Florida State started sluggish but rolled to an easy 43-3 over an outmatched Wake Forest team, barely covering a 37.5 spread thanks to a field goal kicked in the last five minutes. Coach Jimbo Fisher had this to say at the post-game press conference.
COACH FISHER: Very proud of our defense today. I thought they were outstanding. Thought they tackled, kept contain, did their thing. I mean, totally dominated the game. I thought Roberto was outstanding on the day, which he always usually is, but again, big moments, big kicks, kickoffs. Had the one, but other than that, all of our coverage teams were really good except for the one time in opening kickoff, but from that point.
Offensively, had some turnovers early which were inexcusable. They deflected the ball and then fumbled one and got out of sync. But very big right before the half, big drive. Defense set us up, we got good field position, got a good drive. They were able to steal three points before the half by getting a great kickoff, pinning them back, and then getting two minute before the half. Even though we came out two minute after the half we didn’t score a touchdown, but we got a field goal. Did both of those things, start stretching the game. The defense got some turnovers, which we’ve been waiting on.
And everybody’s been asking that question, so you can quit asking that question. They got them. Took it in the end zone, did a great job. It was their day. Offense got more rhythm as they go, but still very inconsistent with the offense. Had a lot of yards, but still very inconsistent on offense. Had a lot of opportunities that we should have played a lot better offensively.
Had some injuries on the day. We’ll touch base on those as I get a report in. But Barron looked like he might have fractured an arm, and A.D. had a concussion we think. He’s fine, but he was throwing up that was his thing. So we held him in the second half. Checking him out. He was very good after the game, so we’ll have to wait to see on that. There are some other nicks and knack, but those are the two major things that we had.
Another great win. Continue to play better. As I said, we’re a work in progress, but it continues to grow in how we’re playing, but we just keep getting better.
Q. What did you see from Lorenzo Featherston that you gave him the start today?
COACH FISHER: Well, we had him in nickel package. The edge is we get in that four down and we’re rushing these guys. We allow him to play nickel and dime things and be the guy that started out there on the edge. Plus Casher had a banged up shoulder during the week, but Featherston earned the right to be in that rotation and get out there because he can create so many things and create a lot of plays.
Q. Those first two drives you had two tackles for loss. What was your impression?
COACH FISHER: Very good, very good early. His limp, his size, his quickness. I mean, he had made a few mistakes, got pinned inside and lost contain. I say it all the time. We always see the flashes. You’ve got to get through the growing pains of those young guys too when little things like that happen. He’s going to continue to get better, and he can make us better as the football team.
Q. How comforting is to have a kicker?
COACH FISHER: Oh, it is. I mean, it’s amazing what that guy can do and just how you call it and when you get into that position where it feels comfortable and you know you can get those points. He just walks out there and kicks it.
Q. Do you watch him or just assume he’s going in?
COACH FISHER: No, I watch him. I ain’t going to miss that. I watch him all the time. You get a guy like that, I’m going to watch everything.
Q. You had another possession where it would have been a very long field goal?
COACH FISHER: Yeah, he said he felt comfortable. Going the other way we had more wind the other way, and he said he felt very good 56 or 57. With the wind, about 52 or 53 without it, so it would have been a 57?yarder, and they weren’t moving the ball. I thought we could pin them back before the half. That’s one thing, again had two really good punts and pinned them back inside the 20 and we won the field position battle there. So there was no sense to take a chance and lose the field position when we were dominating on defense. He always gives me his range where he felt comfortable at.
Q. The game had kind of a slow start and the offense seemed sluggish?
COACH FISHER: Did not execute. Went out, we had a ball wide open and the guy got a tip on it on the third down and it went up. We had a nice run. Karlos cuts it back and runs into (Indiscernible). He should have tagged and got out of the way, and Karlos still cannot put the ball on the ground. We had two fumbles and then we got going. We’ve got to get better.
Q. How much did Brian have having to step in and some of the snaps were away?
COACH FISHER: A couple times early, and then Barron got hurt, you know what I mean? Then we had to get that flow of the game. I thought Osner did a nice job in the game. He had one high snap down there after the big play by Ermon. But for the first time going into the game and playing, that was critical, man. And I think he has a good chance of being a really good player.
