November 16, 2013 - by
FSU-Syracuse Postgame Quotes

Nov. 16, 2013

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FSU Head Coach Jimbo Fisher Quotes:

Opening Statement:

“(I’m) Very proud of our guys. I thought we came out very focused and again, started very fast and got a great opening drive and were able to make a couple big plays early, get control of the game and we were able to execute. (I’m) very happy with our focus throughout the game. In previous games, sometimes when we had gotten leads we had gotten sloppy at times and the younger guys are getting better each week. On offense, defense, special teams – to keep the focus and the execution throughout the game, I’m very proud of that. Some of our young guys got some real quality time. I was very proud of all three phases. I thought on offense, defense and special teams we were able to execute and play well and impact the game. That was critical. Syracuse is a good, physical football team. We played well tonight – got to continue to grow. (We) still have things that we can get better at, but we’re getting better each week and hopefully that stays the trend.”

On getting freshman Kermit Whitfield into the game earlier than normal:

“The guy has really developed. He’s feeling comfortable with the ball in his hand. He’s very dynamic. He’s now very mature in how he’s practicing and doing things and growing. He’s a guy on our team that can change numbers on the scoreboard. We have to continue to find ways to get him in the game plan. Just got to continue to find ways to get touches for those guys and he’s done a great job.”

On if he was curious on how redshirt freshman quarterback Jameis Winston would respond:

“I have curiosity with every player on the roster on every game. I promise you I do. To me it’s consistency and how long you can stay that way. I’m very proud of the way our whole team played.”

On getting redshirt freshman quarterback Sean Maguire into the game early:

“When it was the right situation when we came out, up 38 (points) then we came out and got the stop in the second half, I felt very comfortable and thought we needed to give him quality snaps and wanted to keep the one’s in there with him a little bit so he could feel comfortable and be able to execute his part of the game plan and I thought he did a nice job.”

On the defense’s play:

“(They’re) playing extremely well. They’re playing very disciplined – flying to the ball, creating turnovers. In the first half we didn’t have one, but in the second half we created turnovers. (We) have a lot of athletic guys that are also big guys that are being very physical and very disciplined in how they’re playing.”

On Jameis Winston’s touchdown pass to redshirt sophomore wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin:

“Very good on both. Kelvin just keeps getting better and better each week. Those guys executed that play very well.”

On Sean Maguire’s touchdown pass to Nick O’Leary:

“Oh that was beautiful. It’s funny, I’ve been on him (O’Leary) about keeping that angle high. You can tell him I said that. He kept it high and Sean made a beautiful throw. You see some of Sean’s talents. Sean has the arm talent, he just needs reps and what we’re doing and he’s going to be a good player.”

On Jameis Winston’s block:

“He did get down there. Kermit’s going to outrun everyone in the world, you don’t have to block, just be careful. But no, it was amazing just to get down there and block. It shows how team oriented he is.”

On how special this 10-0 start is:

“To be honest, I haven’t thought about it. I don’t have time to think about it. We’ll go back and think of those things when the year is over. We’ll just continue to play.”

“I respect how well they do that (get on teams early). We challenge them to do that, the way they’re practicing and the way they’re playing and doing and I respect that very much. That’s why I say that it’s a fun group of guys to coach and be around.”

#55 Jacobbi McDaniel, Defensive End

Was it good to see (Chris) Casher take the ball from their quarterback?
“It was very big. Every week Casher is progressing as a defensive end and he’s getting better every week, regardless if he’s coming up in a game with 20 minutes left or 15 or five, he’s coming out there and he’s getting better every time he steps on the field he’s making plays. So for Casher I think his self-esteem is growing and it’s continuing to grow from game to game.”

As defensemen, what does it do for you guys to let some of the younger guys play the second half?

“It’s good because we don’t beat up our bodies. We know it’s still a long season ahead and we’re going to just keep going.”

#8 Timmy Jernigan, Defensive End

You played a really good running team, what did you guys do to keep them from running anything in the line of scrimmage?
“Just coming out and throwing the first punch, we were trying to create a dominant kind of chemistry among the defense. Just coming out and being dominant and being the most physical team.”

How good do you think you guys are in run defense right now?

“I feel like we’re pretty solid but I think we definitely can get better. From the starters all the way down to the bottom, they got a couple of big runs late in the game. We work hard on our younger guys, we work hard to put zero points on the board and we expect to stay that way. I feel like we can do better as a whole group.”

Nothing seems to phase you guys – where does that come from?

“It’s the way that we prepare, the way that we practice. Coach Fisher does a great job of just making practices tough and as hard as it possibly can be. Every day, Monday through Thursday.”

Scott Shafer, Head Coach, Syracuse

“Hats off to Jimbo Fisher and Florida State. That’s one of the best football teams I’ve seen in my 23 years coaching. They are big, they are fast, they are talented and they know what they’re doing. Great tackling bunch. The most positive thing I get out of this is now we know where the bar is set and what we need to try and do in the next few years to try to compete against a team of this caliber. Now that we won’t be going head-to-head with them for the for the rest of the year in any sort of a conference race or anything, I’d like to see them go out there and represent the ACC and win the whole damn thing because they are a damn good football team and Jimbo does a great job with them. Hats off to them; they earned everything they got.

