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Willie Taggart discusses preparation for both Irish QBs and FSU’s own battle at the position

News broke this morning that Notre Dame starter Ian Book will miss the FSU game due to injury.

NCAA Football: Clemson at Florida State Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame is currently 9-0. If the season ended today they would hold one of four coveted college football playoff spots as the Irish are ranked third in the country. A lot of Notre Dame’s success can be attributed to quarterback Ian Book, who has brought life to their offense since taking over in week four.

However, this morning, Matt Freeman of Irish Sports Daily reported that Notre Dame would be without Book against the Seminoles due to midsection injuries he suffered last week against Northwestern.

With the story breaking so early, it was news to Florida State’s Head Coach Willie Taggart that his team would likely be facing backup quarterback Brandon Wimbush. While Book being out is certainly a break for the Seminoles, Taggart says the preparation stays the same.

“It’s news to me,” Taggart said of Book’s updated injury status. “I don’t think it impacts preparation much. A lot of the work is in the books now and I don’t think their offense is going to change much. They have a capable quarterback if that’s the case. They have a capable backup quarterback who has played a lot for them and won some games for them, too. So, we’re going to continue preparing like we’ve been preparing and be ready for whatever comes our way on Saturday.”

While Notre Dame’s quarterback situation has been decided for them, Taggart still has a decision to make regarding who will get the start as the signal caller for the Seminoles.

Following James Blackman’s performance againt NC State, this season’s regular starter Deondre Francois said Taggart made it clear that he is still the number one guy in the quarterback room. Taggart fielded questions about the accuracy of Francois’ statement.

“Did you ask him what he meant by that? Taggart said. “Hell, I would hope all our quarterbacks feel that way—that their the number one guy. No, I have to ask him. That’s the first i’m hearing of that.”

While it’s highly unlikely that that’s the first time Taggart heard Francois’ statements from Tuesday, it just adds to an already murky quarterback situation. With both quarterbacks taking snaps with the first team offense this week in practice, it is still up in the air who will start Saturday. When asked, Taggart said they are yet to make a decision.

“We’re getting close,” Taggart said. “As we get closer to the game—we have practice today and tomorrow— then we’re going to make a decision.”