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November 20, 2013

Jimbo Fisher

COACH FISHER:  Very proud of the way our guys finished off the regular season ACC schedule against Syracuse.  Syracuse, again, was playing exceptional football and playing very well coming in.
I thought our guys played very well from start to finish.  Really proud of the way we started, but also the way we finished.  We kept our focus throughout the game.  Offense and defense and special teams all had their moments of creating big plays and big opportunities.  Again, very proud of the guys' focus, and it goes back to the way we prepared and hopefully we'll continue that trend.
And when we practice well, we play well; and we've seen that so far this week in the preparation for Idaho.  We have Idaho coming in, very big game for us.  Again, Senior Day, last home game, so we need to focus, we need to play well and need continue to get better.  Still have some little things that we need to clean up and continue to grow at, but very proud of this team about the way they approach things and the maturity and the intensity which they play with throughout the game.
So looking forward that and looking forward to a great game with Idaho this weekend.

Q.  Just wanted to ask you, with the Iron Bowl coming up, you were a former assistant at Auburn, how big was that game?
COACH FISHER:  I played in two.  My first two I ever played in, Alabama was defending national champion, they had one loss in 28 games; we were undefeated won that one.  The next year we were undefeated; they were undefeated; we one tie and they beat us by a touchdown.  I mean, great games.
I always said this, you wasn't happy when you won; you were more relieved.  I mean, the game, it meant that much and it was one of the great rivalries in college football, and there will be a lot on the line this weekend or next weekend for those teams.
So it is a very big game and it is one of the great rivalries in college football.

Q.  Talking about Idaho this weekend, what do you see from a team that‑‑ used to be in the Mountain West Conference but I think they are in the Sun Belt next year.  What do you see of them on film?
COACH FISHER:  Paul does a great job on offense.  They have some guys outside that can run, very dynamic guys.  They are very quick, change of direction, good ball skills.  Paul does a great job on offense.  They give you every look possible.
Defensively, they will press you and look at you‑‑ I mean, pressure you and come at you.  A couple big inside tackles, mix the coverages up on the secondary.  They have done ‑‑ Paul will do a great job there.  He will get those guys going and play well.  You can see them getting better and better each game.

Q.  And Paul, it's his brother, now at western Kentucky; have you ever faced the Petrino family before?
COACH FISHER:  Oh, yeah, when I was in the SEC and at different times, we definitely played against each other.

Q.  You guys have been rolling over people by such large margins, everything has been lopsided; you haven't had a close game.  I just wonder, has this team hit a peak or is it still getting better or can it still get better?
COACH FISHER:  I definitely think it can get better.  We haven't played our best football yet in my opinion.  We have played good football, but there are still things we need to clean up and we know that.  We have not played our best football yet in my opinion.

Q.  Can you just give me a few examples of what you need to clean up?
COACH FISHER:  Well, we've had some issues‑‑ different times, different things, but the focus and concentration, I mean, we have not had it for a full game in my opinion.  We've played well in spurts and different times and for large portions of a game.
But I'm talking about for 60 minutes in all three phases and being clean on everything we do.  I mean, there's still things every day that we are working on:  Whether it's coverage; whether it's pass rush; whether it's protection; whether it's our reads on routes and how we get to places.  There's things that we are trying to get better at every day, and they are not where we totally want them to be yet.

Q.  You mentioned focus a couple of times.  Are you at all concerned you're playing a 1‑9 team that's traveling across the country, a week before you have a big rivalry game with Florida; is it at all a concern that your team will focus and really be at its peak against Idaho?
COACH FISHER:  I'm concerned all the time about those issues.  I think it's a sign of maturity and where your program is.
But if how we practice is indicative of that, which is generally is for us; Monday and Tuesday have been outstanding practices for us.  I mean, yesterday may have been one of the best Tuesdays we've ever had in all phases.
So hopefully if they are doing what we believe in, you know, we won't have that happen.

Q.  Just wondering, do you know Paul Petrino at all?
COACH FISHER:  Not really.  I know him, coaching against him, but I don't know him personally, no.

Q.  I guess you're not surprised that another member of that family has gone into coaching.
COACH FISHER:  They are great football minds.  They are, they are great football minds.

Q.  Any characteristics of his team that you see at all?
COACH FISHER:  Yeah, always dynamic on offense.  They are offense‑minded guys.  When you watch them coach, you pick up ideas of what they do all the time.  They are guys that you always like to know what they are doing because they have a tremendous IQ for offensive football and do different things. 

Q.  Just wanted to ask you aboutTim Jernigan.  Can you talk about how he's played?
COACH FISHER:  Extremely well.  I mean, very physical, but also very disciplined inside, not just always trying to make the plays but understands how to hold his gap and let other guys make plays and a tremendous leader and sets the tone for us up front.  Timmy is playing exceptional football, exceptional football.  I mean, I would be hard‑pressed to say anybody is playing any better football than him.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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