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Top Quotes After Florida State Kicks Clemson In The Gut

J9xclj_mediumFlorida State's Michael Harris, center, comes down with his team-leading third interception off of Clemson's Kyle Parker in the second quarter.(STEVE CANNON, ASSOCIATED PRESS)

- "We're still in it."  -Coach Jimbo Fisher immediately after the Seminoles win and still being in the race for the ACC Atlantic Division.

- "I knew going in we weren't going to score a lot. Their defensive line was dominant and we knew that. That was the mismatch in the game and we had to find ways to nickel and dime it."  -E.J. Manuel

- "Looking at Ron Simmons, as well as Ron Sellers and Fred Biletnikoff's jerseys while I was here, the thought of having a jersey number retired never crossed my mind. I was so consumed with graduating and I was so passionate about getting Coach Bowden's first national championship during my four years here, I never had a chance to think about any personal success. There's no secret to my love for this university, as well as the coaches that coached me while I was here. Obviously you start with Coach Bowden and what he meant to my family.  Next in line is Coach Andrews. When I think of him, it's just two words, mental toughness. He had a unique way of getting it out of you, but at the end of the day he really didn't want you to leave any potential of what you can be, not only as a football (player), but as a growing young man. He wanted you to give your all. I looked across the locker room wall today with my family and we kind of took in the moment this afternoon. I realized I played with over nine consensus All-Americans during my four years here. A lot of people can't say that."  -Derrick Brooks said as he and his family went through FSU's locker room earlier in the day, it really hit him how great some of the teams he played on were. 

- "The last two weeks is as tough a feeling as you've got in a locker room. We practiced the same, we did the same, we did everything the same.  We didn’t change a thing because we knew we’re so close. Those losses we had, and seeing if we would change our core values and principles and go away from what we believe in. And we weren't … And that one there is as good as there is. That's why you play the games — to have these moments.  We've still got a lot of things to fix … but they competed, practiced and stayed true to themselves and each other. Our team has character. And I'm proud of that."  -Jimbo Fisher

- "It's great to be back.  I love this place. It was three of the best years of my life. And obviously a great place to play baseball, but a great place to go to school as well."  -Buster Posey

- "I was leaning toward (playing Manuel) at the end of the week because I realized Christian wasn’t going to get enough reps.  Before the game he went out and threw the ball very well. But one more pop on that thing and how fragile it went and how late it went in the week, you’re talking about the rest of the year, Senior Bowl, you’re talking about his draft. … and then could he have gone out there and played. But that was the one time I thought it would be totally unfair to him to do that."  -Fisher on Ponder playing if he needed, but he was worried about the senior getting hit again and suffering more serious damage.

- "We knew we started the game off well, but we just couldn't get field position." -Jimbo Fisher

- "It let us know that even in tight situations we can come through. The biggest key was communication. I felt like we handled that very well tonight.  We came together and it came down to making some plays at the end and we were able to."  -Senior linebacker Kendall Smith

- "EJ was phenomenal in the game. He missed a signal or two and was a little nervous at times, but his legs and his athleticism (came through) and then he settled down and made some throws and hit a couple deep. I was proud of the way EJ competed in the game. He never lost his poise. He never lost his composure. And I've said this all along, as a character and as a a competitor, he's a carbon copy of #7 (Ponder). He really is. We're very lucky to have both of them."  -Jimbo Fisher

- "It wasn't me, it was a whole team effort. We practice situations all the time. Honestly, it was just like practice."  -E.J. Manuel.

- "After it happened last week, I was hoping I'd get the chance this week. … It works out sometimes."  -Dustin Hopkins

- "This was huge for us. The past three games have really come down to nail-biters and I am just thanking God we were able to pull this one out. That was huge for us to get back on the winning track, and hopefully we will continue.  Jimbo will not let us get down. We owe a lot to our coaches. They coach us really hard win or lose. They are going to coach us hard regardless." -E.J Manuel

- "I was thinking, actually, how awesome it would be to hit the game winner. I was thinking about last week and how disappointing that really was and I knew God had a plan.  Last week I didn’t fully understand it, but I think now I do a little more. That miss last week made this kick that much more special."  -Dustin Hopkins

- "Before I went out there, coach Fisher called me up and said trust and focus on the process and the little things, so I was thinking, ‘Eyes back, swing through." -Dustin Hopkins

- "I told him the good Lord has a plan for all of us.  And he was just testing us – testing everybody.  Remember, don't worry about making the kick. Trust the process. Trust your fundamentals and just kick it."  -Jimbo Fisher to Dustin Hopkins just before sending him out with 3 seconds left on the clock.

- "When I was going out there, I sent up some prayers for sure.  Just thanked God for the opportunity again. Some players came up and were reassuring and I knew they had my back after the miss. It was good to know the team was behind me either way. To pay them (teammates) back a little bit, that's awesome." -Dustin Hopkins on the kick.

- "I thought about the mistake I made last week – not hitting the ball as really hard as I wanted to. I kind of babied it last week. Where this week I was focused on swinging through and just keeping my eyes down. I felt it off my foot. It felt pretty good, but about halfway I thought it was starting to fade left. I was just hoping, I was willing it to the right, 'stay right, stay right.'  And when I saw it was going to be good, Shawn (Powell) jumped up and started yelling so I just took off running. I didn't want to get dog-piled. There are some big dudes out there." -Dustin Hopkins

- "When I heard that thump, I said, 'Oh, that's good' and we all ran out onto the field. I chased him. He ran all over the place. I was just trying to, you know, hug him or something like that. But he ran away from me. So everybody was chasing him. It was a man chase."  -E.J. Manuel

- "It feels great," Hopkins said with a wide smile.

- "We had too many missed opportunities. That's pretty much the story of the game. … And give Florida State credit. They made some big plays in the second half to give themselves a chance to win there at the end of the game. They made some big plays and had some timeouts and made a long kick. This is a tough one. You win a lot of statistical battles but we didn't win on the scoreboard." -Clemson coach Dabo Swinney in a "D'oh" moment after the game.

- "We still have some issues on this team, just because we make that one doesn't mean those go away. We've still got to fix some issues and fix some problems. But the one problem we don't have is competing. Our kids will compete. And they won't quit, and they'll battle, and they'll fight, and they'll scratch, and they'll claw. And I'm proud as heck about that."  -Fisher on how proud he was of his team and how they responded after two straight last-second losses to come away with a walk off win as time expired.

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