JIMBO FISHER: Yes, after watching film last week, I said it before, BC did a great job. They beat us in all three phases, played an excellent game. We need to rebound back this week and play. Had a really good practice on Monday and Tuesday and play a very good Syracuse team who’s playing really hot. They can throw the football down the field. They’ve got two outstanding receivers that are tops in the country in receptions. The quarterback is doing a great job. They’re running the football much differently. Their new tight end and things caused a lot of problems with what he does. Defensively they’re doing an outstanding job. I think they’re one of the top teams in the country on 3rd down. Defense giving up about 23 percent of their 3rd downs. Mixing different looks, do different things on defense. Really do an outstanding job in that regard, playing outstanding football and special teams hands full play well, get back and play a very good Syracuse team.
Q. How would you compare the Lamar Jackson that you guys faced in 2016 to the one that you guys have played this year?
JIMBO FISHER: He was outstanding in our game. I mean, he ran and threw it and made the plays and made critical plays when he had to. Had the big drive when he had to. He was very dynamic. I thought he was outstanding both years.
Q. Where have you seen him develop the most?
JIMBO FISHER: I can’t say that because I don’t see him that much, just occasionally on film. And then when we played him. But you see — I think he’s matured in just overall knowledge of how he’s doing and what he’s playing, his poise, his pressure. I mean, you can just see a more relaxed guy say. I don’t think he was unrelaxed any other time, but this guy — everybody knows what he does, so I think him still being able to put up the numbers he does is amazing because when people game plan for you and have have a whole year to plan for you and he’s still putting up numbers and doing those things, I think it’s amazing.
Q. You’ve always been a big proponent of having a second bye week. Are you still of that opinion?
JIMBO FISHER: Yeah, I do. I think the kids do because of school and everything else. I mean, and just the mental break and relaxing they do, and then for the health and the issues that you get from healing up. I definitely do.
Q. In the interest of fairness, should the ACC schedule makers make sure that teams that have to play Thursday and Friday both have a bye week the week before so the playing field is equal?
JIMBO FISHER: I mean, if you can possibly do that. I know saying it and wanting to do that and doing it, I think when you get into making schedules is very tough on our conference, and I know we’ve had those discussions before. I definitely do on Thursdays. Fridays make it much tougher, and if you could in a perfect world, without a doubt. I think those are definitely — could be done. But I think that’s easier said than done in the format which we have, not just the ACC, but I’m talking about college football.
Q. With the early signing period, is it your expectation that kids that are committed are going to be signing then?
JIMBO FISHER: Yes, you’d hope so. I mean, that’s the plan. With what you have, yes, sir.
Q. If they didn’t want to sign, would you be — would you still consider them committed?
JIMBO FISHER: Well, yeah, you wouldn’t be signed but if you’re saying you’re committed, depending on what their visits are or what the reasons are, I think each situation would have to be evaluated differently, know what I’m saying? They could still say they’re committed because like I say, committed is not signed, so they could still be committed or they may say that they want to open up the recruiting. I think each individual situation would be different.
Q. Obviously you don’t know what injuries are going to befall you during the year, but do you privately kind of look at your offense this year before the season and think the margin for error is less this year with Dalvin gone or do you kind of foresee potential storm clouds on the horizon this year offensively?
JIMBO FISHER: No, we do, but at the same time I thought by losing the people we have, we’ve lost some significant people, not just skill guys. Keith Gavin had an outstanding camp. I mean, Auden Tate has been hurt all year, and he’s still having a good year. Noonie. And then your quarterback, and then you lose your tailback, too. I mean, plus a couple offensive linemen. So I mean, we still felt like we have a great offense, and some of that things, we’ve got youth in some key situations and different scenarios and had a very tough schedule as far as who we could play defensively early. We never had those — some of those buffer games at times where you can build confidence and continuity in what you’re trying to do, and your numbers reflect that, also.
But we felt very confident. We had a really good off-season and we felt very good going into camp with our offense.
Q. Syracuse, as you look at them on film, do you see certain things that make them more dangerous to you than they were in the building process of Syracuse a year ago?
JIMBO FISHER: Yeah, I see them playing with much more confidence and knowledge in what they’re doing. They’re comfortable in their systems. As much as scheme and what they’re doing, the guys are playing much faster, much more confident, much more consistent, and they understand what the — you can see that when they play, and that to me is the ultimate thing you want to have.
Q. You mentioned Syracuse tight end Pierce. First time in a while Syracuse has had a real threat at tight end. In what ways might he change things and how you plan to defend?
JIMBO FISHER: Well, I mean, he’s a very good run blocker. They run a lot of power and different things with him in there, and he blocks, but you can flex him out like a wide out and you see him on those jailbreak pumps and verticals and routes and different things he does. He can block and catch, and you have to be aware of him, and then you’ve got those wide outs and they’re throwing it so fast, and then the quarterback can run and they’re running the football. It makes it tough, and he is another weapon for them and a very good player, very athletic.
Q. Length of college football games has been growing longer the past few years. Would you be a proponent of a rule change that would keep the clock running after 1st downs or shortening halftime so that —
JIMBO FISHER: I don’t know, we’ve shortened halftime now, and I don’t know if I want to get into that because when you start changing rules just to shorten things and you change the game and how it’s played, I think those take deep thought and reason for doing it and not just because we’re in a hurry. I think that’s the problem with our world today. We’re in such a hurry, we want instant gratification, kids want it, we all want it. We need to make sure we do things the right way, so I would have to think through that much more and what rule changes you’d be talking about.
Q. On Ricky Aguayo, was it a foregone conclusion he was going to come to Florida State because of his brother, and overall what was the process like getting him there?
JIMBO FISHER: No, it was definitely not a foregone conclusion. I mean, we knew we liked him and we like him early. But it was a process in which we had to recruit him and it was not a foregone conclusion, and it was a very tough process, but he has a tremendous mom and dad and family, and we were very blessed to get him.
Q. And what do you believe his ceiling is? Can he be an NFL kicker like his brother?
JIMBO FISHER: I definitely think he has the potential to do that if he keeps improving. The miss he had a couple weeks ago in the Syracuse game, he had hit 11 in a row. It was 10, 11 — it was 11, I believe. It was 11 in a row he had hit and had an outstanding — having a really good year. He happened to miss that kick and one early got blocked, but other than that, he’s kicked the ball well.