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December 31, 2015

Jimbo Fisher

Jalen Ramsey

Sean Maguire

Atlanta, Georgia

Houston - 38, Florida State - 24

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher, Jalen Ramsey and Sean Maguire. We'll start with an opening statement.

COACH FISHER: I want to say a special thanks to the Peach Bowl. This was a very well-run bowl game. Our kids had a great time during the week. Gary and the group did a great job. Outstanding game. Great venue, great event. They did a great job.

First I want to say I'm very proud of our seniors. I like what the senior class meant -- 49 wins in four years, averaging over 12 a year; three ACC titles and a National Championship; four major bowl games in a row. Very proud of that group.

Very happy for what they've been able to accomplish and the underclassmen what they were able to do. Each week we try to get better and I thought we competed very hard in this game here. We didn't play as well as we needed to for sure, Houston did a great job. They have a great team. Took advantage of opportunities and we had some opportunities to get back in the game and make some plays early in the game, and we had some critical penalties early.

I thought the penalty in the first series was a very critical penalty, could have had the ball maybe midfield with all the momentum and things that went on to change the field position. Then we had opportunities down there to make plays and didn't. And offensively we got picked up and defensively they had a couple of plays. At the end of the game we couldn't get a stop when we had to. And we didn't make enough plays on offense. Had too many turnovers in what went on. But the kids competed extremely hard in the game. Very proud of them for that. We have to coach better and put them in better position I have to do a better job as far as that goes.

But very proud of this team. They played hard. Had a 10-win season. Got to a New Year's Day Six game. And I would like to say a special thank you to the seniors and the guys moving forward. They did a great job in the program and always be part of the family, and we'll look forward to having a great year. I think we're very excited to going into next year, almost everybody back, and have an opportunity to have a very special team again. And look hopefully to learn from this experience and grow and help us down the road. And I think the best is still ahead for this program. I'm very excited about where we're going and how we're doing things and very blessed to have been here.


Q. Jimbo, what was the decision on the pooch kick?
COACH FISHER: It wasn't a pooch kick. It was supposed to have been kicked deep.

Q. How wasn't it?
COACH FISHER: It wasn't a pooch kick.

Q. He was supposed to kick it deep?
COACH FISHER: Yes, he just missed it.

Q. Coach, what was the Houston defense doing that just wouldn't allow Dalvin Cook to get going today?
COACH FISHER: We just didn't block them. There was nothing that we had never seen. They just beat us on blocks. They beat us on blocks and when we did break through the one guy, the safety, or the guy that was coming down, the one-on-ones, they were able to tackle well. And they got him in confined spaces. We need to control the line of scrimmage better than we did, and I think that was a big key in what happened in the game.

Q. Coach, if you could talk a little bit about when Sean got hurt and the decision to bring him back out. Obviously his ankle is a little twisted up?
COACH FISHER: He's fine. Just a sprained ankle. There was no structural damage. You play on sprains all the time.

You got a long time to heal right here. He'll be swollen for a week and then you play. We have four, five or six guys doing it right now. Bobo did it in the game. Bobo's ankle came back. They went and x-rayed it, there was no structural damage, there was nothing wrong with it. Just a sprain and you come back and play on sprains. That's football.

Q. Coach, follow up on Sean, could you talk about everything he's been through this year and what he showed you today on the football field?
COACH FISHER: His competitiveness, his toughness, his ability to compete in the game, his willingness to come back in there and lay his heart and soul on the line -- this guy's a competitor now. I have the utmost respect for him as a player, leader, everything he stands back. He came back in threw for 392 yards, and had us in a chance to get back in the ballgame. Every time we got back to one score, we couldn't get the stop and get it back, and that went on. But I was very proud of him. I'm sure he's going to say there were some plays he wanted back. There were some plays we all wanted back. We didn't do it. Very proud of the way he played and he led us, that group and I think our kids responded to him coming back in the game. He showed a lot of heart and guts.

Q. Jimbo, talk more on Sean more on was he limited at all when he came back, and also the interception, was it just trying to make plays, trying to --
COACH FISHER: It was, the first one in the second half, the one he underthrew a deep ball. We had a deep ball. He just didn't get enough on it.

Had a little pressure in the pocket. The second one, we had a corner route open. He just misread. It was a flat read and a corner read. He should have laid the flat, but was trying to make a play on the other one. And the last one was trying to scramble and make a play. When you get in those kind of games it gets crazy, you're try to make plays, and I think -- early, I think when the first one or two, when we got back in, like he said, I just want to make a play. I said, no, no, just keep playing, we've got plenty of time. I thought he did a really good job. I thought he battled well, thought he played well, gave us a chance to get back in the game. Made some really, really nice throws. He was limited, yes, no doubt, as far as running, but he could still move in the pocket and balance and push off his foot. His arm strength and everything was still good there.

Q. Jalen, they were 13 of 23 on third down a lot in that second half. How frustrating was that not to be able to get off the field? And the one where you blitzed, was that just a miscommunication?
JALEN RAMSEY: Yeah, it's frustrating to come out on the losing end in any type of game, as Florida State as competitors we hold ourselves to a high standard here.

But of course we wish we could have had a few plays back. Yeah, personally I had a miscommunication with the safety. We had a signal that is close to another signal. I blitzed and he was open. Miscommunication.

Q. Jimbo, usually sometimes when teams lose bowl games like this they'll say that maybe you guys weren't ready to play, you weren't focused, but it seemed like you guys were ready to play into the game throughout?
COACH FISHER: Our kids -- we had great bowl practice. We practiced hard all the way up. We were ready to play. Just had some miscommunication. Early in the game we had the first drive and then Roberto kicking a field goal and he slipped.

