Jimbo Fisher and David Cutcliffe ACC Coaches Teleconference Notes

COACH FISHER: Come off a disappointing result from the Wake Forest game, made some mistakes in the game we wish we wouldn't have made. Wake Forest did a great job in the ballgame, did not turn the ball over. We turned it over, had some penalties, had an opportunity to still win the football game. Need to learn to quit those mistakes. That's two weeks in a row that penalties have accounted for a large portion of our issues. That's something we need to fix and get cleaned up. The turnovers have -- that's the first time all year that we've had that large number of turnovers, and we'll address those and get back on the winning track and have a great week of preparation to play a very good Duke team this week.

Q. How is the mentality of the players right now, and have they been responding --

COACH FISHER: Actually very good. Actually have circled the wagons and have taken a lot of pride in what they've done and have had two really good days of practice. We'll see if it carries to the field. But their attitude and work ethic have been tremendous, have not had any issues. Actually been better this week than they were a week ago.

Q. In talking to you before the season you obviously had higher expectations along with a lot of people throughout the country for Florida State. Can you pinpoint why you guys have gotten off to this slow start?

COACH FISHER: I think one of the first reasons is injuries. I think we've lost our left tackle, lost our starting guard, we've lost our quarterback for two weeks in a critical situation, lost our starting tailback. We've had to make some adjustments up front starting with tackles. We lost our starting receiver before the year started, and I think that started it, but we still should have won football games, had an opportunity to do it, just have not played with enough consistency. We did not get a break at the right time in a couple big games. We were in both games. Played a great game against Oklahoma, was a great football team, we were right down there, didn't get a stop. And then Clemson had some opportunities, and we had a large number of injuries. We had to start two freshmen receivers, a lineman and a freshman quarterback that week, but then we didn't play as well defensively. It's been a little bit of both. We've been really good on defense at times, been really good on offense at times. We scored 30 points in every game except one. Last week had 11 big plays. Defense has been -- we'll have our little spurts where we'll break down in consistency, just have to be more consistent and be a little better at what we're doing.

Q. Obviously the defense last two weeks, what has to happen better for the defense to start improving performance wise this week?

COACH FISHER: Well, I think we played 74 plays and held Wake Forest to 150 yards. There was about seven plays that were broke for big plays, so I mean, the consistency level and just not have those little mental lapses where we give up the big plays, and I think that's the key. You can't -- like I say all the time, there's three or four plays that change a game, and we've got to fight and scratch and claw and find those inches on every play and not have just a couple mental lapses.

Q. What about Tanner Price was a problem for you guys last week? What impressed you about him?

COACH FISHER: I think he's very consistent, knows where he's going with the ball, very intelligent. I think their offensive line pass  blocked considerably well. We had some sacks in the game, four of them, but they did a good job, and he was able to keep plays alive with his legs. He made two scrambles and we got a hold of him, he spun out and then was able to keep his composure and keep his eyes downfield, and he does a very good job at that.

Q. One thing that stood out about the game, 12 catches by Rashad Greene. Just sort of assess how he's come along for you and if he is the kind of weapon or developing into the kind of weapon that -- not 12 catches a game, but can be a big play guy for you?

COACH FISHER: He has been. He's scored a touchdown in every game. He's made a big play in every game. We've gradually built him into the offense as a freshman as his knowledge has grown. Plays very intelligently, has very good ability, very good route running skills, came in with great route running kills and adapted very well to the college game, and then has good skills with the ball in his hand afterwards, which some guys will be route runners but not great runners after the ball. He's got both capabilities and got good top-end speed. He has developed into a very, very good player.

Coach Cutcliffe

COACH CUTCLIFFE: Well, we're glad to be back in game week coming off an open date. Had two good practices yesterday, and this morning. Something to get us back in the game week swing, and I think our guys are excited about the challenge. As we look at them, all three phases, their kicking game is pretty incredible. You look at the numbers and you look at the tape, and it backs it up. Defensively an incredible pass-rush group that will be challenging for us, and a lot of weapons on offense, particularly when you put E.J. Manuel back in the fold, and back into his practice reps. So a big challenge for us, and one we're excited about getting back to playing and certainly excited about being at home against a great Florida State program. So with that we'll take your questions.

Q. Having the speed of FIU, does that help for Florida State?

COACH CUTCLIFFE: I think we've played two extremely fast teams in Stanford and FIU. I think probably as Florida State looks at that FIU game, I'm sure we'll see some similar approach offensively. So they're very tough match-up games for us, and certainly we are anxious to see how we do match-up with them.

Q. Do you feel this is a Florida State defense that you can score some points against this week?

COACH CUTCLIFFE: I think that Florida State is not going to give up -- I hope we can. I think we can score against anybody. But Florida State is a big challenge because of the pass-rush match-up.

Q. You've won three in a row, and I don't know if the Open date from that standpoint may have come at a time when you have preferred not to have it. I don't know do you feel does that rob some of the momentum that you have to get rolling again or does it have any effect?

COACH CUTCLIFFE: I don't know that it has any effect. We needed it. We were pretty beat up after five ballgames, and it's helped to some degree. I wish we had another week to get well, but that was the biggest issue. Otherwise, I'd rather keep playing. I really would. At this day in time the game is really physical, and the college kids today, 12 games, one open date, that's a challenge. It really is. So kind of having one near the mid portion of the year is welcome as far as I'm concerned.

Q. Were there some guys that have healed up enough that you think they'll be available that maybe haven't been for a week or two?

COACH CUTCLIFFE: Right now I think Desmond Scott is obviously better. He played a little bit against FIU. It's really helped him running back. It's helped Will Snyderwine, our placekicker, which was huge, because he hasn't been well all year long. That's been very significant. Whether we can get a couple of other guys still kind of remains to be seen, kind of using this week as well. I'm hoping it gets a few back. There are a few unfortunately that are out for the year, and a few that were dinged up pretty good against FIU that we still don't know about. I wish that was cut and dry and they were back, but we're kind of hanging in there and seeing what the rest of the week brings.

Q. What's been nagging at Snyderwine for most of the season?

COACH CUTCLIFFE: His is the foot and ankle. The peroneal tendon, and it's been pretty significant. We've tried to give him three days rest, tried to get it done. We tried to kick our back ups and none of that worked successfully. So over the open date I was able to shut him down completely for eight days, and it looks like it's the magic. It's the best he's been. He's not a hundred percent, but he may be 95% finally. We need that weapon. He is a weapon.

Q. Talk about the challenges of Florida State. They have not one, but two book ends that can protect the quarterback, so you can't necessarily shift blocking to one side or shift to one particular end?

COACH CUTCLIFFE: Yeah, that's what you start seeing in this league now more and more, which has been kind of my career having to deal with teams like that. You know, the most critical thing you do is throw the ball on time. We've tried to adapt a little bit on our quarterback throwing spot to help alignment. You certainly already mentioned some things. We take shots at guys and slow them down, but it makes you work on those things. Then they do a good job of moving Jenkins around, standing him up and putting him in different places, so you kind of have to hunt him a little bit. They've got talent. They've got interior people that can rush. They have now multiple -- what FSU's been, they've got about eight of them, so they can keep them fresh and that helps them a great deal. So against a team like us that throws the ball a good bit of the time, I expect we're going to see all of them.

Q. What about Warner? You mentioned Jenkins and how they move him around. What is it about Warner that makes him so tough to block?

COACH CUTCLIFFE: He has strength and he's got violent hands. Really uses his hands well, in what I would call relentless. He just keeps coming at you. He plays really hard. I'm impressed with him. To be as young as he is in the football world, he's very impressive.
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