Oct. 27, 2012
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Head Coach Jimbo Fisher:
"I was very proud of our guys. I was proud with the way we came out of the gate. We played very well early in the game - offense, defense and special teams. We established a tempo in the game, very much through the first two drives in the second half. We came out the first two drives, scored bang-bang - offensively, defensively and special teams did a great job. Then we had a little lapse. We put a punt on the ground - took our eyes off of it trying to make too much of a play. EJ (Manuel) had a fumble on a loose ball. It was a shame that Rodney (Smith) had one on a big play down the field, waving the ball. We come out and do ball security every day at the beginning of practice. We're going to fix that, I can't tolerate that and Devonta (Freeman) put one on the ground. I couldn't see what happened on his. But that was disappointing, but I was very proud of our team. Offense we were able to run the ball, thrown the ball, protect it pretty well. EJ did a great job of getting the ball down the field deep. Devonta had a nice day, Wilder ran very well - had some nice yardage runs. Had some red zone runs. Debrale (Smiley) came in and did a nice job. EJ managed the game very well. The thing we were able to do was hit those deep balls. That changes the field position with those big plays and it was awesome. Defense did a good job of pressuring the quarterback. We kept pressuring them with looks and for the most part had a pretty good game. Dustin (Hopkins) - congratulations to him. He had an outstanding day. He broke the ACC record for field goals and our school record. He's really been kicking the ball the last few weeks and he's starting to come into his own. Being that Dustin we know and we're very proud of him. I was very proud of our guys."
On Tyler Hunter's day on punt returning:
"He had a great day. If you watch the punt, he was looking at it and all of a sudden he looks down real quick. First job as a punt returner is not to return it, but to catch it. That's what we got to remember and I think we got a little greedy. I still think he had a good day, but that's inexcusable and we've got to get it fixed."
On Christian Jones:
"He had 11 total plays in the game. He was getting out in space. That guy can play when he hits space - covering and running. He's athletic and he can cover and make some big plays in the field with open field tackles."
On Devonta Freeman and James Wilder Jr.:
"I thought they were good. In pass pro they were good and running the ball. I think the only bad thing was Devonta put the ball on the ground at the end. But that sucker was running it, he had a nice trap down there on a third and 10, he had nice balance. Quick. James was running for powerful third down runs. I thought they had an outstanding day."
On their consistency:
"For the most part I saw it. I'll look at the film, but for the most part I was very comfortable with the way they played today."
On the defensive performance:
"We played good. We held them to seven points. They didn't do much passing or running, so we played good. We met our goals on defense."
On playing more press coverage this season:
"We can press a lot more. We play more aggressive, more aggressive than last year."
On his punt return for a touchdown:
"I just trusted my blockers. I knew if a guy got close my guy would take him out, so I trusted him and caught it and followed my blocks until the end zone."
On the defensive performance:
"We didn't cause any turnovers. We played very discipline football. When we played man, guys stayed on their man. When we played zone, guys focused on their zones. I thought we played pretty good."
On the offense scoring points early:
"It really gives us a lot of comfort knowing the offense is clicking on all cylinders. We know that if we go out and do what we do, we have a good chance to win."
On N.C. State losing its second conference game:
"It's great. That puts us in great position to make the ACC championship. We are now put back up on that pedestal so we have to take advantage of it."
On stopping Duke's passing attack:
"These guys came in second in the ACC and first in their division, so we challenged ourselves. Those guys felt like they could compete with us. They have a great team. To shut down that kind of offense with the players they have, the coaching, and the system they run, it shows you about this organization and how good we can be as a team."
On stopping Duke WR Conner Vernon:
"That's always the kind of statement we try to make. We try to take out players that are threats. If you are a threat and get our attention, we need to take care of that. Being able to double him and put pressure on his side; that was the game plan and it went through."
WR Kelvin Benjamin
On opportunity to make a lot of plays on deep balls this afternoon:
"Definitely, we looked at film and went over their defense all week. We wanted to take the change on deep balls and give our receivers a chance to make plays."
On his touchdown catch in the third quarter:
"It was a slanting up bomb. I got on top of him quick, two or three steps, and went up and got the ball in the air. When the ball is in the air you just have to make a play for it and get the ball."
On Duke's defense with 8 to 9 guys in the box challenging Florida State to pass:
"We knew they were going to come in and play man. We also knew they would come in and play physical. Coach Fisher gave us the right film to watch and the right tools to do stuff in practice."
QB EJ Manuel
On getting the deep ball going today:
"We definitely took advantage of the plays we saw down field. The receivers did a great job, the o-line gave us some time to get down there and make some plays down field. I wish my (completion) percentage was a lot better but we were still able to make some plays."
On stretching the field against Duke:
"The game plan was obviously to stretch the field, establish the run, but at the same time stretch the field."
On the ability to stretch the field and how that helped open up the running game:
"(It helped) tremendously. A lot of those gaps, those guys were able to cut back. They were trying to play me on my fakes and things like that on the boot leg, so that kind of opened up the cut backs for our backs. They did a great job of seeing it."
On the play of the running backs and wanting to do this for Chris:
"Those guys are giving their second effort and that's what you want to see from your running backs. Obviously, one of our brothers is down and out for the season but those guys are going to set up and do well for him."
WR Rodney Smith
On the play of the offense and getting on Duke early:
"We try and do that to everybody. We try and hit them in the mouth early and try and make big plays and we were able to do that today. We are happy with our overall performance, besides the turnovers but we are going to get back to the fundamentals on that, so we should be good to go."
On the game plan and looking for the big plays:
"That was one of the goals, for us to make big plays, so those guys were playing man on man against some of us and we needed to make plays against them."
On the turnovers by the Seminoles:
"We just have to go back to the fundamentals of football, keeping that football high and tight and not letting the defender get his hands in there and knock it out. It was a mistake by us. We will get back to the basics this week."
On the bye week:
"We have some guys that are banged up so this week is going to help us. We will go through some rehab to get our bodies back together."
K Dustin Hopkins
On the upcoming bye week:
"(As a kicker) your lower back is sore - it might tighten up. It's good for me, and I know it's going to be two-of-three times as good for guys that are getting beat up all the time and throwing their hands around. Anytime you can get a break this late in the season, it's going to be good for our guys - our bodies in general. Given the training staff we have, I'm very confident with how we are going to come back and be healthy and fresh."
On setting records this year (Hopkins became the ACC's all-time leader in field goals made tonight and moved to third all-time in kicker scoring in NCAA history):
"I've been looking back at the last couple of weeks and just things that have come as far as record-wise - and even missed field goals and games this year. I see how gracious the Lord is through everything, and how being who I am, I don't deserve anything. He's just been very gracious and blessed me with these records and an ability to glorify Him. At the same time, I'm honored just to be mentioned with names that hold record now - like (Nick) Novak. I know he held this past record, and he's still kicking - guys that have a real track record for success. To be in that same sentence is such an honor."
On his career-long 56-yard field goal that started out as a 51-yarder but was moved back following a delay of game penalty:
"I looked at the clock and I was kind of disappointed knowing that I made a mistake that could potentially hurt us. At the same time, I cleared my mind out and I looked at the sideline. Once I realized they were going to let me kick it, there was no doubt about five yards or anything. I just knew I had to kick a good clean ball. I was just thinking the normal cues - whether it's an extra point or a 44-yarder ... whatever it is - it's a clean ball up the middle. I was very fortunate to get a lot of my foot on it. It was a clean ball."