Tallahassee, FL - Florida State freshman Levonte “Kermit” Whitfield captured ACC Specialist of the Week honors on Monday after he returned a kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown in the Seminoles’ 59-3 victory at Wake Forest.
Whitfield’s touchdown was FSU’s first kickoff return for a score since 2008 and tied for the fourth-longest kickoff return ever at FSU. Whitfield is averaging 34.4 yards on nine kick returns this season, which would lead the conference and be an FSU single-season record if he had the minimum 10 returns to qualify.
Andrews a Nominee for Capital One Cup Impact Performance of the Week
Florida State freshman safety Nate Andrews made the most of his first career start on Saturday, snagging two interceptions, including a pick-six, and forcing a fumble that was returned by classmate Jalen Ramsey for a score, against the Demon Deacons.
For his effort, Andrews was selected as one of four nominees for the Capital One Cup Week 11 Impact Performance along with East Carolina Quarterback Shane Carden, Boston College running back Andre Williams and Duke defensive back DeVon Edwards.
Fans can vote for Andrews here: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/feature/index?page=caponecup
Florida State Will Host Idaho at 3:30 p.m.
The ACC announced Florida State will host Idaho at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 23. The game will be televised on ESPNU and FSU will celebrate “Senior Day” in the final game of the season at Doak Campbell Stadium.
Jimbo Fisher Press Conference Transcript – Nov.11, 2013
“Again, (I’m) very proud of how our team competed in the game, we came out of the game extremely efficient early. We were very focused in all three phases and that was one of the challenges we had, playing on the road and dealing with adversity and dealing with different clutter and distractions and things that go out there. This team is doing a really nice job of eliminating that clutter and we have to continue to do that, but very proud in all three phases. I thought we were dominant in offense, defense, special teams – setting the tone, getting the game under control with doing the things we had to do. In all three phases we still want to work on and improve on and clean up and we’ll continue to do that, but Wake (Forest) has always been a really tough place for us to play. They do a great job and Jim (Grobe) is a very good coach. The way we came out and took control of the game and made plays and had opportunities and seized the opportunities I was very proud of that. Some of those young guys really got to play, I thought our second team defense did an outstanding job. Second team offense we’ve got to do a little bit better job, it hurt not having Austin (Barron) in there with the two’s at times because he played with the one’s, we didn’t have that continuity at center but had him at guard, you have some different things in there and experience, but we’ve got to continue to grow there. We have to continue to grow there and get better. We saw some of the young guys, Kermit (Whitfield) make some plays. You see how dynamic he is with the ball in his hands and the things he does. We’ll continue to grow in all three phases. Again I was impressed with those young players on defense. I thought they did a nice job. I thought we kicked the ball well, covered well and just played a complete football game. We’ll have a great game with Syracuse. Syracuse is playing extremely well. They come on a two-game winning streak. They’ve given up three points total in their last two games. They’re playing extremely well. They’re tough to defend on – to deal with on defense, different blitz packages, different fronts, come at all different angles. On offense they’re very physical, can run the ball, (they have) two excellent backs (and) an athletic quarterback. Very physical up front and good skill guys at receiver and they’re very sound in the kicking game and very well-coached. They do a really good job and we’ll have a tough time here at home and we have to play very well and prepare very well and remember the power of preparation and continue to do the things we need to do.”
On the injuries:
“(Kelvin Benjamin) will be back practicing today. He’ll be fine. (Bryan) Stork is expected to do some things today too in practice. He was back-and-forth on an ankle and at the end we decided not to, still having a little pain too much in the Achilles part of it and it wasn’t worth the risk and Austin (Barron) had a really nice week of practice and played really well. Very proud of the way Austin play. (Terrence) Brooks will be back.”
On if he’s surprised that young guys are plugging into the secondary:
“No because of the way they work. Two things, the way they work, their ability to process information and the way the upperclassmen deal with them and teach them and they’ve done it the whole year. They’ve done a tremendous job of incorporating those guys into the system and really teaching them and that goes back to Tyler Hunter did tons of that stuff and still does. That’s about all of those older guys and those young guys are very inquisitive. They ask, they weren’t waiting to play. They were preparing to play and got an opportunity and took advantage of it.”
On sophomore linebacker Reggie Northrup:
“Reggie is really grasping the system. Some of Reggie’s issues, he’d get lost in the system assignment wise but does a great job instinctively and EJ Levenberry there are two guys that are growing. You saw Reggie play with the one’s in the game. Came in, did a real nice job. (He’s) very physical, tackled (and) is becoming a good linebacker. EJ Levenberry flashed at me a bunch of times in that game – really big, long, making plays. Very proud of him. Those guys are really growing. They played much better than they did in the other game.”
