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Mondays with Jimbo: Syracuse Edition

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Every Monday Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher holds his weekly press conference to discuss the week's opponent, the previous weekend's film and whatever else he feels like talking about that afternoon. We cover it in a weekly piece called, "Mondays with Jimbo.

Jimbo Fisher stopped by on Monday morning to break down Florida State's win over Wake Forest and to preview the Syracuse game a little bit. He started by mentioning that he was very happy with the way his team handled themselves on the road last Saturday.

"[I’m] very proud of how our team competed in the game, we came out of the game extremely efficient early. We were very focused in all three phases and that was one of the challenges we had, playing on the road and dealing with adversity and dealing with different clutter and distractions and things that go out there," said FSU's fourth year head coach. "This team is doing a really nice job of eliminating that clutter and we have to continue to do that, but very proud in all three phases."

As for how Florida State fared health-wise, Fisher is expecting three players to be back this week.

“[Kelvin Benjamin] will be back practicing today. He’ll be fine," said Fisher. "[Bryan] Stork is expected to do some things today too in practice. He was back-and-forth on an ankle and at the end we decided not to, still having a little pain too much in the Achilles part of it and it wasn’t worth the risk and Austin [Barron] had a really nice week of practice and played really well. Very proud of the way Austin played. [Terrence] Brooks will be back.”

Then he made a joke about how much he was smiling over getting Brooks back. While Brooks was out though, Nate Andrews gave Florida State fans plenty of reason to be excited for the future. Andrews now leads the team in interceptions after hauling in two against Wake. As for what's helping FSU's younger players make an impact so quickly, Fisher credited the leadership of his upperclassmen.

"Two things, the way [the younger players] work, their ability to process information and the way the upperclassmen deal with them and teach them and they’ve done it the whole year," said Fisher. "They’ve done a tremendous job of incorporating those guys into the system and really teaching them and that goes back to Tyler Hunter did tons of that stuff and still does. That’s about all of those older guys and those young guys are very inquisitive. They ask, they weren’t waiting to play. They were preparing to play and got an opportunity and took advantage of it.”

As for Andrews himself, he'd have been at Minnesota had Jeremy Pruitt and Fisher not made the decision to offer him late into the recruiting season.

“He went to an all-star game and a lot of the high school coaches told us that they thought there were a lot of guys that signed to play places and he was the best player. You hear that at different times but it kind of confirms what we had thought and Jeremy had a good background in recruiting him and knew him very well and when we saw that I said ‘let’s go’.”

On the topic of Syracuse, Fisher had plenty of postive things to say on everything from their offense to their defense to the job Scott Shafer has done coaching them.

"Syracuse is playing extremely well. They come in on a two-game winning streak. They’ve given up three points total in their last two games," he said. "They’re playing extremely well. They’re tough to defend on -– to deal with on defense, different blitz packages, different fronts, come at all different angles. On offense they’re very physical, can run the ball, [have] two excellent backs, an athletic quarterback, very physical up front and good skill guys at receiver and they’re very sound in the kicking game and very well-coached. They do a really good job and we’ll have a tough time here at home and we have to play very well and prepare very well and remember the power of preparation and continue to do the things we need to do.”

More from Jimbo:

##- On Reggie Northrup

“Reggie is really grasping the system. Some of Reggie’s issues, he’d get lost in the system assignment wise but does a great job instinctively and EJ Levenberry there are two guys that are growing. You saw Reggie play with the one’s in the game. Came in, did a real nice job. [He’s] very physical, tackled [and] is becoming a good linebacker. EJ Levenberry flashed at me a bunch of times in that game – really big, long, making plays. Very proud of him. Those guys are really growing. They played much better than they did in the other game.”

##- On being 40-10 through his first 50 games as a head coach:

“I don’t think about that. That’s something that’s not important to me, (I) just hope we keep playing well as a team and grow. We want to have success. I love it here. I said this before, I think we can be very successful here and continue to grow and right now I really love what we’re doing. We’re getting the pieces that we need to be successful and those pieces also need to grow. Just like our players, just like this team, you’ve got to have another group and after you get something here you’ve got to continue to grow and this place is doing a great job of giving us those opportunities. It’s a wonderful place, the kids are playing well and I’m blessed to have a great coaching staff and great players and a great fan base and those are key ingredients to being successful. Our boosters are doing the things we have to do in order to keep this program running. Very blessed to be here and be the head coach.”

##- On Jameis' Heisman candidacy:

“We just have to continue our meetings to remember the focus and the reason why we’re having success and to continue that and not get outside of it. I’ll tell you what, he does a tremendous job of that. We met yesterday and talked about little things for the week. He stopped by just to say hello and sometimes he reminds himself and you don’t have to. He’s very good job of keeping things in perspective.”

##- On the defense leading the nation in interceptions:

“First, is the front – those guys being able to run and put pressure on the passer and being able to do the things we do. Two, I think we have a very good scheme. I think our guys are multiple in the things we do. Three, I think we have very good players and I think we have players that are executing the scheme at the same time and guys are playing very unselfishly, not looking for an interception just taking the opportunities given and playing very disciplined in the back end and then maximizing those opportunities when they come. I think it’s a combination of all those things.”

##- On his coaching staff:

“I have extreme confidence in those guys that’s one thing, we talk about our players who are doing a tremendous job, but our coaches are doing a tremendous job. Our assistant coaches are prepared and how they bring them and the mentality and personalities the wisdom and knowledge they’re coaching those guys with. It’s been very fun to watch. Like I tell our staff, I love our players, I love our staff – I love our staff meetings. They’re fun. We’ve got a group of characters. Good football coaches. Good people, good family guys.”

 

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