COACH FISHER: Tremendous atmosphere out there tonight. To me, that's what college football is about. That was a fun thing to do. It was an exhausting thing to do, but it was fun. I thank our fans. That was a tremendous effort by our fans tonight, to back us and stay in it the whole time. When it didn't look like it was going to be there, they did a great job of being that 12th man tonight, give these kids a lot of resolve.
Unbelievably proud of them. You know, we challenged our guys to find out who we are. We're not where we want to be, but we do know who we are. That's a team that will fight you, that will compete with you, that understands how to win, how to be a family, and understands how to love from within. It truly does.
I'm proud to coach them. I need to coach them better. We need to do better in a lot of areas. That's the good thing. We still got a lot of room for improvement. But I can't be prouder. You know, when you build a program, a great program's built like a family. It loves each other. You have rules. You have structure. You spend a lot of time together. When your players mis‑step, you balance education, which we do a lot ‑ more than anybody in America, as much as anybody in America ‑ with punitive measures. They understand there's consequences.
I don't condone any of the comments Jameis made earlier this week or how or where he chose to make them. He knows that. Our team knows that. We spoke a lot about that throughout the week internally and with the administration. I have high expectations for our players and our staff and the people you represent.
At the end of the day we felt like the one game made the most sense, and I chose to keep that process internal. Now he's served that punishment and he's ready to move forward. He'll be back at practice on Monday and he'll be our quarterback on Monday.
You never know at the pace kids learn or why they make mistakes. Our hope and belief is Jameis will learn from this and use better judgment, language, decision making, his respect for everything will continue to grow.
I think Sean had a chance to step up, be ready when his number was called, just like E.J. Manuel did when Christian went down, just like Clint did when E.J. went down. We've had that happen a lot.
I can't be prouder of Sean Maguire tonight, all he did for our team, the resolve he had, the team in all three phases.
I thought the defense did an unbelievable job. Get a fourth‑and‑one stop and played their hearts out when we couldn't get things going on offense. They were dominating the line of scrimmage the whole day. In the first half we couldn't run the ball, we found ways to score. We couldn't run it till we had to run it at the end. We ran it for those last 25 yards and scored.
Like I said, we're not perfect. We're nowhere close. Couldn't be prouder of Cason Beatty tonight. When we struggled on offense, that guy hit big punts in big‑time situations when everybody is riding him, wanting to make a choice on him.
You know, sometimes in life you got to believe in people. If people don't believe in you, you're not going to get any better. You take their hope away. It's easy to criticize till you stand out there on the field and compete. I'm extremely proud of what he did, extremely proud of what he did.
Proud of Roberto, the kicks and the way we cover team. We couldn't cover kicks. Now we can cover kicks. We got a lot of room to grow in a lot of areas.
I was proud of Karlos, our leadership, Rashad Greene, him and Nick O'Leary, they can play with anybody, anywhere, anytime. They understand how to make them in big‑time situations. Our secondary did a great job. Our front. Mario Edwards, those guys are all growing. I'm proud of this team. I'm anxious to see where this team can go. It's got to get better.
But physically, mentally and spiritually, this is a very tough team. We just got to get better fundamentally. We got to coach better and make better decisions. I'll do that. I'll make sure our coaches do that.
For our coaches, keeping our kids in the game, being able to adjust to those situations, make halftime adjustments to be able to come out, score points, move the ball, stop them at critical times in the red zone, to keep fighting, scratching, clawing. Had the ball on the one yard line. You never know. Held them for two plays, get a snap over your head. Things happen, man. That's football.
This team believes in it. It believes it's always going to be successful. But we're building something special here. I love what we're building. We just got to continue to grow with it. For a young team, the youth on this team, can't be prouder, can't be prouder. It was a tough week, but we're ready to move on. Look forward to playing NC State next week.
Q. Do you think this team should still be ranked No. 1?
COACH FISHER: Sure do.
Q. Explain why.
COACH FISHER: We ain't lost in 19 straight games. We are No.1 till somebody beats us.
Q. Did you practice the overtime scenario this week?
COACH FISHER: No, we didn't practice it. We go over it. We work a lot of red zone situations from the 25 in. We work drives every Thursday. We do a drive every Thursday, how we would do things coming in. Our red zone goal line, two‑point play situation every week we go in. All those situations have been covered.
Q. The plays that you called in overtime, is it all scripted?
COACH FISHER: No. But getting the ball first and getting the ball second is totally different. You know what I mean? And once we got it, I want to say we hit those runs a couple times, once we popped that first one, once we hit to the 12, got the best kicker in America, you put it on his foot. At the same time our line, I'd rather run the touchdown in, which we did.
Q. Talk about the decision at the end of regulation.
COACH FISHER: 1 minute 36, you're backed up. What's the odds? You haven't moved it all day, you haven't run it. You just had a turnover going in. You're playing in your home stadium in front of your crowd. The odds of scoring from your own 20 with 1 minute 36, you struggled all day up and down, makes no sense. See, a coach, sometimes you talk about playing to win. Sometime as coach, you don't want to take it away from them. Me being aggressive there would have been stupid and could have taken the game away from our players who fought so hard to get that last turnover and get us in that situation. I'd rather go into overtime in our home stadium.
Continuing about decision to play for overtime
COACH FISHER: A little bit, but not really. Not backed up. Now, if we're at the 40 or 50, I'm going. I'm not backed up to the 20. You don't usually go till you're at the 30 or 35. If you have a very experienced quarterback, you can do it maybe at the 25 or 30. When you get backed up, you don't do that to a kid. I'm going to tell you something. You can ruin quarterbacks before you can make them. You know what I mean? You can put them in bad situations to fail and have them fail and it not be their fault, it will be your fault as a coach. And we didn't want to do that to him.