Opinion: FSU is in trouble with Taggart at the helm
Willie Taggart’s Florida State team left much to be desired on the field in 2018. Taggart inherited a roster full of blue-chip recruits, yet the team’s production did not match their talent. I was on the sideline for the Seminoles’ 47-28 loss to NC State in Raleigh, and the reason for the team’s failures became very clear to me. Willie Taggart doesn’t pay attention to details.
If a coach lacks discipline, so will his team. I witnessed the Florida State team give up 121 yards in penalties, receivers who repeatedly needed the quarterback to tell them their responsibility on the play, and an offense that put up less than 25 yards rushing. The team’s lack of discipline prevented James Blackman’s 421 yard passing performance (compared to NC State’s 417 yards of total offense) from having an effect on the outcome of the game. To be successful at the highest level of college football, a team has to be extremely detail oriented, smart, and athletically-developed. And so far, Willie Taggart has shown he can not provide that.
It’s no secret that these trends weren’t isolated to one game: Chauncey Gardner-Johnson had to tell the Florida State sideline that its offense only had 10 players on the field, the team forgot to buy lunch for over 200 campers last summer, and Taggart has seemingly forgotten to recruit the quarterback position. Before a team can see on-field success, it has to win off the field. If Willie Taggart wants to be successful at Florida State, that’s where he needs to start.
Agree with the OP. Willie's year one at FSU looked a lot like his year one at USF where he improved each year. However, FSU is a different animal than USF in terms of expectation and the relentlessness of its rivals. While Willie was able to slowly get things spinning in his direction at USF, it's going to be much harder to get that feedback loop spinning positively in his direction at a place like FSU. The only way Willie gets FSU going is if he figures out the details and puts a much more competent team on the field next year. It's not a matter of bringing in his own guys. He has to win with the team he inherited from Jimbo- which is a very talented team by most metrics including talent rankings, blue chip ratio etc.