Florida State vs. Savannah State Quotes
Florida State Head Coach Jimbo Fisher
Opening Statement: "Well that's a first. I've never had that occur in my career. Talking about the game in general, I was very pleased with what we did. I challenged our team to practice well, focus well, come out and do the things that we were supposed to do and we did that in all three phases. We played hard on offense, over on defense, on special teams - we executed and did what we were supposed to do. That's the mark of a good team. We have to keep proving that. We have a lot more to prove but at least I was happy with how they approached the game, how they prepared and the way they played the game."
On the weather situation: "It's easy for me to say that I want to keep playing, but I understand the situation - we have bad weather coming and they have a bus ride and doing the things that they've got to do. As a competitor you want to keep playing - I wanted to see some of our young guys, but I totally understand. That's the nature of the situation that we were in.
"We made sure that we went through the right channels to make sure we didn't screw up - to make sure they didn't make this game a non-game for something wrong by the process of how you're supposed to go about it. We were just trying to dot I's and cross T's so everything was done properly."
On the first two games and preparing for ACC play: "It was good as can be with what we are doing and the schedule we have. Under the circumstances, we had Murray State and West Virginia. That was out of our control - had nothing to do with us. I think we'll prepare well and play well next week."
On Kelvin Benjamin: "The effort is the effort because he earned the right (to play). This guy is coming on in practice. He's in shape, he's running -top end speed just as fast as any receiver we have. He's got some wiggle, making guys miss, he's got range with how he catches it. He's earned the right for his opportunity."
Savannah State Head Coach Steve Davenport
Opening Statement: "Obviously, we knew we were coming in a bit overmatched. They are who we thought they are. They are really, really a fine football team. People are talking national championship and I can understand that. They are tremendous in every facet of the game. And they deserved to win the game. There was a discussion there at the end after the weather delay of whether or not we were going to have to call it a 0-0 tie and that was obviously not fair to them. We made a decision that it was going to end right where it was and we will get on the bus and go home and focus and prepare for North Carolina Central. We are looking forward to this opportunity to go and prove who we are amongst our brethren and look at it as an opportunity."
Was the 0-0 tie bounced off the ACC and the NCAA? "There were four options and that was just one of them; obviously Florida State wasn't going for that. That was my vote. One of the other options was to come back and obviously that wasn't going to work. The third option was to go home, come back, or go back out. There was an option of going back out and obviously we wanted to finish the game but there was another weather storm right behind us - a bigger one - and I'm concerned with getting my guys on the road and getting them back home. And we didn't know how that was going to effect or how long that was going to last. We went back out after the first weather delay with the expectation that we would finish. It came back so quick.
Jimbo was gracious, obviously. He's got a conference schedule that he's got to get prepared for; we've got a conference schedule so we shook hands and agreed it was time to go."
What do you tell your team after the first two games? "No different than what we have been telling them. Let's get through these "preseason games"; our No. 1 goal on our goal board has been to win the MEAC. We get an opportunity to go in our conference. This was an opportunity to come to Doak Campbell Stadium - something you have only seen on TV and test your measure against Florida State and their fantastic athletes. I think we had some one on one battles that we won on certain plays and that's what we challenged them with. The one thing that I was pleased with - and I say pleased - because it came to fruition - it's what we demand -- our kids played hard the entire time they were on the field. We played with discipline, we played with call and we are going to continue to do that. Now we just have to hopefully get this thing turned around and have some success and build of confidence back up. Obviously it's shaken. But it's my job as the coach to make sure these kids are ready to play in September 22."
Florida State Offense
On first touchdown: "It was just a simple fade route. You know, he throws it up and I go get it. We work on those every day, all day. Ten before practice. Ten after practice."
On being a bigger part of the offense: "I lost a lot of weight so I'm feeling much quicker. I can make cuts and stuff that I wasn't when I first came in, I was too big. I'm feeling much smaller, much faster, much quicker. We start back Monday and we've got to keep working, keep making plays in the game, and hopefully Coach Fisher will get me the ball."
QB EJ Manuel
On offensive rhythm: "It feels good. Everything was open that we thought would be open, and all the looks that we saw in practice they showed us in the game. So we were definitely prepared."
On Kelvin Benjamin's play: "The kid is humungous, but you can still run reverses with him like he's a 5'11" guy, so opposing defenses are going to have to prepare for it. I can run it, Chris (Thompson) can run it, Kelvin (Benjamin) can run it, Rodney (Smith) can run it; we've got a lot of guys that can make plays with the ball."
On team's intensity and focus: "We didn't come out and play down to anybody, we wanted to come out and play our way, set the tempo, and we always tell each other that it doesn't matter who we're playing, we're going to treat it like it's the national championship."
On feeling accomplished after the first two games: "Week in and week out, it's about us. Just doing what we need to do, doing what we're coached to do, I think overall in these first two games we did pretty good at just listening to the coaches and executing the way we were supposed to."
On weather conditions: "We had these problems throughout camp and we had them a couple days at practice, so we were really prepared for it. It was a little frustrating, and it even is in practice, because we're out there doing what we love to do and to have to stop, makes us frustrated. But since we've gone through this throughout camp, we were able to adjust pretty well and get back going quickly."
WR Rodney Smith
On the touchdown catch in the first quarter: "We have been working on that all week this week. EJ (Manuel) told me as soon as we called it that he was going to throw it, so I was expecting the ball the whole time. I always try to expect to be open but I just ran as fast as I could to get to the ball."
On how it feels to start off the season right: "It feels good to start the season off right with a touchdown like that. That's an icebreaker for me and I just hope that there is plenty more to come for me to help out this team."
On locker room atmosphere during weather breaks: "Coach Fisher just let us know that we need to stay focused. No matter what the scoreboard looks like we need to go out there and continue to play championship football and also to respect the other team. We're always going to play our best. No matter who the opponent, we're just going to play our best at the end of the day."
Florida State Defense
On how much he wanted to continue play in the 3rd quarter: "A lot...definitely wanted to go back out there and play. A lot of us older guys are trying to rest our bodies up for that big start against Wake Forest next week and a lot of those young guys wanted to go back out there to get that contact in and all and get a better feel for the game."
On the lopsided score: "College football is college football and now I see that now in my sophomore year. You never know, big upsets happen. A couple years back Appalachian State beat a very good Michigan team. We never knew if they were going to come out with something tricky they played us very well but they could have come out with something new, something we did not see on film and we just took great focus in the game. We just went in there against a team that has nothing to lose and we are ranked sixth and have a lot to lose and trying to win ACC and trying to go to the national championship game, we have something to standup for, a reputation to withhold."
On his health: "Felt really good, felt like I have recovered, I'm getting a little stronger. I feel like my team is supporting me a lot throughout this process and I'm just ready to go out there and contribute as much as I can."
On being anxious to get on the field: "I was really nervous this week...despite who we were playing they are a great team... I was just really nervous about trying to perform well and I wanted to just help the team out."
On being a dominate team: "We didn't really dominate them, they gave us a fight. We just worked our technique like we have been practicing all week and it was in our favor. It was great."
On this week's practice:
"Every week we practice hard, despite who we're playing. If we are playing Wake Forest, Clemson, we are going to practice hard. We worked on our situational downs... it helped us in the game. Everyday practice is always a challenge."