The hot seat for Willie Taggart was about to get scorching, but he was bailed out by Louisiana-Monroe’s kicker.
Louisiana-Monroe took Florida State to overtime in Tallahassee on Saturday before losing 45-44. The score was tied 38-38 after regulation. The Seminoles scored first in overtime and went up 45-38. ULM responded with a touchdown to make it 45-44, but kicker Jacob Meeks missed the extra point.
Florida State appeared to get a hand on the kick attempt.
Meeks had previously made a short field goal to tie the game late to send it to overtime and had make all of his extra points.
Florida State went 5-7 in Taggart’s first season last year, their worst season since 1975. They blew a big lead in their opener and lost to Boise State. Had they also fallen to Louisiana-Monroe and started 0-2, Taggart might have been toast.
Willie Taggart is asking for fans to stick by him despite another tough loss by Florida State.
Taggart’s Seminoles were looking great to start their game Saturday against Boise State. They scored on their first four possessions and were up 24-6 in the second quarter. They held a 31-19 lead going into halftime but were completely shutout in the second half and lost 36-31.
After the game, Taggart asked for the faith of fans and promised he would get the team out of its losses.
Taggart opened the season on the hot seat for Florida State. The team went 5-7 under him last year — their worst mark since 1975. He appeared to be beginning the season the right way Saturday until it all came to a halt in the second half. He needs to turn things around and quickly, because his promises have not worked out so well.
Florida State running back Khalan Laborn is expected to take on a significant role with the Seminoles in 2019 after he was injured and redshirted this season, but he may first need to prove he can stay out of trouble off the field.
According to court documents obtained by Brendan Sonnone of Noles247, Laborn was arrested on Nov. 19 and charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession of less than 20 grams. The arrest came after police stopped a car that was driving without headlights at 1:30 a.m., and an officer smelled marijuana coming from the vehicle. Laborn, who was driving, and another FSU student were handcuffed while the arresting officer searched the car and found a glass jar containing marijuana in a backpack. The backpack also had Laborn’s wallet and ID card inside it.
Laborn was issued a notice to appear in court and has an arraignment date set for Jan. 10.
A representative from Florida State told Noles247 that the school is “aware of this situation and discipline has been handled internally.” That likely means Laborn will not be facing a suspension.
Laborn is a former five-star recruit who was considered one of the top players at his position coming out of high school. You may remember the over-the-top way that he committed to Florida State, and the Seminoles are hoping he has a big year in 2019.
Kendal Briles continues to be a hot coaching name.
Not only was Briles considered a candidate for the Tennessee offensive coordinator position, but he also is being pursued by Florida State, according to ESPN’s Chris Low.
Briles, 36, is the son of disgraced former Baylor head coach Art Briles.
Kendal was hired by Lane Kiffin at FAU and served as their offensive coordinator in 2017 and moved to Houston to be Major Applewhite’s OC this season. He received a three-year deal worth $2.1 million from Houston this week after helping the Cougars become the No. 4 scoring offense in the country.
Florida State just completed its first season under new head coach Willie Taggart. The Seminoles went an embarrassing 5-7 and ranked 115th out of 120 teams with 21.9 points scored per game.
A former Florida State football player who was suspended back in May after a Title IX investigation found him responsible for dating violence could be enrolling in the school again in the near future, and the victim in the case is furious.
Tashan Reed of The Athletic reported on Tuesday that Josh Ball, a former four-star recruit who started nine games at offensive tackle for Florida State in 2017, is attempting to play for the Seminoles again. He would need to first be reinstated by the university, but sources told Reed that Willie Taggart and the FSU coaching staff are open to letting Ball back on the team if that happens.
Ball transferred to Butler County CC in El Dorado, Kan., after he was suspended, and Butler head coach Tim Schaffner told The Athletic in a text message that “it is my understanding that FSU would love to have him back on their team.”
Ball’s suspension came after his ex-girlfriend, Sandra Sellers, received an injunction against him last year after she filed paperwork seeking “protection against dating violence.” Sellers said Ball assaulted her on several occasions where he slapped, shoved and grabbed her in 2016 and 2017.
In a statement on her Instagram story Tuesday, Sellers blasted Taggart and Florida State for reportedly considering allowing Ball to re-enroll at the school and play football again.
