Excuse-maker Willie Taggart blames dehydration for Florida State’s collapse vs. Boise State

Willie Taggart, Florida State Seminoles. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
Willie Taggart, Florida State Seminoles. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) /

After Florida State’s second-half collapse against Boise State, head coach Willie Taggart blames it on the team not drinking enough water.

After a bad loss to start the season, Florida State head coach Willie Taggart has openly questioned his team’s conditioning.

Deep into the third quarter on Saturday against Boise State, Florida State led 31-13 and seemed well on their way to a season-opening win over a tough Group of 5 opponent. But the visiting Broncos scored the final 23 points of the game and went home with a 36-31 win.

The Seminoles ran 60 offensive plays in the game, to Boise State’s 106. So the time of possession battle clearly favored the Broncos (40:03 to 19:57), and the gap caught up to the Florida State defense during the rescheduled game that moved from an evening kickoff in Jacksonville to an early afternoon start back in Tallahassee.

Cramping can be a factor for players in heat and humidity and playing the first game of the season with no preseason games to ramp up. During his weekly Monday radio show, Florida State head coach Willie Taggart offered dehydration as a reason for the team’s late collapse.

"“They need to start hydrating early in the week and take care of their bodies,” Taggart said on his call-in show. “We can’t leave it up to our players just to do it. We’ve got to force them to hydrate and take care of themselves. I don’t know if we did a good job of that last weekend.”"

On Tuesday, offensive lineman Baveon Johnson also pointed to conditioning issues in the game against Boise State. But he went a little further, saying more broadly “No, we weren’t prepared, I wasn’t prepared, we all weren’t prepared.”

That’s a damming indictment on Taggart and the coaching staff.

Taggart also cited the need to improve substitution patterns going forward, which obviously should have been addressed with the coaching staff prior to a game that was moved to the peak heat of a September day in Florida. That points to a general lack of preparation.

Just one game into his second season at Florida State, Taggart has offered an excuse for a loss he can’t go back to. An opportunity to put a mark in the win column comes on Saturday at home against Louisiana-Monroe, as the Seminoles try to avoid an 0-2 start that would add early fuel to speculation about Taggart’s job status.

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