FSU coach Willie Taggart vows to build a culture, calls out team for quitting on him

Florida State head coach Willie Taggart opened his weekly press conference immediately addressing the issues and concerns of his players “quitting” during the game against Clemson on Saturday.  

After losing to the No. 2 Tigers 10-59 and dropping to a 4-4 record, Taggart stated that changes will be made going into next week’s game after determining that some players had quit on him against Clemson.

“We’re going to find out who quit and who kept playing,” Said Taggart. “After watching film on Sunday, I felt that there were a handful of players that didn’t play up to our standards and didn’t do the things that we expect out of them and what we want from them and also how you play here at FSU.”

Taggart did not exactly name what guys he felt let him down, but one thing he did say was that the issues were addressed internally.

“We addressed it internally and we gone make sure that we continue to build a culture the way that we want to and the way that I know how,” said Taggart. “We’re going to make sure that we have the individuals in here that are going to live up to those standards.”

It seems that the losing culture around FSU is starting to eat at the players, after wide receiver Nyqwan Murry and linebacker Zaquandre White got into altercations for throwing punches with Clemson athletes.

Both were ruled out of the first half against North Carolina State as a punishment from Taggart.

Willie Taggart at North Carolina State at weekly press conference following lost to Clemson University
Avery Jacobs | The FAMUAN

After watching film and sitting down with his players individually, Taggart realized that not all his players quit on him.

“Majority of our guys competed and played the way that we wanted them to. We got beat by a team that you just can’t make mistakes against,” said Taggart.

“Our entire football team needs to understand exactly what we mean about quitting. What we mean about competing and what the standard here is at Florida State. It’s going to be that way no ands, ifs, buts about it and were going to hold everyone accountable, players and coaches, to live up to those standards.”

With seemingly nothing going well for the Seminoles, there seems to be no consistency as FSU was the only Power 5 team to start a different offensive line combination in each of its first seven games.

One of the major concerns is Francois’s health after leaving Saturday’s game with an injury

“He’s [Deondre] beat up, he took some hits in that game. I’m sure he’s been beat up after a physical ball game and again, he’s day-to-day,” said Taggart.

FSU currently has four games left and with Notre Dame and Florida still remaining on the schedule, the chances of securing a bowl game does not get any easier for the Seminoles.

“A lot of our issues is more mental than it is physical and that’s a huge part of the game of football and what you’re doing,” said Taggart. “We got to be mentally tough and we’re not there yet, and that’s part of changing the culture and getting our team to get that way.”