Clemson Football

Peeking Over the Fence: Willie Taggart

October 10, 2019

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Florida State Head Coach, Willie Taggart, spoke with the media on Monday regarding this weekend’s matchup between the Seminoles and the Clemson Tigers. In a calm demeanor, Taggart explained his positive outlook on Saturday’s game and provided a recap of how the Noles spent their bye week preparing for this game.

Key Notes:

  • When asked whether or not the Noles’ defense is more confident after Clemson’s offensive performance against North Carolina last week, Taggart responded by saying, “It’s all about us. It’s gotta be about us. We’re getting better because we’re focusing on us.” Taggart didn’t seem to be too concerned about Clemson’s previous games and put the focus on what Florida State has to do in order to win the game.
  •  “We gotta continue to play, the challenge for us is to see if we can play our best and that’s something we haven’t done yet. We gotta be at our best to win that game.”
  • When asked about the added pressure of Death Valley compared to their last road game against Virginia, Taggart replies, “Virginia was a tough environment. I’ve never been in Death Valley but I’ve been to a football game and I know you better be worried about the 11 guys on the other side of you and not the environment around you.” 
  • Taggart has seen growth in his team in multiple areas but most specifically, he has seen his players become unselfish. He says, “To beat any team, you gotta play as a team. Being unselfish as players. Guys are starting to buy into the team aspect and taking pride in their university.” This unselfish attitude has carried over into practice and it’s becoming more “business-like”. 
  • Offensively, Willie Taggart has seen the biggest growth in players understanding what they are doing. He speaks on the coaches and players being on the same page this year which leads to the team “[executing] a lot better and being more efficient without a lot of mistakes.”
  • Throughout the entire press conference, Taggart emphasizes the importance of “taking care of the football”. The Seminoles have fumbled the ball 7 times this season, losing three of them, and Taggart believes, “If we don’t turn the ball over, we’re gonna be in every game we play in. With games like this, it’s a must. We got to take care of the football and we got to get some takeaways.”
  • When it comes to defending Clemson’s wide receiver unit, Taggart recognizes the elite abilities of each Clemson receiver and acknowledges the talent quarterback, Trevor Lawrence, possesses as well. To match up well with the Tigers’ receiving unit, Taggart explains, “We gotta be on our A-game. Gotta play 60 minutes of good, smart football.” 
  • Both of Florida State’s quarterbacks, James Blackman and Alex Hornibrook, will see the field this weekend with Blackman starting. When asked if their was a major difference between the two quarterbacks, Taggart jokes saying, “James brings James. Alex brings Alex.” 

With an on-going conference rivalry between the Seminoles and the Tigers, Saturday’s game is one to look forward to. To Willie Taggart, the Seminoles need to focus on “not giving up explosive plays and scoring some touchdowns.” He, and the team, believe Saturday is “one unbelievable opportunity for our football team” and Taggart is ready for the task at hand. 

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Peeking Over the Fence: Willie Taggart

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