Florida State coach Willie Taggart is stressing the value of optimism and persistence.
The Seminoles will need both if they are to win out and keep their 36-year bowl streak alive.
During his Monday news conference, Taggart said the effort he’s seen from his players during practice isn’t producing the results it should on Saturdays, and the coaching staff is working to address it.
Turning energy into productivity
Taggart said mentally the team is where he needs the Seminoles to be. There hasn’t been a lot of sulking or hanging of heads and the effort and energy in practice has been positive. Consistency is going to be key moving forward.
“I want our guys to want to win. We all do,” he said. “[We’ve] just got to channel those things in the right direction in how we win and go out and play how winning teams play. And we’re going to have to do it in order to win these games. Our guys know the issues that we’re having and we got to correct them.”
Preserving bowl streak a top priority
The streak is in the forefront of everyone’s minds, according to Taggart.
“It’s important to us. It’s important to our players, it’s important to our fan base. It’s important to the teams that came before us that we keep it going and we talked about it as a team and our guys understand what’s at stake,” he said. “It’s important for our seniors to leave here and not be that senior class that didn’t go to a bowl game.”
Francois is Seminoles’ starter
Taggart said FSU quarterback Deondre Francois will be the Seminoles’ starter moving forward.
Francois has started all but one game this season, sitting out a loss at NC State two weeks ago while recovering from a rib injury and concussion.
After backup James Blackman performed relatively well, it seemed FSU was fielding a late-season quarterback competition.
Francois, however, never doubted he remained the No. 1 quarterback and Taggart has backed up that assessment, starting Francois during a loss at Notre Dame Saturday.
“I thought he played well, I thought he saw the field well,” Taggart said of Francois’ performance against Notre Dame during which he finished 23-of-47 passing for 216 yards with no touchdowns and one interception.
Taggart reiterated the team’s struggles are not a direct result of Francois’ play, with several passes dropped and miscues on both sides of the ball.
“Yeah, unless something dramatic happens, again, I don’t see no reason for him not to be our starter right now,” Taggart said. “Deondre is not the issue of what our football team; there’s a lot of other issues.”
Boston College will be physical
Boston College is coming off a 27-7 loss to a Clemson team that demolished the Seminoles. Taggart said they have a solid offense led by a talented quarterback, Anthony Brown, and running back AJ Dillon. Taggart added that part of what makes the Eagles’ offense so successful is their offensive line’s style of play.
“You know going in it’s going to be a physical ball game. You can’t bow down to that physicality,” he said. “[You’ve] got to face physicality with physicality. That’s football.”
While Landon Dickerson made the trip to Notre Dame this past weekend, Taggart said he doesn’t foresee him returning this regular season.
Hamsah Nasirildeen injured his knee against NC State and could only play limited minutes against Notre Dame. He will be monitored this week.