TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — When Willie Taggart was employed by Florida State in December, he described his philosophy in two phrases: deadly simplicity.
The spring practices and Saturday’s Garnet and Gold recreation confirmed that the Seminoles have embraced the adjustments.
The gamers aren’t the one ones who’ve embraced the beginning of the Taggart Period. A program-record crowd of 60,934 confirmed up at Doak Campbell Stadium for the spring finale.
“That was an impressive crowd and a lot of energy for a spring game,” Taggart mentioned. “It gives us a little preview of what it is going to be like for the first game [Sept. 3 against Virginia Tech].”
Taggart’s up-tempo unfold offense obtained loads of work. It ran 85 performs within the first half and 125 within the recreation, because the second half was performed with a working clock. Taggart mentioned he’s happy with how the unit has been in a position to grasp the system together with the way it adjusted to the tempo of apply, however he’s nonetheless trying to find consistency.
“We can be a lot better. There are still too many mistakes that are drive killers like bad snaps or false starts,” he mentioned. “There a lot of things we have to clean up, but it is good to see guys making plays.”
The protection, which is being put in by former Michigan State defensive coordinator Harlan Barnett, was not in a position to drive a turnover, however Taggart was impressed with how they did stopping the run and pressuring the quarterback.
Taggart mentioned he stored issues vanilla for the spring recreation, however there was a double cross, two halfback passes and a pretend punt.
It’s clear that Taggart’s hiring after Jimbo Fisher left for Texas A&M has revitalized a program that has struggled the previous couple seasons. Since successful 33 of 34 video games between 2013 and ’15, together with a nationwide championship, the Seminoles are 21-12, together with 10-10 within the ACC.
Final season, Florida State wanted to go on a four-game win streak to go 7-6 and keep away from its first shedding season since 1976.
“It is like the chemistry he has built was fast,” defensive sort out Demarcus Christmas mentioned. “He earned our respect quick, and I’m sure we earned his respect by pushing us. The energy he has brought to the program has enthused us.”
Listed below are another issues to know from Florida State’s spring and Saturday’s recreation:
TERRY STEPS UP: Tamorrion Terry has established himself as one of many receivers to look at when preseason practices start.
The redshirt freshman made probably the most of his alternatives throughout practices, as accidents to Nyqwan Murray and George Campbell left the Seminoles with three scholarship receivers. The 6-foot-Four, 197-pound Terry has proven quickness and had the benefit in lots of 1-on-1 matchups throughout practices.
Taggart mentioned Terry made an instantaneous impression on him throughout December’s bowl practices and has continued to construct from there. Throughout Saturday’s spring recreation, Terry obtained wide-open for a 48-yard reception on the primary sequence and on a 13-yard landing within the third quarter.
“I thought I was going to be able to play last year, but stuff happens. I’ve been trying to show everyone this year what I’m really able to do,” Terry mentioned.
QUARTERBACK RACE: James Blackman and Bailey Hockman had some flashes of good performs all through the spring, and each are firmly within the combine for the beginning spot going into preseason drills.
Hockman was tormented by a foot damage the previous couple weeks of practices however led the Garnet squad to a 31-13 victory by throwing for 203 yards and a landing.
Taggart mentioned Blackman, who began 12 video games final season, was damage by a few drops by his receivers however did job of transferring within the pocket.
Whether or not Deondre Francois stays part of the competitors is unknown. The junior, who didn’t participate involved drills as he rehabs from a knee damage he suffered throughout final season’s opener towards Alabama, was cited for marijuana possession final Thursday, which is his second off-field incident since Taggart took over.
Taggart mentioned Francois stays on the staff, and the matter is being dealt with internally.
MORE DEPTH AT RUNNING BACK: Khalon Laborn was recruited final 12 months as a five-start prospect however was redshirted. The 5-foot-11, 205-pound again concluded a pleasant spring with a 91-yard landing throughout the second quarter after the precise facet of the road opened an enormous gap.
“We thought as a staff he was going to have a big game,” Taggart mentioned. “He’s a good football player who has grown up big time. He is maturing slowly but surely.”