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Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher
Very excited about being here. Very proud to represent the ACC and to have Florida State back down here. To me, the Orange Bowl has such great tradition, and for us to be able to coach in a game like this and for our players to be able to play in a game and still be in our home state, it’s going to be a magical time. I’m also excited for it being back on January 1st, at the 8 o’clock start time. When I became a Florid State fan, I remember this back in 1979 and 1980, that’s when I first saw Florida State play and watched Ron Simmons when they couldn’t block him when they were playing Oklahoma in back-to-back Orange Bowls in the night slot. Remember, you always start out in the day and you had all your games, the Rose Bowl at 5, the Cotton and the Sugar were next, and you finished up with the Orange Bowl that night with all the great halftime shows and the things that went on. To me it’s a great tradition in the history of college football and we’re blessed to be here. Our guys are excited about being in the Orange Bowl, and Northern Illinois has had a tremendous year, and my congratulations to them, and I know it will be a great game, and we’re really looking forward to the opportunity to come down here to South Florida and represent the ACC and Florida State.
On stopping Jordan Lynch
You’re going to have to do it as a group. We’re going to have to have a great team effort, the guy throw it he can run it he has weapons around him and we’re going to have to be very sound in everything we do and we’ll have to mix thing up, give him multiple looks and do different things. But we’ll get into that as we go, but we know he’s a great player and they’ve done a tremendous job not only as an offense but as a football team.
On business getting back to football
[I look forward to it coming] real soon. It better be. Because this is fun, and this is good, our kids are having a great time with it. As am I, I’d be lying if I didn’t say so, but the honor to play in this game and to be a part of the Orange Bowl, I’m so happy for our kids. So when we get done with all that, then it’s time to get to work, and it needs to be pretty quick, hopefully by next Saturday, that’s when we practice.
On the national attention the matchup has received
I don’t really know what they’ve been saying either. As soon as it was over, we had our meetings and I was out recruiting. There’s a lot of experts out there in this world…that team had an unbelievable football year. You look at the teams they’ve beaten and the things they’ve done, they’re a great opponent…they’ve had a tremendous year, and to me I don’t agree with [the negativity]. It’s disrespectful to Northern Illinois, and we definitely don’t think that way. We know what kind of opponent they’re going to be , we’ve watched the film, we know how they play the things they do, and the kind of football they play. And the great history. Northern Illinois has a tremendous amount of football history and players in its past. What an expert says we don’t worry about, we’ve just got to look at the film, play our game, and control what we can control. We know one thing, Northern Illinois is going to be ready to play when they get here and hopefully we’ll be ready to play too. We’re going to have to prepare to play a great game, they’ve done a tremendous job and I don’t believe in that talk. I think it’s very disrespectful and I think it’s wrong.
On how special the game is
It’s a BCS game. It’s a national stage, everyone’s watching. It’s prime time, it’s 8:30 on January 1. That’s what you think of when you think of the Orange Bowl and the history of the Orange Bowl. It’s our goal to be here in the Orange Bowl every year. To win our conference, we’re the host team, we have a relationship with the Orange Bowl, that’s our goal every year. We love oranges, we want to be here, in the Orange Bowl. If you’re fortunate enough to get in the national championship, that’s great. This year it happens to be here, but this is our goal every year, to win a conference championship. And I think that’s what Florida State has forgotten. You take some of those championships in the 90’s, when football and everything was so much different and they had those great teams, and took them for granted. And how hard it is to win a championship and get here and I think we’re learned to appreciate that again and it’s what we need to continue to do. This is a great stage and a great opportunity for us to finish off a great season.
On coming back to South Florida
I think it’s critical, and I think it’s a great experience for the kids who we do have from down here who can come home and play. Everybody likes coming home to play. This is one of the best areas, not only for us to recruit but one of the best areas in the country. There are as many great players in South Florida as there are anywhere in the country. This is a primetime area, this is a home base area, it’s a priority for us. We continue to have a lot of strength in this area, and we are going to continue to recruit this area. I think the more times we can come back here, I think the better it is. It only enhances our ability to get those players.
On defensive coordinator position
We aren’t sure who we are going to get, but some of the coaches will come back and coach in the game. I know D.J. Elliot will, and Mark may even come back and help in preparation. We have had great talks and when the dead period starts we’ve even talked about having him come back and helping us prepare, so we may not fill the position until after the Orange Bowl. So we’ll have to wait and see, but DJ will definitely come back in that game and help coach in that game also. He’s going to be the defensive coordinator at Kentucky, that’s a great opportunity for him we’re very happy for him, so those guys will all come back and help us prepare and coach, and we’ll address that after.
Northern Illinois head coach Rod Carey
Thank you very much; it’s great to be here. I think you used the right word, it’s blessed. That’s the best way I can say it right now. It’s been a crazy four days for me personally, and our team, and this is really about our team. Our team has earned this by going out and doing what they have to do on the field and work. We’re super excited to be a part of this Discover Orange Bowl, and to have a great opponent like Florida State. What a thrill for us. So thank you and we look forward to seeing you guys throughout the time we’re here.
On Jordan Lynch on the big stage
I think he’s the same player he was a week ago when we were playing, I don’t think that’s going to change. It better not, he’s been pretty good. He’s a tough kid, we run him, but he can throw it too. But that doesn’t define Jordan, what defines Jordan is how he leads and the good teammate and above all the good person he is. So I sure hope it doesn’t change.
On watching Florida State on film
They’ve got tremendous speed, tremendous size, they’re well coach. They’re schemes, offensively and defensively are good. They are, an Orange Bowl team when you look at them on film. That’s the best way to say it. And it’s going to be a challenge for us, we’re going to have to do things right, and do what we do, and we feel like we’ll have a good opportunity. As far as [Florida State] goes, this is exactly what you expect from a BCS game.
On kids coming home to South Florida
We had a team meeting yesterday, and they were ecstatic. We got five kids from right around this area, and I don’t know if they were more happy about looking at the schedule and being able to go home and not having to fly back for Christmas or coming to the game, but I think both. They are really excited and they should be.
On events leading up to Monday
It didn’t seem to happen fast. It did happen fast. Monday morning it was time to get to work. We had to put schedules together, we had a whole bunch of things to do. So Sunday night kind of blended into Monday morning, it wasn’t that wake up and feel fresh it was “let’s go to work.”
On readiness to be head coach
Every coach goes through (that). It’s normal, it’s like walking down the aisle when I was marrying my wife, you have those last second thoughts, but those thoughts don’t stop you from doing it. It’s ten years later and I’m married. Don’t tell her though. I’m up here today, and I’m on the shoulders of a lot of great men before me at Northern Illinois and in my life. Dave Doeren would lead the charge of that, I owe a lot to him and what I’ve learned from him these last two years, and he’s done great things with this team. I haven’t coached a practice yet with this team as the head coach. This is still Dave’s team, even though we are moving forward I owe him a lot
Chris Nee of 247Sports.com. You can follow me on twitter @CNee247.
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