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December 29, 2016

Jimbo Fisher

Miami Gardens, Florida

JIMBO FISHER: Good morning. Great to be with y'all. I'll just say very excited to be here and very excited to be at this game. Let's say to be in a New Year's Six game, five years in a row, very proud of our program, very proud of our kids and what they've accomplished, and extremely proud of this team.

You know, people ask us at the beginning of the year when we were 3-2, what do you have to play for? Well, this is what you have to play for. Just because you lose a game here and there doesn't mean your purpose -- and you always grind to be the best you can be -- but things can be achieved, and that's why I'm very proud of this football team and what they've been able to accomplish and being able to come to the Orange Bowl, one of the great bowl games ever.

Like I said, I became a true Florida State fan watching the '79 and '80 games against Oklahoma back in the day and watching Ron Simmons. I said this in an earlier thing, I followed Coach Bowden because he was at West Virginia. When I was a little kid I watched him coach and knew he was at Florida State and started watching and remember watching those Orange Bowls as a little kid at night when I was supposed to be in bed, the whole second half because it always started at 8:00, 10:00 because 9:30 was bedtime, so you're staying up, sneaking and watching the games, but it's one of the great things. You had to go to school on the second back then. They put us right back to school. We don't have those long vacations like they have now.

But just watching and became a Florida State fan of course, was around the Bowdens my whole life. This is what you play for, to have the honor to play in a game of this prestige and be here five years in a row and keep that streak alive and what our kids have accomplished, and to me sometimes your greatest accomplishments come when you're not -- some of your goals are taken away and you find out what's inside of you. You find out what's inside your character and who you are and often brings you very much closer together as a team. And I think it did. I think it made some of our young guys really realize the importance in the roles in which they have, because we have a very young football team, as I said, nine seniors on the football team, and some of those young guys are being counted upon early. But the importance of those roles now, every play mattered and everything that went on. Our seniors did a great job of keeping educating those kids and our young guys did a great job of allowing us to coach them, develop them, push them, and then really established a great football down the stretch in which we played, and very proud of those guys, and this is where we ended up.

Now the key is you've got to finish. We've always got to finish the season, we always want to finish on a great note. We've got to go play well. We've got a tremendous opponent in front of us. Michigan is one of the brand names in college football. They had a tremendous season. They could very easily have been in the playoff. Great coach, defensively they're outstanding, every number they're first or second in the country in every statistical category across the board. Offensively, they score a lot of points, throw the football around, great tight ends, playmakers outside, big tailbacks, offensive line, special teams very well, so we're going to have our hands full. But we've got to finish and we're looking forward to that opportunity and enjoyed our time down here in Miami, Fort Lauderdale. This whole week, kids have enjoyed their time, practiced very well and had a great time experiencing with the boys and girls clubs and things that went on and getting the exposure out there, too, which I think is incredibly important for those guys to be able to go out there and do that.

And as I say, in our world today, I think an athlete's role may be greater than it's ever been because I think the turmoil in which some of our country is in right now, I think athletics and sports is one of the things that pulls everyone together, all races, all creeds, all religions, everybody together kind of unifies to watch a sporting event, and I think understanding the role and impact that our athletes can have on young kids in our society today, I think it's as great as it's ever been. And I think our guys understanding that and the Orange Bowl have done a great job of exposing us to that and those young kids, and we do that in our program a lot.

I think the whole picture being here I think is very rewarding, and I think it's very eye-opening for our kids to see the importance in which they can have and the role in which they can have not just as athletes but as people in general in our society. So we're very excited to be here. Looking forward to a great game, and like I say, waiting for -- now this is the nervous time. Wait until tomorrow, huh? Questions?

Q. Jimbo, you talk a lot about the way the season started 3-2 and how it's been important to finish. How important is it to finish this year knowing that you're trying to avoid going winless in three straight bowl games for the first time in school history?
JIMBO FISHER: Don't ever think of it. It means nothing. The past means nothing. You only play in the future, and if you do, you do. The key is not about winning and losing, it's about playing your best and being the best you can be. That's what we got to do, and then we'll worry about the results when they come. What we've established as our program, five straight games, 77-17, National Championships, conference championships, the program is in great shape, and when you play in big games, you win some, you lose some, but that's what you've got to stand up for the competition for. That's not a factor at all.

