After Florida State improved to 2-3 on the year Saturday with a narrow 17-10 win at Duke, head coach Jimbo Fisher returned, as always, for his weekly press conference with the media on Monday.
What did Fisher have to say after looking back at the film from the Duke game? How does he feel about this weekend’s clash with Louisville? Here’s some insight:
Jimbo Fisher had high praise for junior running back Jacques Patrick after Saturday’s game, going so far as to call him a “heck of a football player.”
A few days of reflection only confirmed Fisher’s thoughts about how Patrick has played of late.
“He's doing great,” Fisher said of Patrick. “Leading on the sideline and doing a really good job.”
Patrick has amassed 351 yards on 60 carries through five games this season along with one rushing touchdown.
It’s the intangibles, though, that have stood out just as much as Patrick’s carries.
“The thing Jacques is doing, too, the pass blocking, the chipping, all the different things, the route running,” Fisher said. “He's doing so many of those things, it's crazy.”
Wide receiver health
When pressed on updates for the health of FSU’s wide receivers, George Campbell and Keith Gavin in particular, Fisher had little information to relay.
“We'll see in time. We'll have to wait and see,” was Fisher’s entire statement on the matter.
Campbell was questionable for the second straight week after re-aggravating his core muscle injury suffered in 2016. After playing through the injury against Miami, Campbell was held out against the Blue Devils, walking the sidelines not dressed out after he tried to warm up in full dress.
Gavin, meanwhile, missed the Duke game after suffering an ankle injury late in the loss to Miami. He was seen last week on crutches, but no official timetable for his return has been given.
With both Campbell and Gavin out, FSU relied heavily on junior wideouts Auden Tate and Nyqwan Murray against Duke with walk-on Jared Jackson and true freshman D.J. Matthews also breaking into the rotation.
With Louisville’s secondary under such scrutiny for its lackluster play of late, FSU getting a third experienced receiver back into the mix would put further pressure on the Cardinals and could make the difference.
Lamar Jackson is one of a kind
Fisher is quite aware of what makes Lamar Jackson so special.
How could he not be after last season’s 63-20 beatdown up in Louisville?
Sure, FSU’s defense is far more healthy heading into this year’s matchup (Derwin James is in, Josh Sweat and Derrick Nnadi are fully healthy) and the Cardinals are reeling after a 45-42 home loss to Boston College.
Still, someone like Jackson has the ability to be a gamechanger any given Saturday.
“The complete ability to read and throw down the field and create long plays, throw it short. And then the complete ability not just to run or run over you, but I mean you can't get your hands on him,” Fisher said of Jackson’s play “I mean he's right there, and all of a sudden you'll have him, and he has an instinct to move in a certain area, and you've got three guys around him, and all of a sudden they don't touch him. There's unique players like that. I tell you what he is, too, he's really tough and competitive. If you really watch that film, he's an excellent competitor and a very tough guy too.
If you are interested in a full rundown of Fisher’s weekly press conference, you can find it here.