COACH JIMBO FISHER: Hello. Very good win. I thought Citadel did a very nice job in a game we knew they had some difficult stuff to play against, their offense. They nickel and dimed us in the first half and kept field position and ate some clock. We were extremely efficient on offense. Had it four times, scored four touchdowns.
Defense, I thought, did a really nice job the second half coming out with the ones and shutting them down, getting the ball back.
Offense moved it again. We only had eight possessions on the day and scored seven of them. Little disappointed we had two dropped touchdowns that we should have put away down there. Again, didn't get the ball much. When you play those kind of offenses, that's what can happen.
Again, the second half our defense did a nice job. First half didn't do a bad job, just there's a lot to playing all those teams. We all know that. But it shortens the game. Good win. Got to evaluate our injuries and see who's banged up. We had a couple of guys go out in the game, got cut. Look at some injuries there.
But overall, didn't turn the football over on offense, very good. Was very efficient in the red zone, especially early. Good on third down. And what we did, except for the couple drops, that was very critical. But when you don't get many possessions, that could be big. Threw the ball efficiently. Ran the ball much better. Some of our young players got in the game. I was very pleased with offense, defense, special teams.
Special teams I was pleased with. Roberto kicked the ball much better. Took that out of it. Had the one punt, which was just okay. We got to keep working there. Again, I think it was a 40‑yard punt, but still not as good as we need to be. But we'll keep getting better. Happy with some of the young player development. Got an off week. Hopefully, we'll get healthy and develop and keep getting better. Got a chance to have a good football team.
Q. You had three defensive linemen go down. How much of an effect? Does it worry you?
COACH JIMBO FISHER: No doubt. I don't know how bad their injuries are. When you play these kind of teams, they're constantly cutting the knees and ankles. Got to see where they're at injury‑wise. Nothing illegal about it. That's just football.
Q. Coach, Dalvin scored his first career touchdown. What have you seen from him in camp?
COACH JIMBO FISHER: Good. He's learning to be more consistent. Learning all the pass pro stuff. Like I said, early in the game, I was on him, even when he scored. Certain time, his second one, you don't need a big play. You got to learn to stick it up in there and get some runs. But for his first time out there, you can see the talent and see the ability. Guy's going to be one heck of a football player. Very pleased with him. He's got to keep coming for us to see where we're going to go. I thought Mario Pender played well in the game also.
Q. Carlos seemed like he has a focused playing game. What's he like off the field and in practice?
COACH JIMBO FISHER: Great. He's been really good. We had a long talk when his grandmother was ill and he got to go home. I think he got to make peace with it and say his good‑byes. I think that's why he handled last week so well, even though he was still grieving. Carlos is a very strong young man. Got a great spiritual background, got a great family. His mom and them are great people. We try to give him as much support as we can. He's doing a great job.
Q. You mentioned the blocking scheme Citadel had. Did you coach up your defensive line different this week to prepare them to take on those type of blocks?
COACH JIMBO FISHER: No, you don't play them anymore. When you're playing those cut blocks, you've got to bend. That's how Georgia Tech and those types of offenses, Navy, that's what they do. But you got to be able to bend and play your hand. Sometimes they're still going to get there. That's just the way it is.
Q. Coach, from an offensive standpoint, you guys really spread out the ball tonight. A lot of players saw action.
COACH JIMBO FISHER: We did. We got a lot of the players the ball. That was actually the same plays we called a week ago. Like I said, last week everyone was worried we threw Rashad so many balls. But I ask you this? How many times did we throw it in double coverage? Not one time. You have one‑on‑one, you throw it to your best player. He was second and third reads a lot last week. This week, a couple of balls he got, he was a second read. We may have called more one routes to him this week than we did a week ago. But coverage dictated and things dictated, and we got balls to other people. Our offense is not based on‑‑ we may call it somewhere, but it doesn't have to go there. Last week we called ten balls to Nick, but he only got three of them. We may have misread a couple, but still coverage takes away, and we hit other people. We don't force the ball. We've got to have diversity around the board, and guys can catch it and run it. The quicker those guys keep developing, the better we're going to be.
Q. Jameis did find the tight ends and running backs.
COACH JIMBO FISHER: Same as he did last week. I thought he was really good last week. We go back and look at last week, the backs had 8 catches. Between them they had 11, between backs and tight ends. It was exactly the same things he did a week ago.
Q. How did you feel about how Bobo Wilson played his first game?
COACH JIMBO FISHER: Good except for the fumble on the punt. I don't like that. Bobo's got some talent. He can get vertical, run the ball. He's quick with his hands. He and Kermit had good games today.
Q. Is it too soon to know how the freshmen linemen did?
COACH JIMBO FISHER: It is. Unitl you get to watch that film, it's hard. We had a couple pass broke downs with our ones. There were some things in there early that they got through. But it's the second game. We'll keep getting better and better.
Q. You guys stayed relatively healthy last year. Going into this this year, do you kind of have the mindset like you're not going to remain as healthy over the course of the season?
