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Jimbo Fisher, Bobby Petrino chat before Florida State at Louisville

Transcripts via ASAPSports

Andy Lyons

COACH FISHER: Very excited to play Louisville. Should be a great venue, a great opportunity to feature the ACC, two great teams in the league. Very well‑coached team, talented team on offense, defense, special teams. Playing very well. Got the receiver back, the quarterback back, the runningbacks are healthy. They're going to be a very healthy team. They were very dynamic even before those guys came back. They have an outstanding defense, number one in the country. Do a great job on special teams. Should be a great challenge for our team. Hopefully we prepare well and practice well, which I think we have. Look for the opportunity to compete on Thursday night, like I say, on a national stage in the ACC. Questions, please.

Q. I've been watching a lot of stuff this weekend. With all the negativity with the program with the stuff with Florida State, how do you keep your players from listening to that garbage every day?

COACH FISHER: We focus on the things we can control. That's how we prepare and how we play. That's part of growing up and maturing. That's what we do.

Q. Talk about Louisville. How tough is Louisville, their special teams? Something that you guys worked on last week in the bye week?

COACH FISHER: Most definitely. Louisville, all three phases, they're a very complete team. You don't play the level of ball they play without being complete in all three phases. Dynamic, have quick guys, dynamic punt returner. No problem doubt we have to spent a lot of time on those special teams.

Q. How different does DeVante Parker make them?

COACH FISHER: Gives you another viable weapon. They had Quick, he's coming back off his ankle. The more people you put out there, just like us, when you start to see our wideouts, Travis Rudolph, Bobo Wilson, Rashad Green, Nick O'Leary, we have four viable big‑time options with guys coming off the bench. With them, it just adds another dimension, another place your quarterback can go in certain coverages. You can't always double cover the other guy. Now they have another great option out there, gives the quarterback another place to go with the ball.

Q. Regarding Louisville's defense being so good. They have talent at just about every spot. Can you talk about what they do that makes them so effective.

COACH FISHER: I think they do a really good job of moving people around, being multiple. They're very physical up front in the run. They mix coverage in the secondary. They're very athletic. On the third down, they have exotic packages, try to create matchups by moving their big people around. They're very creative with what we do with great athletes.

Q. Rashad Greene, your wide receiver, the Biletnikoff awards, he's had a terrific season so far. Talk about his value to the team and his leadership.

COACH FISHER: I think his value goes way beyond the numbers on the field. He makes plays in big‑time situations, no doubt. Keeps just being that guy. But off the field he does a great job with focusing our players, keeping them in the team concept. Almost like EF Hutton, when he speaks, everybody listens. Great respect in life, great representative of our program.

Bobby Petrino

COACH PETRINO: Our team is really looking forward to the game tomorrow night. Expect a great atmosphere, one our players will be excited about. I think it's a great opportunity for our program and players. We're facing the defending national championship, which is a great challenge. But we're certainly looking forward to it.

Q. I know the offensive line has had some ups and downs this year. Where do you feel like they're playing right now heading into this game against a solid defensive front?

COACH PETRINO: I think we've shown improvement. Last week we were able to run the ball and protect the quarterback. So it's been a work in progress. But they continue to work hard and get better.

Q. Why do you think you saw some improvement last week? Is it getting these guys comfortable with what you're doing now on offense, more experience for them?

COACH PETRINO: Well, a little bit of everything. We did a much better job on our assignments. We're utilizing our techniques. I think they worked harder at finishing and playing till the whistle.

Q. I know you haven't played Florida State yet, but do you see this game potentially turning into one of the bigger rivalries for you guys in the ACC for the foreseeable future?

COACH PETRINO: Yeah, I think all of that is going to be yet to be seen. We're excited about being in the ACC. We've had some great games so far. We're just looking forward to this game tomorrow night, being able to be on the same level and competing for a championship in our division.

Q. Jimbo said when he looks at your offense, he sees a few similar concepts with what he likes to do offensively. Do you see any of those same things?

COACH PETRINO: Yeah, I think some of our formations, some of our concepts in the passing game are very similar.

Q. A lot of people are talking about the 2002 game. I'm curious if that has come up at all inside the program, if you talked about that?

COACH PETRINO: No, we really haven't even talked about it. I remember watching it on TV. I think it was a weekend there was a hurricane that came through, so it was awful weather. It was a great win for the program at that time.

Q. Your defense has played so well all season long. Can you talk about some of the key players on it and what they've done to make them so effective.

COACH PETRINO: Well, I think the one thing that we've done is played together as a team, so the entire defense being able to work together, being on the same page, being able to stop the run, run full speed to the football. We've done a great job of rushing the passer. It's more like the entire defense playing together and doing things together than just individuals.

Q. What does Florida State pose for you? When you see them as a team, what concerns you about them?

COACH PETRINO: I mean, they're very good. They have a great offensive line. They run block really well. They protect the passer. They got a great quarterback. Talent at all the skill positions. It's a great challenge for our defense.

Q. Can you talk about the keys going up against Jameis Winston, what you need to do to slow him down.

COACH PETRINO: Well, I think first thing we're going to have to do is stop the run so they don't have the great down and distance situations. That's important. They're very good at running the football. We're going to have to make sure we have good, tight coverage, be able to put pressure on the quarterback. We're going to have to change up our looks because he's very good at reading defenses, going through his progressions. He has a quick release. He is a great player and it's a great challenge.

Q. You talked a little bit about Florida State's rushing attack. At times they struggled this year. Jimbo said sometimes that secondary, as long as you can run the ball in critical situations, last four minutes, goal line, red zone, do you feel similar about that? Sometimes it's not how many rushing yards you get but when you get those rushing yards?

COACH PETRINO: Yeah, what you have to be able to do or what you try to be able to do is run the ball when you want to run it. But it's really important that you're able to run the ball when you have to. Whether that's short yardage or in the red zone or last part of the game to get out with the win. I think that's one of the great challenges, is being able to run the ball when you have to run it. They do a good job of that.

Q. Is that something that's been more recent where it's just about running the ball when you have to, with a lot of teams seemingly throwing the ball more than ever before?

COACH PETRINO: There's a lot of passing game going on right now, no question about that. Some guys are throwing the bubble screens, the nows, the little quick passes to the receivers. Really you count that in the running game. I think some of the statistics as far as the rushing, if you added those yards into it, would be a little bit different.