Q. What's the most profound or interesting thing a player has said to you in regards to your season, the way it unfolded or this game in particular?
JIMBO FISHER: You know, I don't think -- none of them really -- there was no profound moment. There was no really profound statement. It's just that guys looked at themselves and said, you know what, we have a term we tell our guys, the teacher looks at you and says, you think my work is good now, it's not good enough. Coach looks at you and says you know, coach, I think I'm playing coach, coach says you need to play better. There's a term we use, we call go higher. And what it means is whenever someone questions you, sometimes you don't always see it out of yourself, but there's more potential and more ability for you to play at a different level, and our kids just looked at each other and there was that term, and said, you know something, we've got to take our game higher. We've got to improve on everything we do and every aspect, and there was no profound moment as far as guys really coming to say -- some of the seniors did and said, how do we communicate to some of our young guys, how much we need them and how that is, but that's a constant educational process.

One of the things I think is lacking in our society today is communication, because people can -- you don't talk at people, you talk to people, and I think our guys and our leadership did a great job of that with our young guys and getting them to understand how to take their game higher with pushing them, without making them mad and realizing that they were trying to berate them, but they were just trying to get them to challenge to go up to that level, and I think that's what our leadership did.

Q. Something in your opening statement sort of triggered this. When you said that sports can kind of be a unifying thing right now in society, I'm just curious, these are obviously unusual times. Do you find yourself talking big picture outside of sports with your team maybe more now than ever before?
JIMBO FISHER: We've always done that because I've always believed you've had that role, but we are very conscientious of it and what the impact you can have, and I use Travis Rudolph for an example. Life is about making decisions, trying to make the right decisions, and Travis was on every talk show, every morning show, everything across the country, and we often talk in our program, I tell them, I said, I need you to be a hero this week. Well, a hero, everybody thinks you've got to go out and you've got to do something extravagant. No, a hero to me is somebody who does their job every day, doesn't look for a reward, doesn't look for any recognition, just does whatever he has to do or she has to do that's right, and I said, there's a hero that puts you all in one of your seats. There's a mom, a dad, a grandmother, an aunt, an uncle, somebody who worked two jobs, three jobs, took you everywhere you got, didn't have a lot and sacrificed for you to have an opportunity to make them better than them. So being a hero is just doing what's right and never looking for anything, and Travis said, because guys want to be the hero of the game, I want to make the game winning play. He said, Coach, all I did was went over and had lunch with somebody. I said, yeah, you saw a little boy sitting on the side who was by himself and said, you know something, I want to go over. He just looks lonely. I want to do something right and spend some time with and all of the sudden you get recognized across the country for it. I said, that's what life is about, and I think that's the thing that we constantly try to talk to them about. Just do what's right. You may not make an impact, but you may impact one person's life. That's all that matters, and constantly trying to educate them and understand the impact you can have, because they often don't see it. Heck, I don't see it. As a head football coach, the way people say, you're the head football coach of Florida State. Okay, that's just what I do, it's who I am. I am a normal person like everybody. I've got the same issues, same problems. My kids don't listen to me at the house. I've got a dirty house. I mean everything else. My bills -- they're trying to get the bills paid on time, making sure that's paid, we're all the same. We see ourselves as normal people, but sometimes the impact you can have as a student-athlete on young people can really turn their life around, and we try to spend a lot of time in that regard because athletics is one of the things in our world that's looked at as unified.

