Following Florida State's big primetime win over Clemson that all but seals the Atlantic Division Title, Monday's press conference provided plenty of laughs. Fisher, a West Virginia native, was all smiles and cranked the folksy charm to another level. Manuel, an outgoing kid off camera, let loose as well.
The highlight of the presser was head coach Jimbo Fisher's response to a question about EJ Manuel's Heisman chances. "Heisman is a popularity contest. Great players have won it, but it's the best player on the best team. If you want to be the best team, you gotta play well. That has nothing to do with our season. If he would win it that'd be wonderful, but that's not for him to decide," Fisher said. "Do you want to be a show dog or a huntin' dog? Show dogs are paraded around. He's a huntin' dog. When I let him outta that truck he's ready to go. That's what he is and he's mature enough to understand that." "I'd hunt with him," Fisher said when asked.
After being the first Seminole QB to throw for 300 yards and rush for 100 since Charlie Ward in 1992, however, Fisher may have both in Manuel. The 5th year senior was confident in the game and seemed much more at ease than normal in the press conference.
On James Wilder Jr., the massive Florida State running back who wears his jersey like a throwback player from the early 1990s, Manuel joked that Wilder works hard for his abs and likes to show them off. Manuel's friend, however, disagreed. "She said crop tops are only for girls," Manuel said, recalling the conversation.
Manuel also said that Wilder is excited to go back to his city of Tampa, and that when he hands the ball to the bruising back he called a "hammer" and a "workhorse", that he knows it is "six points" (a touchdown), and that it's not a guess. That's confidence.
After the game, the players left the stadium after 1 a.m. Manuel and his dad grabbed some IHop (Village Inn is apparently no longer 24 hours), then went back home. Manuel fell asleep while his dad stayed up until 6 a.m. watching all the highlights. Manuel's mom and grandmother were most excited about his sliding (avoiding injury), and he signed the game ball and gave it to her.
It was just that kind of day at Florida State. After a win that FSU expected and needed to get, there was a sense of renewed confidence.
Oh, and Fisher wasn't done with the dog references, either. "Mess with the dog enough he'll bite you," Fisher said on the decision to not kick the ball to Clemson's all-everything receiver in the fourth quarter. Fisher said that the offense and defense were controlling the game and that he would gladly "give the five yards (via a touchback to the 25) to not let him have the ball in space.
Both Fisher and Manuel went long today, and you can see the full VIDEO here, as well as the text recap in the comment section.