ACC Coaches Press Conference Quotes: Jimbo Fisher & Tom O'Brien

Here are the excerpts from the ACC Coaches Press Conferences. Jimbo Fisher and N.C. State coach Tom O'Brien are featured. Opening Statement:

"After watching the film, I thought we had a solid football game this week. We played well…had some things we need to fix and work on, but defensively we had a very solid performance managing our gaps with the run game. (We did a) really nice job of keeping good leverage because that’s what we worked on there. Special teams had a really nice day. Had one holding call, we have to fix that up but we covered well. On offense, we scored on seven out of 11; we had a missed field goal and still have a lot of room for improvement there but had good balance between the run and the pass. We’re continuing to grow in the running game. (We) played a solid football game and still can get better in all three phases but hopefully we’ll have another good week of football practice and be 1-0 at the end of this week. That’s our goal."

On the defense playing its most complete game this year:

"I don’t know that for sure. I’d say Oklahoma was better because they were playing a better opponent. I thought we had good gap control on the run when Brown was in there because we knew that’s what they were going to do because they’re not going to throw the ball as much. I think they played well, they played a very solid football game."

On North Carolina State:
"They run their same offense, they’re still going to run, they’re committed to the run and they throw the ball very well. (Mike) Glennon is not as mobile, but he does throw the ball extremely well. I actually recruited Glennon and I saw him a lot in high school and I liked him. He’s big, strong 6-5 guy that gets it out of his hand. I think he has 19 touchdowns on the year. They’ve got playmakers and speed outside. NC State’s always got good skill; they’ve got a really good tight end. They do a solid job upfront."

On running better in the second half:

"It’s getting the lead and how you call plays and what you do and how you feature it. We’re trying to get leads and mixing and matching and we are doing what we have to get the lead. Then you’re able to control the clock, you’re able to work field position. I always go back to say,‘run the football in the redzone, goal line, short yardage and the last four minutes of the game and when you have the lead and be able to control the clock and high percentage passing- we’re just trying to eat clock. We would have done it early in the game but the passing game opportunities where there. When you’re ahead too, how you call plays – it can make a difference."

On the sacks:

"It’s having good players in trenches and mixing coverages. We were able to get more zone coverage and we’ve got good rush guys. We’ve got the ability to rush the passer. The key to get great sacks is to stop the run … a couple of ways to do it. A couple of those sacks were good rushes and a couple of those sacks were coverage sacks. Also, being ahead. When you’re ahead it allows those guys up front to become far more one dimensional and to lay those ears back and allows them to rush the passer. All those different things factor into the sack issue."

On freshman defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan:

"He played really well. He had a couple of mistakes, but he played well, very physical. He’s just developing every week and getting better and he had a great game. "He actually only had about 14 more reps this game. He’s been getting 24 or 25 reps a game. They’ve been splitting it every week. It’s not a huge significant number."

On Kenny Shaw’s concussion earlier in the season and recovery:

"You don’t ever know. The concussion some get back quickly some look like not a big ding could be serious. You’re always concerned. When he came back it was his jaw that was really sore. That’s a little bit different to me. He came back and had no ramifications from it and that’s why we played him better and better every week. He’s consistently developing and he’s a good route runner and he made plays in the game."

On senior linebacker Nigel Bradham:

"The last two weeks I thought he’s played as well as he’s played since he’s been here and he’s doing it consistently. Doing the little things right, chasing the ball. I think he’s really starting to play really good football."

On North Carolina State:

"They have very good players. They’ve got great skill, they can throw ball around and score points. Their quarterback is a good player; their tight ends are skill guys. Defensively, they cause a lot of looks, a lot of pressure, constant blitzing in what they do. They’re a well-coached football team. "On offense, it’s throwing the football. They keep balanced when they run the ball. They’ll keep you honest there; they’re still going to throw it. Their pressures on defense – they’ll fire zones and different looks throughout the secondary. They’re constantly changing looks so it’s hard to get into a rhythm and a groove. You have to pay attention to what’s going on."

On the secondary not making interceptions:

"They’re knocking the balls away. Haven’t got a lot of turnovers, we’ve only created six all year. When you talk about sacks you think turnovers would come with that. Hopefully they start to come. That’s the one issue that we’ve played solid defense but haven’t created the turnovers. "

Tom O'Brien

On the win at Virginia:

"It was a big win for the football team. They certainly needed to go on the road and win a football game and win an ACC game. It’s certainly a tough thing to do in this conference. I think going out and playing, especially the way we did on defense, was very satisfying for them. Hopefully that will give us a little boost here. We have to go on the road again against what has become a really explosive Florida State football team the last couple of weeks, so we have a big challenge ahead of us this week."

On the defense playing their best game:

"Certainly from start to finish. I’m really happy for the kids and hopefully we understand we’ll have to be a whole lot better come this Saturday against the team we’ll be playing. Getting some people back and getting some people healthy helps a lot."