Q. Mark Richt said last night he's heard the term meaningless bowl game a lot this season. He goes, I can assure you it's not meaningless to us. Is that the sort of thing you're talking about? And how much does conference pride have to play in trying to win a bowl game?
JIMBO FISHER: You want to play for your conference but there is no such thing. If you're keeping score, it's not meaningless. You play your tails off. It's competition. That's your job. That's what you're supposed to do. I don't get the meaningless part, either. There's no such thing as meaningless bowl games. I think that's a product of our playoff, and I said that was going to happen, and I don't mean this to y'all. I think that's what the media has created a little bit. You guys act like it's playoff or nothing. You win 10, 11 games, beat your rivals, go play an Orange Bowl or a Sugar Bowl or a Cotton Bowl or whatever bowl, the bowl in Orlando, the Russell Athletic Bowl and all, those games all matter. What is wrong with that? One of the great things about college football is not everyone ends on a loss. Everyone can have -- that's how a lot of the programs in college football were built was on those games and winning bowl games and going to bowl games and going to sites. The bowl games is one of those things that we had better be really, really careful stuff with all this playoff stuff that we don't push away in this world because we're all caught up in a championship. And you think about -- all we talk about is Tuesday who's in the playoff rankings. Who cares? Go play, be the best you can be, where you end up, that's where your ultimate goal was to be. There's no doubt. These games all mean something and I think they mean more than ever right now, and I hope we don't push that away because we're going to destroy the great traditions of college football if we do.

Q. Can you talk about the ACC and where that ranks now?
JIMBO FISHER: Well, I think the ACC is as good a conference as there is. I think there are some great conferences out there, but you look up and down, you look at the draft picks, you look at the players in the NFL, you look at how in the last four or five years the non-conference games, the championship game, we've won a National Championship. Clemson's played for one. They're in a playoff again. We were in a playoff two years. We've were in it twice. Clemson has been in it twice. Louisville was right on the edge of going in it this year. They had a Heisman Trophy winner. Pitt, the games that Pitt -- Pitt won at Penn State. This conference is good top to bottom as any conference in America. I know everybody -- I've played in a lot of them. I've played against them all. I know. I'm telling you. The travel, the games, the environments. It's a tremendous conference, and it's one of the best ones, and I'm not saying we're the best, but I'm also saying we're as good as anybody else, too. I don't think there's as big a difference out there as y'all want to make it to be. I think there's some really good leagues, but I think the ACC is as good as anybody out there.

Q. What's been the approach this week as far as entering the bowl week and have you changed things up as far as entering the bowl week the last two years?
JIMBO FISHER: The first four we won, so why would you change it when we lost the last one? We fumbled it at Oregon and last year we lost a quarterback, so we played pretty good. That was some of the reasons which we lost games, but you don't panic and chang change everything. We always constantly change how you prepare every week and what you do. There's tweaks and turns every year, but the constant of what we do and how we do things is very similar because we believe in what we do, and our practice schedule, our routines and the things that we do, you've got to go out there and play and play good teams, and the first four we won were all magical. It had nothing to do with preparation before, you've got to go play well. We were right there in the Oregon game two years ago, just fumbled the football. Last year we lost a quarterback early, we got him back and he played with a broken foot. So that was a big impact on what we did. We've had great practices, and the same thing we've done all of our careers. When I was at LSU it was the same routine. We were here, very similar routine. What Coach Bowden did for 35 years, he was one of the best bowl coaches ever, so I think it's a pretty good routine.

Q. Have you shown the team or talked about your Miami game this year down in Hard Rock Stadium and used that at all as a teaching point or a talking point?
JIMBO FISHER: For the game? No, I mean, because the regular season game, when we come down here a lot -- when you come there to Hard Rock, man, it's always -- the games have always been dynamic there. We've been fortunate to come out there on top the last couple and they've all been very close. But teaching points about playing hard and playing every play and you don't know which play can make a difference. I mean, that's the first time I ever won a game on a blocked PAT. It was amazing.

Q. I mean, in terms of that Miami game and how it unfolded, was there anything that you wanted to revisit and go back with your team about just how they fought back?
JIMBO FISHER: Well, no, because that happened a lot, but we talk about that when it happens a lot, and then we revisit, but not just because we're in the stadium, because the opponent is different. But those lessons we try to incorporate as we go throughout the season.

