Oct. 22, 2011
Florida State Head Coach Jimbo Fisher:
Opening Statement: "It feels good to be in victory lane again. I thought our kids came out and played really well early. Set a good tempo then lost focus, jumped offsides, dropped the ball. Got out of rhythm, just didn't convert as well- just a shame. I would have liked to of stayed hot and kept going, but I thought the defense played very well. We got the running game going- I was very proud of the running game. It's like a tale of two halves. Threw for 250 in the first half and ran for 250 in the second half. Had some young guys making some plays, still made some mistakes but we are getting better. Special teams were solid. We're a body of work."
On Jermaine Thomas giving them a spark: "That was why he was a captain and I've felt that for the last week or two. I've seen him and his attitude and his body language and his read and he's starting to feel it and he's fast. He's starting to look like the old guy and it wouldn't be bad to have him fresh down the stretch."
On starting the year as to where they are now: "It's great. You've got to continue to have balance and we're getting better in the running game and with what we're doing. We've got a long way to go. We are nowhere close where we need to be but it does feel good to put two good running performances behind you and also be solid in the passing game. We're getting there."
On if it felt like a blow out on the sidelines: "No it didn't it was a very tight game. I'm glad the way we responded, it makes me feel better as a coach because it wasn't a blowout in the game. We had to run the ball when it mattered when it was a two-score game and Danny O'Brien is in the game and when he's in the game and the ball is in his hands, I'm going to tell you anything can happen. I was more proud the way we did it than if it was a blow out."
On the defensive line: "I thought the defensive line was very dominant in the game. They put constant pressure on the quarterback and they ended up with six sacks. That was very good. They still deflected some balls, caused some problems, got an intentional grounding call. I say that if you have good guys up front, it changes the ball game."
CB Greg Reid On the punt return called back "They told me it was a rule, and pointing at the ball in any way was a fair catch so I learned that today."
On the overall performance of the defense and the ability to limit the quarterback "We played lineman football, maintained our gaps and filled the holes and we were able to stop the zone read effectively."
LB Vince Williams On the development of the defense and the ability to stop big plays "I think we're growing which tends to happen as you get into the latter part of the season. You start to really jell and come together, and now we're actually isolating our problems, understanding them and are able to fix them."
On keeping a mobile quarterback in check "We knew exactly what we were going to get with him, we focused and worked our game plan around that. We did a great job of executing, it was a good job of coach Stoops calling it and a great job of us going out and taking care of it."
LB Telvin Smith On the intentional grounding call "I was actually mad he didn't keep that ball, I thought he was targeting a receiver but was happy when I saw the flag."
On how the quarterback felt the pressure from the front seven "He felt us. From the first play we went out there with our heads down and played hard. It's what coach Hudson always talks to us about, we knew we had to go out there and show them what Florida State defense is all about."
WR Kenny Shaw On being able to run and pass in today's win over Maryland: "We were very dominant; it was very good because when we had to milk the game, we have to have a running game."
On the performance of Jermaine Thomas: "It was very good just to see Jermaine get the ball because he is so explosive and he hits the seams pretty quick."
On his touchdown catch: "The corner let me get inside and I saw the safety playing in his half (of the field). So I settled in the hole and had to break a tackle."
RB Jermaine Thomas On the process of battling injuries, getting back to the playing field and having a great performance today: "It has been a long process. I just thank my coaches and my teammates for always encouraging me; just to keep doing the right thing and always listening to them. The coaches kept telling me that I was going to get my shot again and they definitely kept their promise and gave me that shot. Today, I was able to make the best of that opportunity. It felt good to be back out there. I also need to give props to Devonta Freeman for always keeping me going and just feeding off of him as well.
On the touchdown run: "On the run, I actually was following Lonnie around the edge and saw that nobody was crossing in his space so I knew the hole was going to be wide open. I just hit it as fast as I could and make my cut off Bert Reed who made an excellent block down field."
On congratulating Devonta on his touchdown run: "We always feed off each other. In practice, on the game field and in the film room as well, we just try to challenge each other. I know next year, that he is going to definitely be a great running back, and he is going to be the future. I just try and teach him a lot of things that I learned from my freshman year up until my senior year. He is just picking up on it fast."
OT Zebrie Sanders On today's performance against Maryland: "We knew what we had to do, we knew what techniques we had to use and we just tried to get it going. We had a slow start but we got it going in the second half, which is always good."
On the performance from Freeman and Thomas: "Jermaine played good, I mean it just goes to show you his leadership and character. Things were going real straight the first half of the season but he came back and played a big game tonight. That's why I love them the same, for all the backs, they all do what they are supposed to do and they give us a chance to look good. We make them look good, they make us look good."
QB EJ Manuel On starting the game with two touchdown drives: "That was huge for the whole tempo of the team. We want to come out there and play off three phases - offense, defense and special teams. Those were two big pivotal drives and it helped us out a lot.
On surveying the defense of Maryland: "Our receivers got open and I was able to make the throws to get them open. We tried to get the running game started and we did that in the second half."
On having Bert Reed back at full health: "It means a lot. I think a lot of defenders fear Bert because of his speed, his vertical speed, so it definitely helps us out a lot."
On how the team was effective in getting the running game going today: "The O-line did a great job in getting the running game started and that takes a lot of pressure off of everything else. When you have a running game, you can feed off that with some play action passes. Devonta had a great game; Jermaine came in and played huge. He had that big run for us so it was great."
WR Bert Reed On making an impact on the game "It felt normal. It felt normal to a certain extent and being on the sidelines did not feel normal. Coming through for my team is one of the biggest feelings of accomplishment you can get...for any sport. When you come through, when you know guys depend on you, when it's a big play and you come through, it's a really great feeling. I missed that feeling and it's really great to get it back."
On how he feels from a health standpoint "I feel quicker. I am starting not to think about it as much and just play...I think the main thing is just being out there with the boys and getting hit a little bit and having fun. That felt really good."
Maryland Head Coach Randy Edsall
Opening statement "We didn't make all the plays that we needed to make today. The one thing is - we started a little bit slow today - and then got our feet back underneath us and got it to a 14 point game and then I thought in the second half we had some momentum going and we weren't able to overcome their speed and athleticism to change the tide."
On Quarterback C.J. Brown "He got hit, came out - he was able to come back but I decided to keep Danny (O'Brien) in there. What we will do is we will evaluate it and watch those guys during the week and then make a game time decision next week. I don't want to get into the injury part other than the fact the he got injured then our doctors looked and him and they did come back and say that he was cleared to go."
On Brown's play while he was in the game "I think you have to give Florida State credit. Florida State is very athletic and has tremendous speed and they did a good job. You give all the credit to Florida State's defense. Those guys are very fast, very athletic."
On why the team began slowly "I wish I had that answer. Again, I thought we were ready to play but again, the other thing too, is I think Florida State had something to do with that. I thought our kids fought back and then there in the fourth quarter we just didn't finish the way I would have liked to finish."
On Brown throwing short passes "When you put a game plan together, you are putting a plan together to try to take advantage of what you have seen and what you can be successful with. The things that we saw from Florida State, we thought that those were the way to go. And plus with their pass rush."
On the state of the team right now
"The thing is - the kids are working and again I think what we have to do is we just have to continue to get better. That's all we have to do. We have got to coach them better, the kids have to do their part and that's what we are going to continue to do. We are just going to continue to keep getting better. There are some very positive things out there. We are just not doing enough positive things. We just don't match up with the speed and athleticism of Clemson and Florida State. That's what we are going to have to do from a recruiting standpoint."