Sept. 1, 2012
FLORIDA STATE HEAD COACH Jimbo Fisher:
"I thought we came off the block well early. Special teams did a real nice job of setting the tone with field position - we created a punt return right off the bat and our defense played well early. On offense we had a couple key drops - big drives could have been big plays that I wasn't happy with. We got a little sloppy with special team at times. On defense we played real well then we kind of peaked down. I wasn't happy with that. In the second half I thought we executed much better. Got focused and played much better. We got a lot of touches - guys got into the game. I was very pleased with a lot of the young guys that got in the game. I saw a lot of athleticism and they got some experience when the lights were on, but they have miles to go. I thought they competed hard and I thought we played okay. We played better as the game went on. First game, we hope to improve a lot because we need to improve a lot. Still a solid first game."
On the running game:
"We're much further a long and I think we have more diversity with our running game. We've got different kinds of backs that all bring something different to the table. I thought the offensive line did a really nice job - great pass protection and we kept pounding the ball. That's what we've got to do. Long way to go, but much improved."
On RB Chris Thompson and the running backs:
"This is the first time he's played in a while. I thought he did some really nice things. A couple of times, it looks like he wanted to get the flow of it and he will. I was also pleased with (Devonta) Freeman and (James) Wilder. (Lonnie) Pryor had a heck of a night and Debrale (Smiley) did some nice things - he's going to be a heck of a player, but it was great to get Chris back out there."
On Bjoern Werner's career night:
"I thought he was very average (laughs). All that guy does between the white lines, when the lights come on, he just can play the game - rush, stop, bat the ball, plays the run. He's just an instinctive and a heck of a football player. He has a great motor."
On EJ Manuel's play:
"I'll tell you what I liked about EJ is that is he's slowed himself down in the pocket. He's much calmer. I think he's reading progressions. I thought for the night he was very efficient - he and Clint (Trickett) both threw the ball well and effectively - got the ball down the field. Mixed it - found backs and tight ends, did a real nice job. EJ had a few nice scrambles in there."
FLORIDA STATE OFFENSIVE QUOTES
"He played amazing. When he first stepped out on the field I was like `look it's on you; you weigh 230, they can't hit you.' I was like that is the mindset that you have to go out there with and it pretty much showed as everyone could see tonight. I am real proud of him because he finally got his first career 100-yard game. I am real happy for him and glad that the coaches kept giving him the ball, kept letting him pound because that is one thing that will help us out later on in the season."
On the rushing attack against Murray State:
"It was real fun for me. I have been on the sideline since October just watching these guys. Now to be a part of it and just to have the success we had tonight made me feel real good. As a whole group, no one was selfish about anything. I was happy that (Debrale) Smiley got his touchdown, Lonnie (Pryor) got three, Wilder got two, I was happy for everybody. That is a good thing, we have a love for each other and it carries on and helps us get better every day."
On the play of the offensive line:
"Every play those guys are trying to make big holes for us. I am so appreciative for it especially coming off a back injury last year. Every time I am in those guys are trying to protect me. Even if they feel like they are not doing their job, they will come to the sideline and ask me `did we do good this play, did we do good that play or are you all getting the holes you need'. These guys are getting the work in and it is really starting to show."
TB James Wilder, Jr.
"They just gave me player of the game and the game ball. It means a lot to me to get a 100-yard game. It is something I always dreamed of as a kid."
On the improved running game:
"I see a big improvement from last year. We had a lot of freshmen o-linemen last year; they are more mature, they are bigger, they are faster. With the depth at running back and fullback, we can keep rotating and having fresh legs. With the great o-line that we have now, I think we will have a lot of big rushing games this year."
QB EJ Manuel
"I thought I had a solid game. Everything we saw in practice that is what they showed. They weren't trying to disguise anything. It was pretty straight forward."
On the touchdown to Kenny Shaw:
"We were just working the back side. They over loaded it so we just had to make a play and Kenny came up with a great catch."
On the play of the offensive line and how he felt in the pocket:
"It felt great. I don't think I was pressured once outside of a naked or bootleg. As far as standing in the pocket, I thought their protection was perfect. It was great protection."
On the comfort level in the second half with those two TD drives:
"It was very comfortable. A lot of the things we work on feels like practice. Coach Fisher gives us the look so great in practice so that is what it is in the game. Everything was hitting for us and we were traveling right down the field. I think we got some runs for touchdowns, so however we can get points is fine with me."
FLORIDA STATE DEFENSIVE NOTES
"We know that we have to take every game serious and this time was so amazing that when we went out there, we were ready. We played this game like it was our last game and this is what we have to continue doing every week. It was a great performance for the whole team."
On kicking off the season:
"It was amazing. Me and Brandon (Jenkins) were in the hotel room and we couldn't wait to get out there and play...It was just where we wanted to be, we wanted to be in the stadium doing it full out."
"It felt good, if felt different. It seems like it been so long since last season, but it felt really good out there playing and just running through plays, being able to play both sides of the defensive end spots and just being there to play with my teammates."
On defensive line controlling the line of scrimmage:
"That's how you win a game up front is with the d-line controlling the line of scrimmage and I think we did a pretty good job of that and the offense was successful out there so we came out winning."
On teammates Bjoern Werner performance:
Bjoern had a great performance. He played great. He's a great motivation, he's a role model to me. He played great and we look forward to next week."
MURRAY STATE HEAD COACH CHRIS HATCHER
"I think we played well in the first half. Early on in the game our nerves got us which is understandable. We had a lot of guys playing for the first time at certain positions. We got off not to a good start with the punt return; they got on us and we gave up a touchdown. But other than that we play, we moved the ball a few times, we didn't finish drives -- but their defense is really, really good. They are as good as I thought they would be and maybe even better. In the second half we just played a whole bunch of guys in there and I think we got out of there not best up too badly. We got to see some guys get in there and do a little bit of work. From the first half we played really hard and we competed and I was really proud of that."
You got in the red zone twice and came away with only three points...
"We missed the one field goal then the second half we got down there and we went for it on fourth down and didn't convert. There isn't much else to say, 69-3. I thought in the first half we competed good. We held our own for the most part and that was good to see."
On playing a lot a younger players in this environment...
No doubt, I think we traveled 70 guys and I believe 67 of those guys played. We left the offense in one more series when we recovered the fumble on the punt to see if we could get one in - the starters - but we got a lot of guys some work. It was good to see them get out there. We planned for that - if it got out of hand - we planned to play a lot of guys and keep our starters fresh. I thought we held up good to the heat; this is the hottest it's been in a long time for us. But again, we were playing a superior opponent and they showed that especially there in the third quarter."
Florida State has been picked for the National Championship game - thoughts?
"I think offensively, if they are consistent and move the ball I think they've got a chance. I'm not a prognosticator - we played the number one team in the country several years ago when I was at Georgia Southern and this defense - they've got a chance. Defense alone, they play great special teams and offensively they've got a lot of firepower. If they put it all together, if they get through this pre-season schedule that they've got unscathed, who knows? Their defense is the real deal; they are the best defense I've seen in my tenure as a football coach."