Q. You've said before how every team has a one-year life cycle.
JIMBO FISHER: Exactly right.

Q. No matter what happens tomorrow what are your reflections on this team?
JIMBO FISHER: It's funny you say it, because that's what we ask them. How are you going to be remembered? How do you want to be remembered when you finish? And this is the last time this group will ever be together, and that's really a sad thing when you really think about it. No football team -- the life expectancy is one year, because everything changes. Some people move in and out. Coaches move in and out, things happen, but I think it's a team that has very high character, very resilient. I think it was a great example in today's time, where as I say, you want to always -- I say you're in the Xbox world or the PlayStation world when the game isn't going well and you hit restart and start the season over and you do all that stuff. That's what our kids are in. I'm not playing. I'm not going to wait to play. I'm going to transfer. I'm going to leave. I'm not going to do this. That's the point I was making earlier about you have a couple losses, OK, maybe your National Championship goals aren't there, but what do you got to play for? You have to play for your pride, your school and who you are and they're keeping score and every time you walk out there to play. I think that takes great character -- I think even more so today because of social media, because of how you're criticized, how the things are brought about in our world today on athletes that are 10 times greater than they ever were even 10 years ago, let alone 20 or 30 years ago when you had those seasons.

One of Florida State's greatest seasons that people ever revere in my opinion, the team they respect, is the '89 team that lost two games to Southern Miss and Clemson to open the season and then went 10-2 and won a bowl game. That team is thought about -- I think this team has a lot of those same qualities that lost a couple games early, just made a heck of a run to get back to a major bowl game. And I think it will be revered as a team that had a lot of high character, a lot of morals, and a lot of -- for lack of a better word -- just pure guts and grit, and it was very good to see in today's times, because like I say, a lot of kids want to sell it in. I can't win a championship so what am I going to play for? Well, you play for your pride and who you are, and I think it's going to be remembered in that way. It is in my mind anyway.

Q. Earlier this year ESPN asked a bunch of coaches for a one-word description of Jim Harbaugh. You paused and said, interesting. After spending a little bit more time with him, can you develop that a little bit?
JIMBO FISHER: I like Jim. I have no problem -- I think he's great. He speaks what's on his mind, what he does. He does what he thinks is best for Michigan and that's what all of us do. We have to do what's best for Florida State or Florida or Georgia or whoever we coach, you know what I'm saying? And I think Jim does that, and I think he promotes his program and does a great job in that regard. He's obviously very successful. He's obviously very intelligent or he wouldn't have the success in the things he's doing. I enjoy being around him. I like him.

Q. How formidable an opponent is he in recruiting in this state?
JIMBO FISHER: Some. We run into each other a couple times. I mean, we ran into each other this year, whether it's up north or down there. But Michigan is a brand name now, not just him. Michigan is a school that people want to go to. They're a brand name, but Jim does a great job. He's a relentless guy. We don't bump into each other a lot in recruiting, but we do a couple times, and they do a great job.

Q. Jimbo, as far as the way you guys ended the year 4-0, it seems like this was kind of a stretch where you saw this team grow up because you saw them have big wins, you saw them have a game against Florida where they were able to pull away and the game against NC State where they were able to come back and hold on. What's it been like to see this team grow up over the last month?
JIMBO FISHER: See, I go all the way back to the Miami game. That was the game. You're talking about going 3-2 and going on the road to play your arch rival who is undefeated. It seems like every year we play Miami they're undefeated when we play them. Every year play them it's like that and it gets to be a dogfight, and we come out. But I think it goes back to then. Going on the road, and then you saw the perseverance to go and give up a late score and go have a blocked PAT to win the game. And then people don't realize the kickoff and being able to get that first down right afterwards, because they had us pinned back now, and if we'd have kicked off and their field goal kicker had great range and if we would have had to punt, we would've probably lost that game on a field goal, then having to go get a first down after that. I go back to then. I think that was a huge point, going on the road and being able to do that in that regard, big time. And then coming down the stretch, even the Clemson game, battling back, getting ahead, they got a quick start, and we got ahead and they battled back and went back and forth to a one-score game and Clemson is a great team, and just coming down so many different avenues. Just proud of them. I mean, I really am. It's what you do as a coach, and like I say, sometimes it's because you don't win a National Championship as a coach, you're very rewarded because you know these kids get it, they're understanding, and they're going to be successful in life because of their perseverance and character and people think that's coaches' cliché stuff. That's not. That's why you're in the business. We all want to win. Don't get me wrong. We all want to win games and it's based on that, but when you watch kids really get it and you can see it in their eyes that they take responsibility for it, and then they change, because change in our world, even for you, me, everybody, it's hard to sit there and say there's something wrong and I've got to change and I've got to go higher, as we say. Watching them do that, I've been extremely proud of them.

