted you?
COACH FISHER: Tremendous. We all know his physical gifts, his size, speed, arm talent, ability to make throws, just make plays.
But the thing about E.J. to me that always intrigued me was he's 18 going on 30. Very mature, the guy you want to be the face of your organization, and our players do. They feel his presence not only as an athlete and a player but as a leader.
When he is not in, it does affect us. I think after our young quarterback came in, they felt very well. But they lost their leader, their voice, they lost the head honcho, for lack of a better term. It does affect us.
When he's in there, our guys feel more confident, they feel better. They always feel if E.J. is on the field we always have a tremendous chance to win. It's never over till it's over. I think that gives your program a great sense of security.
He's just a phenomenal young man all the way around. He represents everything that's right in college sports, but also in life in general. He really does.

Q. The mental and physical approach for this one. It's pretty apparent that Virginia with that big old line, they come in and try to mash people. It's like you have to man up and brawl with them.
COACH FISHER: They're physical, yes.

Q. So mentally what do you say to your defense along those lines? Do you just challenge them physically to man up and get in there and battle?
COACH FISHER: You know it. Their defensive line is very big and physical also. It's the same way. They're a very physical football team. They run it, stop the run, play great defense that way. That's what you have to do. Listen, guys, we can talk this a hundred ways, but there is no easy way. We're going to have to defeat blocks, be great technicians. We can't think we're going to go in there and be stronger than them. We have to play with great leverage, guys have to fill their gaps. They can throw the ball also. They do a good job there, too.
Our guys are going to have to in their minds mentally understand how physical and tough this game is going to be. We're going to have to be able to control the lines of scrimmage. We just tell them straight up.

Q. Did you bring heat after Mike Rocco? I have noticed at Virginia, they are so good at taking a back. You think the back is going to block on a blitz and they slip him out. Am I seeing that right?
COACH FISHER: It does affect you because a lot of folks assume the guy will block. You have to be aware of a free releaser. Whether you butch him, when you contact him no matter what, some guys will do that. You can butch him or you have a guy for him. There's different ways to handle that. You have to be aware of their guy every time.
Their back, 33, big play in the Miami game. Locked up on a linebacker, ran him on a slant, 70-yard touchdown. That was a big one.
They use him multiple ways. You have to be aware of all their guys. They do a great job with their tight ends also.

Q. Jimbo, how does it change your approach or the way you motivate your team when you're out of the ACC championship game with Clemson?
COACH FISHER: We never thought about it anyway. We put it to rest a long time ago when we realized sometimes when we think about goals and results, you don't get the process right. We learned that lesson about five or six weeks ago. So for us it's been the same mentality.
Clemson is going, we're happy for them. Our goal is to be 1-0 at the end of the week. That's been the approach we've taken for the last five weeks. That was our whole mindset.
Everybody says, Does Clemson clinching have a big effect on your team? We said no. If it came, it came. If it didn't, it didn't. We had some other issues we had to address before we even started thinking about that.

Q. On the special teams aspect, looking at the numbers in the conference, you are either first and second in every special teams category. How much time do you devote to that in practice? Does one guy handle it? Do you split it up?
COACH FISHER: Eddie Gran is our special teams coordinator. We devote a bunch of time. We spend a lot of time on our Monday practice to it, along with Tuesday and Wednesday. We get some extra days, extra work in.
You don't play special teams, you don't play on offense, you don't play on defense. You'll see a lot of starters on those teams. We can put our best athletes in space. To me it's a way our guys can learn to play in the league because if you're not a first-round pick, you better be a good special teams guy. We understand special teams is a huge part of what we do. We do that and then we're blessed with great kickers.
On top of that, it's like anything, we have an excellent punter and kicker. We kick the ball well. We do devote a lot of time. My philosophy as a head coach, If you don't play on special teams, you're not playing on offense or defense. We try to get the best players out there on the field as many times as we can.
But Eddie does a great job. He delegates some things to other guys, but he oversees everything.
MIKE FINN: Coach, thanks for being with us. Good luck this weekend.
COACH FISHER: Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297