On freshman safety Nate Andrews and his recruitment:
“He went to an all-star game and a lot of the high school coaches told us that they thought there were a lot of guys that signed to play places and he was the best player. You hear that at different times but it kind of confirms what we had though and Jeremy (Pruitt) had a good background in recruiting him and knew him very well and when we saw that I said ‘let’s go’.”
On coaching with a huge lead:
“You’ve got focus issues and you want to coach to let your other guys play but at the same time you don’t want to be disrespectful and try to run up the score because you have to execute your offense because they practice hard too. With the one’s offense, I acted like I was unhappy, I want to keep them on edge. We did an 80-yard drive, converted on a two-play drive, came back off the 15 (yard line), then we had a fumble, which we executed, we just had a fumble. Then we had a dropped ball, then we drove a two-minute drive and had a great 80 yard-drive. We scored four out of six drives. In the second half we were moving it and then got the interception, but we move the ball extremely well. They didn’t have a chance to get into a good rhythm. I thought they played well. Did they play their best? No, there are some things we can improve on, yes, but from a focus concentration point you’ve got to be able to do that. We’re learning.”
On being 40-10 as a head coach:
“I don’t think about that. That’s something that’s not important to me, (I) just hope we keep playing well as a team and grow. We want to have success. I love it here. I said this before, I think we can be very successful here and continue to grow and right now I really love what we’re doing. We’re getting the pieces that we need to be successful and those pieces also need to grow. Just like our players, just like this team, you’ve got to have another group and after you get something here you’ve got to continue to grow and this place is doing a great job of giving us those opportunities. It’s a wonderful place, the kids are playing well and I’m blessed to have a great coaching staff and great players and a great fan base and those are key ingredients to being successful. Our boosters are doing the things we have to do in order to keep this program running. Very blessed to be here and be the head coach.”
On if not having redshirt freshman quarterback Jameis Winston in for the second half hurts his Heisman Trophy chances:
“I don’t think people see that. I think they see who’s in control and it’s how you play when you play – the quality of your play. That’s the thing all those guys got to remember and if we keep winning that means he is generally playing well and he’ll get recognition of those things that he deserves. Just like whoever else is up for those awards will get recognized and we found that out last year. The more we won, the more players we had drafted and guys that won awards and those guys were very unselfish guys.”
On having a bona fide Heisman Trophy candidate for the first time in his head coaching career:
“We just have to continue our meetings to remember the focus and the reason why we’re having success and to continue that and not get outside of it. I’ll tell you what, he does a tremendous job of that. We met yesterday and talked about little things for the week. He stopped by just to say hello and sometimes he reminds himself and you don’t have to. He’s very good job of keeping things in perspective.”
On relying on other facets of the game whenever one is not working:
“I think that’s critical. That’s why on offense, I don’t ever want to be a one-dimensional football team. On defense, whether we’re an all-cover team or all-skilled team or not big, you’ve got to do all the different phases. It takes different types of athletes, to me, hybrid type guys that can be multi-dimensional and move in different spots and create matchup problems.”
On why the defense is leading the nation in interceptions:
“First, is the front – those guys being able to run and put pressure on the passer and being able to do the things we do. Two, I think we have a very good scheme. I think our guys are multiple in the things we do. Three, I think we have very good players and I think we have players that are executing the scheme at the same time and guys are playing very unselfishly, not looking for an interception just taking the opportunities given and playing very disciplined in the back end and then maximizing those opportunities when they come. I think it’s a combination of all those things.”
On how well defensive tackle junior Timmy Jernigan is playing:
“He’s playing very physical. Very disciplined. Playing great team and individual football. Just playing outstanding right now.”
On Syracuse’s running back Jerome Smith:
“Physical. Hard – tough. Downhill. They bring it now, him and Prince Tyson-Gulley is extremely good. He ran extremely well against Clemson and everybody they played. They pound it in there and they stay true to what they do and they play great defense and great team football. They’re physical and tough.”
On the signing class of 2011:
“Now, that’s a pretty good class. They’re applying it. They’ve done a great job of going to the next level and that’s one of those foundations of our football team.”
On the coaching staff:
“I have extreme confidence in those guys that’s one thing, we talk about our players who are doing a tremendous job, but our coaches are doing a tremendous job. Our assistant coaches are prepared and how they bring them and the mentality and personalities the wisdom and knowledge they’re coaching those guys with. It’s been very fun to watch. Like I tell our staff, I love our players, I love our staff – I love our staff meetings. They’re fun. We’ve got a group of characters. Good football coaches. Good people, good family guys.”