Q. Jimbo, as a team that gained momentum as the year went on, with a month off, how do you get that momentum back? Do you, or what do you do to get it?
JIMBO FISHER: That's the challenging thing, keeping things interesting, keeping it competitive. What you got to do, it's all about competition, and we're a team when we practice, we do good-on-good. In other words, what I'm saying, it's ones on ones. We have our scout team work, but every Tuesday and Wednesday during the season, it's like we did down here, and doing -- and then our -- the other nine days we practice, we had ones on ones and inside and seven on seven and team, so we keep that -- it's about competition and creating that sharpness, I guess, trying to get -- because sometimes you get in a lull when you're going against scout team guys and not pressing, and our guys, as soon as you get the good guys on the good guys or the starters on the starters, it doesn't matter. You say, OK, be smart. Well, testosterone starts flying, egos start flying and the competition starts flying and they start getting after it, and that's how you do it, and we practice that way a lot, and did a great job in that way, and now hopefully we can take it to the field.

But that's one of the challenges. That's the thing about college football. I mean, you go a month, you're not the same team. I wish we would have played the next week the way the season ended. I wish we were playing right after the Florida game. I would have been happy. We were playing well. But sometimes you need that time.

That's one of the unique things about -- you go back to some of the great coaches, even Bear Bryant and all those guys, they were all .500. They were. .500 bowl coaches if you really go back and look at them. Coach Bowden was one of the greatest ever, he had that run for a long time, his winning percentage was probably as high as anybody's, and there's some other guys, but that's a challenge. And then you go play good teams and that month off, it's a difficult thing.

Q. Everybody is talking about keeping up with Saban. What did you learn from him, and how important is resources and staffing that he has, and is that something you boring an for?
JIMBO FISHER: All the time. I'm going to tell you something now. That's the key. You can say it all you want. You got to have all the off-the-field stuff and what goes on and behind-the-scenes things. What's different in the NFL? If you really look at the NFL, how many teams can really win a Super Bowl? Six or eight of them? When you really get down to it? Organization, structure, culture, and you create that by the resources in which you have. We don't see -- we say, well, they get good players, they can go -- no, let me tell you something. That matters. That is a key component. But having the resources behind the scenes and people to develop your things and film breakdowns and issues and recruiting and development of watching players. I can give you a list of about 70 things that matter, and it's critical. That's one of the things, if you want to be in the elite groups, you've got to do those things. There is no doubt. And people don't -- I don't think -- I don't mean this in any disregard, I don't think y'all really realize how the true elite programs, how many farther ahead they can be and resources matter. It's a tremendous, tremendous advantage, and you've got to commit to doing it because -- there's a reason they're doing the things they do, and my hats off to them because it's hard, but they've got the resources to do it and they've developed it and gotten players and everything. The others schools are doing it and we're into that, we're trying to get into that mold, too. We're getting there. We're getting much closer in a lot of ways, and very proud of the things we've done. We've got a ton of things in place and I think it's one of the most critical things there is in all of sports that people don't have an idea about.