COACH JIMBO FISHER: When I rub that crystal ball, I can't ever figure it out. Sometimes you do, sometimes you don't. Right now we got a couple of guys banged up now. That's the thing about football, you don't realize. Ankles and knees, when they get cut, that's different than hamstrings and things like that. We haven't had many of them. We've had ankles. The one hammy with P.J. Other than that, we've been pretty healthy. That's just ball. You keep your fingers crossed.
Q. You guys are out 2‑0. Now you've got two weeks before facing an ACC opponent. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
COACH JIMBO FISHER: With the couple of injuries we had today, I'd say it's a pretty good thing so we can try to get guys healthy if we can. It's not too bad. You get to regroup. Preseason is over with. You're going into your conference schedule. And you've got a big time opponent coming in, Clemson, who's very talented and very well coached. It's one of the premier games in our league every year. It's a double whammy for me. It's a conference game and an interdivisional game. So it's a big one.
>> Coach, seems like Lorenzo Featherston almost got his hands on a few punts there. Is that something you have seen in practice?
COACH JIMBO FISHER: Every day. He goes at it every day. He is a very big, physical guy, but he's long and athletic. He's got ball skills. He can do things like that. Those guys, the quicker they keep developing, him and Jacob Pugh and Ricky Leonard, they're all going to be really good football players.
Q. The offensive line seemed more focused on protecting and holding up strong compared to last week?
COACH JIMBO FISHER: Played a little better opponent last week too. I don't mean nothing about Citadel, but we had guys up front, and they did some things. We still had pass breakdowns. We had times where we had pressure that's got to get fixed. We've got a great line. We've got to keep being physical and running that football. Our backs for the most part, they blitzed. They did a nice job picking up blitzes as well.
Q. You focused on setting the record with 18 wins. A lot of good teams at this school haven't won 18 straight games.
COACH JIMBO FISHER: That's great. Hopefully, that can keep going. We've got to worry about where we're going to get better. We'll look at that at the end of the year. It's great to have the knowledge we've done that and we've played with consistency. That's the thing. We keep doing things well. That's what sports is. How many times in a row can you do it over and over and over again and not get bored? That's what we've got to keep going.
Q. Last game Reggie had seven tackles. This quarter‑‑ well, in the first quarter of this game, he only‑‑ he had six. What did you see in him today?
COACH JIMBO FISHER: He did well. When the dive's coming right at him. Fed him a lot of fullbacks. When you're running those dive plays right up inside, that's what it was schemed up to do. He's going to have to play it from depth and then get over the top running that alley. You knew‑‑ that guy in that game, that was Vince Williams, a lot of the same scheme we played against Georgia Tech a couple of years ago and made a lot of good plays. It was designed that he was going to make them, and he did.
Q. Jimbo, nonconference games like this where you have an opponent that chops like this, would you vote against it in the future for the schedule?
COACH JIMBO FISHER: Those guys that cut and chop like this, it's crazy. I'd rather play more conventional teams. Not‑‑ just because of the chance of injuries that occurred.
Q. Jimbo, Chris Casher didn't start until maybe the third series. Is that‑‑
COACH JIMBO FISHER: DeMarcus Walker is playing very well. That was the rotation. No, he did great. We put him in the game. We played him early. Third series, that's pretty daggum early in what we're doing. Because DeMarcus is doing a really good job too. Chris is going to be a great player, but those guys battle back and forth every day.
Q. So it was nothing with academics?
COACH JIMBO FISHER: No, had nothing to do with that.
Q. Jimbo, you've got some of the freshmen skill guys on kick coverage.
COACH JIMBO FISHER: Covering those kicks in those lanes. We had to create more speed. We had to get down there. I mean, with guys like Matthew Thomas and Eligwe and those guys who were tremendous kickoff coverage guys not being in there right now, those are big bodies that we have to replace and get in there. So Dalvin and some of the other skill guys, Harrison, all those guys, those guys can run, and they've got to get down there. That's one of the pride teams we've always had here, being on that kickoff team, being on that punt team, those guys. That's why a lot of those guys are playing in the league right now because they can play special teams. It was a great opportunity, and, again, it gets those guys in the game. As I say, they get hit. They get the butterflies out of what's going on, and it's very critical. We wanted to create more athleticism and more speed on those teams.
Q. Do you expect to have those kids back for Clemson, Jimbo? The kids who are out, Eligwe and Thomas?
COACH JIMBO FISHER: I don't know if Matthew will be back. We'll have to wait and see. Eligwe, he's making tremendous progress. That's the schedule we had. Right now that guy can heal. I wish everybody had whatever he's got in him. I wish we could pass it on. His body heals very well. Certain people do, and certain people don't. He looked really good in all of his workouts last week. It would be tremendous to have him back. I'm hoping we can. That was the schedule.
Q. You seem optimistic?
COACH JIMBO FISHER: I am very optimistic, but you can't‑‑ you don't ever know.