“I was disappointed … you know disappointed and felt it was inexcusable the way we started the game. We didn’t do a good job … you know, as an athlete you get in a situation where you are playing up, playing a team and you want it so bad and if you don’t control your emotions and don’t control the things you can control you can’t play within yourself … we did not play within ourselves. There’s a lot of reasons for that and on the other side of the ball that’s a great football team. But, I was disappointed because I saw us make mistakes from a physical point of view – poor tackling, taking shots and not doing a good job from a physical point of view that probably was the biggest disappointment early in the game.”

“And then, once we got going, the kids started flying around a little bit better and doing some things. I was really pleased with the two young guys that I’ve been talking about since I got the job in George Morris and Devante McFarlane – I think we’ve got two very good football players and they are just young pups coming up through and we are going to have them for a few years. I was excited to see those get a chance and go out there and run around a little bit. They have had limited snaps but I was pleased with that side of the game.

“But a lot of disappointment things there but my job is to refocus; turn the page as quick as possible. Because we’ve got two games left in the `Dome and that’s key. We’ve got to get this Pitt outfit in the Dome and go to war right away. It’s going to be a big game for both sides and we look forward to jumping ahead to that game as quick as possible.”

Is Florida State better in person than they are on tape?

“There were. I’ve been doing this for a long time and they are just – doggonit – I though the quarterback was a defensive end until he turned his shoulders and I saw his jersey number. Jameis (Winston) – he’s a big kid. Their quarterbacks look like our d-ends. Nothing against our kids, I love them, like I said that’s the bar and that’s what we are going to have to strive for. I love my kids, I love our players, but they (Florida State) are a good looking bunch. They are as good as they are supposed to look and better. They look like an NFL team out there, personnel wise. They have guys who don’t touch the field that are giants. That’s the sign of a good program and one helluva job by Jimbo Fisher and this staff.”

Jameis Winston, redshirt freshman quarterback:

On his block that sprung Whitfield’s touchdown run:
“Anything for our team to have success, I’m down for it. Obviously I have some competition because Jake [Coker] had a block for Kermit so I had to go and get me one.”

On recent run of quick starts:

“Our defense is playing amazing. In the Wake game they did all of the work early. By us having the ball early and for us to get in that groove. Once our offense gets in that groove, it’s hard to slow us down.”

What leads to him getting into a rhythm early?:

“Our team. When you have great veterans around you and you have great people that you trust, you want to go out on that battlefield and just play your heart out for them.”

Business as usual?:

“Always. That’s how we go into every game. We prepare the same. We came out victorious and that’s what we want.”

On keeping the hammer down mindset with the lead:

“We’ve got to keep growing because at the end of that second quarter we started playing … a little unfocused. That’s one thing coach Fisher always talks about. `Stay on them. You want to stay on them.’ When we’re up big, just make it hurt.”

On why Sean Maguire can be successful when he goes in:

“Because coach Fisher is a quarterback guru. You see that with all of our quarterbacks. Any of those guys can come in and play. Obviously we missed Jake this week. He’s an excellent quarterback just like Sean.”

On Maguire’s physical skill set:

“Sean has a cannon. He’s young just like me, so obviously we’re still learning the offense.”

On whether 19 of 21 performance was as best performance since the opening game of year:

“Coming off that Wake Forest game where I was a little off. … It was kind of a weird win the way the offense was against Wake Forest. It was like, `Guys, let’s buckle down this week and take what’s there and keep moving this offense forward.’ When we get our groove on, it’s hard to stop us.”

Josue Matias, junior guard

On how Maguire was working with the first-team offense:
“You couldn’t even tell the difference. He came in like Jameis, with a big smile. He was excited and we were excited for him. We just went out and protected him and blocked for him.”

On offensive efficiency early:

“We just had to get off to a fast start. We knew we were better than all the teams we played, we just hadn’t got off to a fast start. We just decided to start fast and have been going from there.”

About offensive balance and the impact of offensive line:

“We’ve just been pounding on the run and if that don’t work we always have the option to pass it. If the pass doesn’t work we run it. We have a good balance.”

Sean Maguire, redshirt freshman quarterback

“It has been awesome in practice knowing you’re going to get a lot of reps in the game. I just try to make the most of my reps in practice and carry it over in the game.”

“I had some jitters that first play, but once I got that first snap, I was fine.”

On how much help Winston has been in practice:

“He’s been a big help all week … helping me with reads, helping me with Mike [middle linebacker] calls.”

Whether he felt good about the TD pass to Nick O’Leary when it left his hand:

“I thought it was a good ball. I was hoping Nick would go up and get it. I knew he would. It was pretty awesome.”

On it being the tight end TD reception record for O’Leary:

“He’s one of my best friends. I live with him so it’s pretty awesome. I found out after, but it’s an awesome feeling.”

Overall thoughts on performance:

“I thought I did pretty well, except for the interception. Someone hit my arm. Kermit was open but it would have been a tough play. I probably should have checked it down to one of my backs anyways.”

Nick O’Leary, junior tight end

On being on the receiving end of Maguire’s first TD pass – and it being the all-time TD reception record for a tight end:
“It was just cool to be Sean’s first touchdown and it was also the record-breaking touchdown for me, so for both of those things to happen it was pretty amazing.”

“He threw a perfect ball.”

On setting the record:

“It’s great to be on the record boards at Florida State and hopefully I’ll get a lot more touchdowns and make that margin more.”

On the offensive efficiency today:

“We had a hard week of practice and everything we did paid off. We went out there, did what we had to do and came out with the victory.”

“Jameis came out ready to go. When he’s completing balls we’re all ready to go. Devonta and James are doing a great job running. When we’re rolling, nobody can stop us.”

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