That's why the field goal went short. He lost his footing. And we could have scored points there. We moved the next drive down and then Sean got hurt on the second down. We moved the ball very well.

Then we just lot momentum. Our kids were playing hard. Then we had the critical turnover before half. I thought that was very critical to allow them to get a touchdown. Our guys played hard, were ready to play and we wanted to play. We just didn't play as well and Houston did a really nice job.

Q. Jalen, have you made a decision what you're going to do as far as the NFL draft, coming back to Florida State yet?
JALEN RAMSEY: No, I have not. That's something I'll talk to my family about and Coach Fisher about before I let anyone else know.

Q. Coach, how much of that hurry-up offense that they had, they seemed to be constantly up to the line of scrimmage? Did that have a big effect on you guys?
COACH FISHER: I don't think -- you face that every week. I hate to say that, that's more normal now than not normal, you know what I'm saying?

So they did a nice job of running their offense, I don't mean that. They did a great job coaching it. As far as the tempo of it, we face that a lot of times. But they executed their offense very well.

Q. Sean, walk us through when you got hurt, carted off and came back, what happened through all that?
SEAN MAGUIRE: They just took x-rays of my ankle. They just said it was a bad sprain and nothing was broken. So they taped it up as well as they could. I got back out as fast as I could.

Q. Coach and Jalen, can you talk about the challenges that their offense presented? You guys hadn't given up more than 24 points in any game this year. They scored 38 today.
COACH FISHER: They did. And I think offensively our turnovers had a lot to do with it. Think offensively we set them up in field position too. They did a great job. Quarterback is a dynamic guy, can run. They can throw it. They throw a lot of screens. And they do the no huddle. They won the field position battle. I think our turnovers hurt us in the kicking game. Actually hurt us late. And we missed the kick, got the pooch kick when we were trying to kick it deep, and they got a return and had their backs against the wall a little bit but they did a nice job on offense.

JALEN RAMSEY: I mean, like Coach said, they're a good team. Credit to them. But I feel like we made a few mistakes that cost us a little bit. And everything else that Coach Fisher said.

Q. Jalen, Ward got knocked out twice obviously, and what was the mindset of the defense when Postma came back in there, picked up those big gains?
JALEN RAMSEY: That didn't affect us at all, who was the quarterback in the game. We were going to play the same way. Period. But, I mean, he's a good player, very dynamic player, great quarterback.

He came in. He fought hard even through injury. And he got the job done for his team.

Q. Sean, could you talk about that moment you ran back out of the tunnel, come back, and what you said to your team and maybe looked like you had a moment there with the offensive line, banging helmets, a Rudy-like moment you had out there?
SEAN MAGUIRE: Trying to get everyone motivated. Obviously it was 7-3 when I came back. I was trying to get everyone pumped up and ready to go.

Q. Sean and Jimbo, you said several times how a bowl game, next season has nothing to do with the last season's bowl game. But can you use things as motivation? Can it help you guys in the offseason?
COACH FISHER: Motivation is not, I don't think, that. It's a learning experience. I mean, you learn from mistakes, the way you did things, the way you prepared, didn't prepare the things. It's hard to motivate off something in the past.

When you motivate off something in the past, that's usually false, what I found out. You know what I mean? You either have it in you to go be a champion and play, do the things you have, by the program and the culture you have, you know what I mean?

Motivating from the past, you're thinking more revenge. I never have a lot of success from that. But you can learn from these experiences, no doubt.

SEAN MAGUIRE: I agree exactly. It's not about revenge in spring; it's a whole new team. Got a lot of new guys. A lot of guys will be playing next year didn't experience this game. You either have it or you don't come springtime when it comes to motivation.

Q. Sean, with your ankle limiting you, how tough was it to not have a run game going to be forced to stand back there and dance around and try to throw deep, try to get something going?
SEAN MAGUIRE: I mean, it is -- I'm sorry, it was what it is. It didn't really affect too much, you know. They did a pretty good job taping it up. It limited some stuff. But it was fun.

Q. Sean, can you talk about the challenges that Houston presented defensively, they seemed to be doing a good job at creating pressure and the coverage was good on the back end as well?
SEAN MAGUIRE: Exactly. They did a lot of nice things on third down, a lot of stuff we didn't see throughout the year. But we practiced it. I thought they did a pretty good job. They got us sometimes, and they did play some good coverage behind it as well.

You know, we made plays and we also didn't make the plays over there. So we left too many plays on the field.

Q. Coach Fisher, you said that this really can't be a motivation for next season; but on that note you said after this game at 5:00 you wanted to be a better football team. How can you use that to be a better football team this game next season?
COACH FISHER: You look at what you did well, what you did poorly and try to correct that and work on it, going out through spring, what your future is, as you recognize what the new team's personality and their identity is.

But there's always a lot of learning curves -- anytime you have things on film, you can learn from them.

Q. Sean and the Coach, one thing that you thought really made the difference in this game. Houston led most of the way but in the end it was a pretty close ballgame. What do you think the difference was?
COACH FISHER: I think you wish we could have got the running game going more, had more balance, I think would have really helped. And not having the turnovers at times. But you were backed up -- when you're backed up and behind, you take chances you normally wouldn't. I don't look at that. But some of the turnovers early, and then just being able to run the football a little bit better I think would have created more balance, and trying to get Dalvin -- we gave him 18 touches -- but a little more in what we were trying to do.


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