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September 2, 2017

Jimbo Fisher

Atlanta, Georgia

Alabama - 24, Florida State - 7

JIMBO FISHER: I'll say a special thanks to the Georgia Dome and the Chick-Fil-a Bowl. This was an outstanding event. Again, everything they do is run with first class and always have been. Every year I've ever dealt with them, they've put on tremendous events and tremendous venues and hospitality, and everything else has been out of this world. They've done a great job.

I'll say a special thanks to Alabama. They did a great job. They deserved to win the football game. They made the plays. They got the momentum changed in the second half with some special teams plays, and got it going and did a great job. It was a hard-fought game, a very physical game on both sides. Our defense did a really nice job in keeping us in the ballgame and trying to give us some chances, and I think we pressed on offense, didn't get good field position and made some mistakes on defense.

But again, Nick is a great coach and they've got a great program. They did a great job. It was very well-deserving and they'll have a great year. And we just need to rebound, get back, fix the things that we had wrong and go. I still think we've got a great football team. I think we're very physical, I think we're very good. We've got to clean some things up, not make those momentum swings. When you play great people you can't have those, and we'll look at that and then look at the film, make the adjustments and move on.

Again, our kids are disappointed in the result, but at the end, they've got to keep process and we've got to coach better, and the things that go on, that's our job as coaches and my job to fix that and get them in better position to make plays and do the right things over and over.

Q. What did you see on that play when Deondre rolled out and fell down?
JIMBO FISHER: He just like got tackled, but I believe it was a side adjust. We should have thrown the slant on the backside, but I'll wait and see. But I'll wait and see, again, until I look at the film exactly where the decoration was. Should have hot riled it and got it out.

Q. We saw him walking on crutches --
JIMBO FISHER: I don't know until we diagnose it and see. I'm not a doc -- I don't mean that -- I don't know. I've learned to wait until they see. Unfortunately he's hurt, though.

Q. How much more can you ask of your defense as a team?
JIMBO FISHER: No, they did a great job second half. We gave up a couple plays in the first half, they caught us one time on the safety rotation. They got a guy in the middle of the field and made a great play, but other than that our defense did a really nice job, and we knew, our defense was stalwart, we had a chance to be really good team. They kept us in the ballgame. A couple times Alabama had a chance to put it away, and we kept them to a two-score game at 21-7; that's only two plays away. You're one or two drives -- we just couldn't make the plays. Their defense did a great job, and we just didn't make the plays on our side of the ball to get us back in.

On offense we moved the ball very well in the first half and the first drive of the second half. We felt good at halftime about the way the game went. Disappointed in where we were, but felt in what we were doing and how we were doing it, and we just lost the momentum.

The big thing was the momentum swings and the special teams in the second half. When you get momentum, I always talk about that all the time. Momentum is a things we don't -- it's hard to swing, especially when you play good people.

Q. Did you see Deondre, talk to him after the game?
JIMBO FISHER: No, I just -- again, I saw him and I hugged him and told him I'm sorry he's hurt, we'll get the diagnosis and I love him and we'll figure out what we've got to do from here.

Q. Special teams are always such an important thing that you do out there. Were you surprised by the breakdowns?
JIMBO FISHER: Very much, because we work exclusively, and we do over 30, 35, 40 minutes day on special teams. We work it hard, and we had a breakdown on the edge, and they got through on a field goal at the end of the half, which is another big momentum swing, and then they got the blocked punt. The guy just slid inside our guy. We knew who to block, what he did, and he just slid inside from what I understand, and I'll look at the film, and got the block. That was critical, and then poor -- he played a great game, and he just made a bad decision. He thought he was out farther, wasn't as close to the goal line, and he should have just let the ball go. Just made a poor decision, and tried to get it out and actually fumbled. Those are big, critical plays in the game.

Q. How concerned are you if Deondre is out for a while?
JIMBO FISHER: Oh, I'm definitely concerned because that's your starting quarterback and the kind of player he is and what he has. But we'll get the guys behind him and we'll rep those guys and play and we'll go on. Again, we have great people around him and do the things we've got to do.

Q. How pleased were you with how (indiscernible)?
JIMBO FISHER: Well, we moved the ball very well the first half, had a good mix, and second half the first couple drives, then once we lost the momentum and got one-dimensional, had a lot of them to blitz and tee off and come at us and make plays, but again, I'll evaluate the film. I thought they did some really nice things in there because we had some good plays and some things that went really well. Again, we'll look, and when you play good people like that, you've got to be perfect, but I didn't think they were poor at all. I thought they did a pretty solid job, and we'll look at the reasons why the other breakdowns and what happened.

Q. If Deondre can't go, do you go James?
JIMBO FISHER: As of right now we will, most likely. That's where we are, but we'll evaluate this week and see.

Q. What stuck out to you most about the new stadium, and have you ever met Arthur Blank?
JIMBO FISHER: I don't know if I've ever met Arthur or not. It's a beautiful stadium. I'm worried about those 100 yards down there. I wasn't looking up and seeing -- I joke about that, but I get zoned in. But it looks like a beautiful complex. Great for fans, great atmosphere, great environment. You had all the boards you could see, replays and all the things. Looks like it's a very fan-friendly -- it's a beautiful place and everything in the locker room and everything here is first class, just like Chick-Fil-a does everything, so Arthur is obviously doing it the right way, too.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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