“I am trying to put this behind me. But I will not be silenced or intimated by this repeat sexual and physical abuser,” she wrote, as transcribed by The Athletic. “His reprehensible behavior is public record. For Willie Taggart to even consider bringing him back on campus is a physical threat to me and any other woman at FSU. He’s been given multiple chances and was enabled by the previous coaching staff who even conspired to cover up his behavior and blame me. Trust me when I say FSU does not want to reopen this wound.”
Ball was never charged by Tallahassee Police or the state attorney’s office after Sellers filed the complaint. After he was suspended following a Title IX investigation in May, Sellers took to social media to thank Florida State for making its campus a safer place.
Florida defensive back Chauncey Gardner-Johnson trashed Florida State with a savage quote after beating the Seminoles on Saturday.
Gardner-Johnson’s Gators won 41-14 to hand FSU their worst season since 1976. Afterwards, Gardner-Johnson, who had two tackles, called FSU the “most undisciplined team in America.”
FSU committed 10 penalties for 60 yards. They also turned the ball over three times. What an ugly game for FSU and Willie Taggart. About the only thing he did right was defend midfield after the game.
Florida State has struggled offensively in Willie Taggart’s first season with the program, and the former quarterback is clearly taking responsibility for that with his team having dropped to below .500 on Saturday.
Prior to Saturday’s game against NC State, which ended up being a 47-28 loss, Taggart turned over playcalling duties to offensive coordinator Walt Bell. While the Seminoles could not find a way to beat No. 21-ranked NC State, Taggart was complimentary of the job Bell did.
“In the moment, I thought he did a good job,” the head coach said, per Curt Weiler and Wayne McGahee III of The Tallahassee Democrat. “We’ve got to execute, we’ve got to put our guys in a position to execute, but for the most part, I thought he did a good job, just, again, without watching the film or anything.”
Taggart had called plays himself in his seven seasons as a head coach prior to being hired at Florida State. However, the Seminoles had been averaging just 21.4 points per game heading into Saturday’s game, which ranked 108th out of 130 FBS teams. Taggart said he believes FSU is a “fragile football team” at the moment that needs him in other areas, so he decided to give up calling plays.
Though they lost 47-28, the Seminoles outgained the Wolfpack 445-417 in total yards. We recently saw a change with playcalling duties at another top program that has seemingly worked out thus far, so perhaps Florida State will enjoy the same success going forward. If they want to end up playing in a bowl game, they need to turn things around in a hurry.
No. 2 Clemson wiped the floor with Florida State on Saturday, and tensions were apparently still high after the game as well.
The Tigers came into Tallahassee for the Week 9 showdown and handed the Seminoles their worst home loss ever, winning by the final of 59-10. The defeat also matched the worst overall loss in Florida State school history.
Andrea Adelson of ESPN reported after the game went final that players from both sides exchanged some words on the field and had to be separated by their respective coaching staffs.
Clemson and Florida State had been two of the elite programs in the ACC for most of the decade, but the latter has tailed off recently, going just 11-10 over the last two seasons. The Tigers have also now won the last four head-to-head matchups in a row, and frustration is clearly setting in on the Seminoles’ side (as it has been for most of the year).
H/T The Spun
Willie Taggart lobbed a serious allegation against some of his players following Florida State’s embarrassing 59-10 blowout loss to Clemson on Saturday.
Taggart, who is in his first year as FSU’s head coach, said he felt that some players quit on the team during the game.
A 30-7 loss at Syracuse seemed like the low point for Taggart’s Seminoles this season, but this 49-point loss may have surpassed it.
With games at NC State and Notre Dame and home contests against BC and Florida looming, FSU seems destined for a losing record and perhaps not being bowl-eligible. Taggart needs to get his players to buy back in and focus rather than give up. He’s also falling well short of the preseason promise he made.
Florida State lost a touchdown on a trick play against Miami on Saturday because of an illegal forward pass.
The Seminoles had a 2nd-and-7 from the Miami 39 in the fourth quarter and attempted a trick play. Deondre Francois passed to DJ Matthews, who then threw to a wide open Keith Gavin for a touchdown. A flag was thrown on the play immediately to wipe out the touchdown.
Replay appeared to show that Francois’ pass to Matthews was forward:
Another angle shows how close it was:
It was a great play that had Miami fooled, but perhaps that’s because the Canes recognized it was a forward pass. The Noles need to work on their execution.