Q. When you're negotiating a contract --
JIMBO FISHER: Without a doubt. Without a doubt. Yes. Yes, and I will hold them do it, you can bank on it.

Q. As a former quarterback yourself, I was curious what you remember about Jim Harbaugh as a quarterback, and also, does the quarterback Michigan has remind you of the toughness that Harbaugh had as a player?
JIMBO FISHER: Yeah, their guy makes great decisions, accurate with the ball. You go out there and he had the major injury with the collarbone and to come back a week later and play. I don't know what the injury was or the extent of it or anything, but their guy is very tough. That's one of the great things about our quarterback, standing in there and taking the hits that he's done, which as a quarterback, I'm a believer in this: Your quarterback is not tough, usually your team is not tough. That quarterback is not an ultimate -- the guy leading the team is not one of those guys, and that's one of the toughest positions to play physically. People say, well, let me tell you what, stand back there and let 310-pound guys that run 4.5 hit you unblocked and see how many times you can do it. I mean, you talk about linemen banging up -- that's great. Let them get a run at you and see what happens. Or you're running the football and you get it off and you take the shots and the things that go on and the wear and tear and you are on a body that isn't as big as theirs. And I think that's what Jim was. Jim was a competitor. Jim was a first-round pick everywhere he went. He won in pro ball, he won in college ball, was a great player. You can obviously tell he's coached them up very well, the decision making, the accuracy. He's really turned him into a heck of a player, and I think our guy does the same thing in that regard as far as the toughness and the things that create competitiveness within your team. When those guys get a respect for that, it's wait a minute, if that guy can stand back there and do that, I got to do a little better in my job and I think it inspires all of us.

Q. You mentioned brands earlier, Michigan being a brand, FSU is obviously a brand, and now you've got coaches in the state that could be considered brands, as well. Could recruiting in this state get any crazier than it already is or has been for a very long time?
JIMBO FISHER: Well, I think all those guys, but you've got to realize, Florida is such a different state, everyone comes here to recruit, I mean, everybody. And Florida, especially in the generation I'm in, I think you're getting a lot more native Floridians now, but back in the day Florida was a state that was built, as I say, an immigrant state, for lack of a better word. People moved down here to retire and play, and that's why so many kids leave and go back to Ohio State, leave and go back to Michigan, leave and go back up north, because people -- they have family, they have connections, they have people down here. That's what makes this state very, very unique. There's not a lot of states like Florida in that you have a lot of players, but they're not native people as much, know what I'm saying? There's a lot of connections out of the state and back, and that's why people say, he should stay in Florida. Well, but he's got a grandmother, an aunt, an uncle and everybody else. They grew up watching Michigan or Ohio State or Penn State or whoever it may be up north, know what I'm saying, Notre Dame or whoever, out west or something like that. And then you get the brand-name coaches who work it and the programs here are very good, Florida State, Florida, Miami and all of that. Now you've got South Florida, now you have got UCF, you've got FAU, FIU. You've got Butch Davis and Lane. You've got everybody. It's crazy, there's no doubt about it. But Florida has always kind of been that way just because of the number of players, you can't sign them all, and people have connections out of the state so much, so it makes it a very challenging state to recruit.

Q. Because you're playing a team like Michigan in a recruiting rich state like you just mentioned, the state of Florida, does that add to the impact of a game like the Orange Bowl, or is the recruiting impact overstated in a game like this?
JIMBO FISHER: I don't think they're ever overstated because success, kids want to play in successful programs. They want to play in these games and know they can be in these games. But the thing about it is there's so many players in the state of Florida, they have to go somewhere. So maybe so. And I'm going to say this: 20, 25 years ago I think it was even more impactful than it is now because I think kids look at things differently. I said this earlier. Back in the day, you didn't mind going to a Michigan or a Florida State or wherever, and you redshirted and you sat and you played as a redshirt sophomore or junior. Now kids' mentality, where can I play, where can I get on the field and how can you get me to the league. We're wanting everything sped up so much. I think it's really changed, and kids see if there's opportunities to play at a program, they want to go do it very quickly. It's just our culture. Everything has changed. Everything in our culture has changed. It's changed that whole dynamic. But it's still impactful. Winning and being successful is still key.

