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November 13, 2013

Jimbo Fisher

COACH FISHER:  Very proud of the way our kids competed at wake forest, it's always been a tough place for us to play.  Started fast, offense was very efficient.  Special teams were very good.  We need to have a great week of preparation this week.  Syracuse has won two games in a row, they're 5 and 4.  They gave up 3 total points in the last two games.  We'll have to play our A game.  They can really run the football.  The quarterback is dynamic.  I think they're a very good football team.  We have to continue to play well, make sure we prepare well and keep getting better each week.  Looking forward to the challenge this week with Syracuse.

Q.  Syracuse played Maryland and they stopped them pretty well.  What did you see on their film?
COACH FISHER:  The same thing.  They're very physical up front.  The linebackers are very athletic.  They're very physical in the inside tackles.  The ends are big.  Secondary mix coverage has athletic, big guys.  They mix the coverages.  They did a great job in the front, control the line of scrimmage, and got critical turnovers when they had to do it.  Big stops.  They're playing well on defense.  They're a very good defensive football team.

Q.  What's it like for you being undefeated in the conference, is that one of your many goals this year?
COACH FISHER:  You want to win the division, and go to the ACC Championship.  We want to win all 12 games.  Definitely our conference games, we want to be an ACC champion.  The next game is very important for us and we want to continue to grow and get better.

Q.  It seems like they've done a little bit more consistency out of their running game here in the last couple of weeks, what have you seen that allowed them to be more effective there?
COACH FISHER:  I think they're being very consistent and playing great defense, and they're pounding it.  They're being coached very well.  You watch the steps and the angles they do.  Their execution is getting better.  They're very physical.

Q.  How is their run game compared to maybe Boston College?  I think that's one of the other big power running teams you've faced this year.
COACH FISHER:  They will put three or four or five tight ends in the game.  They don't do that much, but they do a lot of different formations.  But not quite as many as those type of things.

Q.  Now that you guys are kind of in the driver's seat for one of those national title game slots, what do you tell your team in terms of psychologically, mentally, kind of being in the driver's seat and being able to keep your foot on the gas, but also handling the pressure?
COACH FISHER:  The same thing we did last week.  Remember why you're in this position, and play one game at a time.  And you're in this position because you did this, this, this and this.  And now continue to do those things.  There's nothing magical about this.  Stay in the moment, don't worry about next week.  Don't worry about preparing for each day, just take one step at a time.  Stay in the moment and keep preparing.

Q.  How surprised are you that you're in this position?
COACH FISHER:  Our Gold is very high.  We set high standards and we feel we can be up with the elite teams.  But you don't ever know.  I think it's good for our League.  I think people are realizing that we play good football right here in the ACC.  I think it's very gratifying for our League, and the people in our League, and hopefully for our kids and we can continue to do that.

Q.  Kind of an overall question about the League.  You guys haven't had this problem, but the ACC ‑‑ is that a product of the defense?  I guess better defenses across the League?
COACH FISHER:  No doubt.  It's a very athletic League.  The linemen, corners, I've said it ever since I've been here, this is good defensive League.  Good players.  And there's definitely good players throughout the defense.

Q.  Have you ever had a team score defensive touchdowns on back‑to‑back plays before?
COACH FISHER:  No, I can't remember back‑to‑back plays.

Q.  Six interceptions and a fumble return for a touchdown, can you talk about the take away ability of this defense?  Obviously that was an unusual situation, but still an important part of what you're trying to do defensively?
COACH FISHER:  Turnovers affect the outcome of the game, no doubt.  We're playing well on the run, but at the same time we're able to pressure with blitz packages or our front forward, and we've got some good young players who are playing well right now, seeing the football well right now.

Q.  When you look at the Syracuse defense on tape, they've ‑‑ they've had three games where they really got shredded and the rest of the time they're right up there with you guys as the best defense in the League, except for those three games.  Is there a common denominator, that has caused their problems in those games that they don't have?
COACH FISHER:  I think one was early versus northwestern that spread the field and do their thing.  Clemson made big plays.  And I think Georgia Tech is a different type of offense.  I think they had some turnovers until the game, and I think they're playing really good on defense.  I think they're playing really good as a team right now.

Q.  Anybody stand out to you on tape?
COACH FISHER:  96 is big.  All three tackles.  35, 38, 45, 20, the quarterback is athletic, they've got a good group of players now, very dynamic.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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