Q. You were talking about the tackling. How would you talk about this performance today?
COACH FISHER: I thought it was very good. There were one or two out there missed in space, but kept contain very well. Didn’t get out in space. I thought we tackled very well in the game.
Q. Mario Edwards, was making a lot of plays in the game. But I noticed a lot of that was from the tackle position. Can you talk about the emergence of Featherston?
COACH FISHER: Yeah, it does. And you go to the nickel and dime package and you put Eddie and Mario inside. Then you have the athleticism on the end with the size and power inside, it gives us a whole different dimension where we can be. Mario can be a 3, 5 or 9 or 7, that is the thing about him. He has a lot of versatility in what he can do.
Q. Had the two touchdowns in 15 seconds. Was it nice to see him make those plays?
COACH FISHER: Oh, it was. You as say you want turnovers. Just keep playing solid ball and the turnovers will come. Keep playing, put yourself ahead in the chains and down and distance, and force people to throw things. They played hard. They’re a very good defensive football team. They really are.
Q. Your two leading receivers are two freshmen.
COACH FISHER: Yeah, with Rashad out, and they stepped up and really made plays. Travis and Ermon are really emerging into being really good players, and I think Pig is too. Or should I say Ja’Vonn Harrison. That is his nickname. But I’m very happy with where their progress is. I feel very comfortable to put him in the game at any time.
Q. Your thoughts on that game?
COACH FISHER: I’m just glad we did. I’m not worried about them. I’ve got enough worries on my own. I don’t know what else is going on out there. Again, that’s what I say. We get caught up. Just play week by week, get better, try to fix your problems and move on. That’s what we’ve got to do. We still, I mean, we’ve got a lot of issues that we’ve got to get better at as a football team. But we’ll play along.
Q. Is that what you saw this week from your defense?
COACH FISHER: Yes, they did. I said they practiced hard, they kept good leverage. They played against a good offense and they were really good. You know what I’m saying? I think offensively we’ve got to clean some things up. We didn’t allow some things to happen on offense that I think are still fundamentally sound issues.
Q. You talked this week about your team (No microphone) after this game, what do you see?
COACH FISHER: I’ll go back and evaluate the film and get a better evaluation, but defense I was very happy, special teams I was. Offense we were never in rhythm. The play caller couldn’t get them to hear, couldn’t get them there. We’d have a chance where we’d miss or didn’t get us in the right play at the right time, and we’ve got to call it better. Just a little out of sync on offense in my opinion.
Q. Can you talk about the attitude through five games?
COACH FISHER: No, I ended up seeing it a little bit too. And I told the kids after the game, go enjoy playing. Sometimes it’s like the pressure of playing today. You’ve got to win, you’ve got to do this. Are you dominant? Who cares? Who cares if you’re dominant. Just keep getting better and be the team you are, and enjoy playing the game of football. You can’t worry about winning and losing. You have to worry about playing well and just having fun out on there on the field and quit worrying about trying to please everybody.
Quit trying to please the scouts. Quit trying to please your agents, guys that are talking to you, quit trying to please the press. Enjoy playing the game, and have fun and enjoy it and turn it loose.
Q. How do you prevent that from getting maybe a toxic locker room for guys?
COACH FISHER: There is nothing toxic about it. That doesn’t become toxic. That is a good thing. That means they care. You worry about if they don’t care. You just go play. That is far from being toxic. This team has a very businesslike type approach. So no problem there.
Q. Can you talk about the bounce back the defense had today?
COACH FISHER: I was very happy with them. They dominate up front, great leverage, covered well. Lost contain a couple times. But let us get on the edge, but I was very proud of how they played.
Q. Any thoughts on win number 50?
COACH FISHER: I didn’t know it was. Is that right? We have to go get win number 51.
Q. What is going on with Lorenzo right now compared to where you expected him to be?
COACH FISHER: I’m pretty pleased with where he’s at. As a freshmen to get the number of reps he has by his fifth game and where he’s developing to, and we’ll watch the film and reevaluate where he’s at. But I’m pleased with his progress.