Q. If this is, in fact, Dalvin Cook's last game, can you talk about what he's meant to this program and what it's been like to coach him at Florida State?
JIMBO FISHER: I mean, Dalvin, I've always said this about him, for a great player, a high-profile guy, very unassuming in that, OK, what's my role. Didn't come in -- like the things I just talked about, he wanted to play early but there's wasn't no demands. There wasn't no coming up to your office, aww Coach, I'm not getting enough carries, I'm not playing early. Let me just go to practice, let me do whatever my role is and he gradually built himself into that and as a freshman ended up rushing for a thousand. But that didn't happen until later in the year and then down here in the Miami game his freshman year, he got a great break, he had six or eight big runs and started that. He played a backup role because we had some great players and emerged and really took over that role. But one of the greatest players I've ever coached as far as the dynamic to change a game with every touch, and I mean, I think that's what you do. When he touches the ball, you know that it's not just first downs, you know the numbers on the scoreboard can change, and there aren't a lot of guys like that in ball. But then he does it with a great toughness because he's an inside guy, he's very physical.

But Dalvin is one of the guys impacts his team with his work ethic and can do it vocally or just by the way he goes about his business. He likes the game and everything about it, and what I mean by that is a lot of guys like to play, not a lot of guys like to go run, train, watch film, do all those things. He does. I mean, he's a workaholic. He's a gym rat. They can say, wait a minute, our best player is out there doing extra sprints, doing extra running, doing extra film. It's hard for me not to do that, and I think he had a huge impact in that regard on our team. He's one of the greatest players to play at Florida State and one of the great backs.

If he were to stay, he'd probably be one of the top four or five rushers in college football history. His numbers would be that good, and then the touchdowns and the dynamics which he does it blessed to have had him huge impact on our program. I mean, huge.

Q. I'm sure there's kind of a sense of acclimation when the Showtime cameras showed up and started filming every aspect of the team. Do you expect it to be weird after this when they're not around anymore?
JIMBO FISHER: I'm going to say we don't notice them one way or the other. I know that sounds crazy and people don't believe that. It's just a routine and what you're doing. We're around cameras and this stuff all the time. Our kids, it's just part of it. They've been great. And one of the great things about them is you never noticed them. I mean, they just blended in with everything you did. It was not a factor in the things you had.

I hope -- people say, well, why did you do it? I wanted people to understand, none of these kids are kids, but people think, man, they are great players, they're talented, they just show up and play. But what a life and what a day in their world is and how much pressure is on them and what it's like, how much work these guys really put in and that they are human beings and they're kids just like your kids at home, and hopefully in that series those things came out about who they are and what they are as people. But honestly those people did a tremendous job, and I think it was very beneficial not just for us, I think for just college football in general.

Q. Your offense is number one in red zone efficiency. How can you stay efficient against Michigan's defense, which is second?
JIMBO FISHER: Execute. Florida was No. 1 when we played them, too, and I don't mean that in any regard. But you know you're going to have to be sharp. As I said, situational football. On third down they're second. We want to get first down, we do a great job on third down, too, but I think they do a great job of playing situational football. If you're in these games, you research it -- situational football, third downs, red zone, turnovers, those things, teams are always very efficient in that. And we spent a lot of time in it. It comes down to one thing: You've got to execute. You've got to execute. Nothing is going to be given. At the end of the day you've got to make plays. You're going to have to make a catch over somebody, you're going to have to run through somebody, you're going to have to make some blocks because they're not going to give you anything. They're tremendously well-coached, do a great job keeping leverage on the football, contesting every throw, every pass, every run, and it's execution. I know that sounds simple, but that's the truth. You've got to execute. You've got to be precise in how you run a route or make a block or make a run and take advantage of it, and like I say, when you get an advantage to make a play, you'd better because you're not going to get a lot of them.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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