On finding/recruiting David Amerson:

"He came to camp and certainly I started a relationship with him then. He’s a Greensboro kid and I think Mike Reed did a good job recruiting him. That’s his area. As I’ve said to some people before, talking to Jon Tenuta, he thinks he’s one of the top five corners that he has ever been around talent-wise, and he’s been around some good corners."

Amerson’s position:

"He was a freshman, and certainly the way we played last year we were rolled up a lot into the boundary. Assignment wise, we had a lot of flat coverage and could play into the boundaries. He’s a physical enough kid. You don’t want to put them in a situation where they’re going to lose confidence. He gained confidence as the year went on. Certainly we talked about it before the bowl game but waited until spring practice and then moved him to the field corner because of his abilities."

On Amerson’s interception:

"Obviously it was a converted route, and the quarterback didn’t read the conversion, didn’t read two high safeties and that was a heck of a catch that he made to make that play. That’s what he does in cover. He plays his own and plays the quarterback’s eyes and he broke on the ball. It was a great catch. With T.J. [Graham] out, he can return kicks and punts too if he has too, we just haven’t needed him. We’d rather use T.J. or Tobais in that order, but since neither of them were around we went on."

FSU’s quarterback:

"He’s another dual-threat guy with a big strong arm. He’s a tough guy to get on the ground when he pulls the ball down and takes it. He’s a 230-pound guy, he’s a big strong runner. He’s not afraid to pull it down and run with it, run option with it and run the zone read scheme. They do all those things with him. He’s very capable to take off and run."

On Tobais Palmer’s pre-game concussion:

"They go out, they run around and catch balls and he ran into Jay Smith and was down for the count. He was fine yesterday. As long as he stays symptom-free, if the doctors say he can play then he can play. "

On his concern about Mike Glennon getting hit against Florida State:

"You’re always concerned. You have to be concerned about your quarterback. You don’t want him taking any hits, but sometimes it’s not avoidable. I think he’s shown a lot of toughness and a lot of resilience. No. 49 is a great pass rusher. You’ve got No. 95 on the other side and two big guys in the middle that we played last year, so these guys can bring a lot of pressure. I think they sacked Maryland six times and knocked one of their quarterbacks out of the game, so it’s definitely a concern for us.

On J.R. Sweezy getting back on the field:

"I think it’s really important. He’s the leader of the team and I think he picks everything up. When he’s around there’s a different feel out there. You can tell the difference; at least we can if he’s on the field or dressed out to go. "Last week he went to see Dr. Anderson down in Charlotte and was reassured that everything was okay. I think psychologically thlot to do with it. There’s going to be pain, but the fracture was fine, the screw was fine. He played 25 plays at Virginia. I think he’s played 27, 29, and 25 plays in three games. Hopefully he’ll be better this week. I did the same thing with Andre Brown his first or second year here. Andre had the same problem. Dr. Anderson does a lot with the NFL guys. "Will Blackmon, the guy that I had at BC, went down and had him do surgery on him and swears by him. When he talks to them about the NFL guys that he has and that this is how it’s supposed to be, I think they’re reassured. Fifth-year seniors have a much higher pain threshold than redshirt freshman."

On T.Y. McGill:

"He’s kind of like Bryan Underwood. Those are kids that we have in our program that we know are good players. As they mature and grow, they’re going to be really, really good players. It’s not the time that we want them because if they were really good players right now they’d be playing. But as a 300-pound kid he’s really light on his feet. He can run, and he’ll only get stronger. When he figures it all out, our defense is complicated, a lot of things that they have to do. In college football now with all the different changes, there’s a lot of changes going on right now on our side of the ball too. That’s where experience comes in. He will get better as he becomes more experienced. He’s a powerful guy that can knock you back. Between him and Carlos Gray, who we’re redshirting, and [Thomas] Teal, those three guys are like the guys we used to play with at BC."

On FSU’s sustained success:

"When you win national championships or you’re in the top-10 for 10 or 15 years in a row that says a lot. They have their marquee tomahawk chop, they’re on television a lot, and I think they’ve marketed well. Once they got to a certain level they were able to maintain it."

On noon road games:

"I think a lot of coaches like it because you get up, you play and it’s over with. The night games go forever, especially if you’re on the road because then you don’t get back until 3 or 4 in the morning. "

On the hostile night crowd at FSU:

"A lot of places are like that, especially where tailgating is big. I think our crowds are much better at night than they are at 12 noon too, when people get the opportunity to get revved up and ready to go. "

Rashard Smith:

"I think with those kids, getting them in the game and creating some competition keeps them fresh. I think Rashard has a great feel for the game. The one thing we did do is we stopped their screen game, which two weeks in a row has been an emphasis for us. He’s helped us a lot. He went from defense to offense and is now back on defense. He and C.J. [Wilson] are rotating.

On beating FSU last year:

"We stopped them there at the end when we needed a stop. We had too many guys coming off the edge and their fullback ran into their quarterback and it was a great game. Thursday night games are great here. It’s a great atmosphere. We made enough plays to win."
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