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Willie Taggart says there is still plenty of work to be done following win over NIU

“Against a really good football team, you aren’t going to win games the way we played today.”

NCAA Football: Northern Illinois at Florida State Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

Coming into Saturday’s game against Northern Illinois the Seminoles were enduring some highly publicized struggles on offense. The ‘Noles we’re finally able to turn the page and get on the board quickly with two touchdowns in the first quarter. Head coach Willie Taggart has stressed the importance of getting the offense going since the beginning of the season and finally saw it come to fruition.

“It was very important for us because we haven’t done that all year,” Taggart said. “I think a lot of it had to do with our players and their commitment to getting better. It started this week. They decided they were going to get better, they were going to practice better, and hold each other accountable. It paid off for them. We need them to continue to do that. It’s something we’ve been preaching since day one that needs to happen. I think it showed our guys that, if they do that, good things will happen for us.”

Along with the offense’s quick start, a stellar performance from kicker Ricky Aguayo allowed the Seminoles to stay out of reach of the Huskies. Aguayo was perfect making two attempts from 42-yards and another from 50-yards out. Taggart praised his kicker’s ability to rebound.

“Just like our team was struggling, Ricky was struggling too,” Taggart said. “It was great for him to have those opportunities and take advantage of them. I was excited that those kicks he made today were the same ones he missed earlier in the year on the left hash.”

A big part of the offense’s improved outing was a vast improvement from the offensive line.After laying into the group following their dreadful performance against Syracuse, Taggart spent time with Greg Frey and his unit in practice this week. It looked as if the extra attention and some positive reps in practice translated to a much better performance against a a good NIU defense. Taggart’s words for his offensive linemen were far more positive this week.

“I got to say, we got better up front,” Taggart said. “For us to go out and execute like we did and score points like we did, you know it all starts up front. Those guys did enough for us to do that. By no means are we where we need to be, but our guys made improvement. They took pride in it last week in practice to get better and not make any excuses for where were at and it payed off for them. We just need those guys to continue to get better and hopefully here soon we’ll get some guys back.”

Taggart said the next step is being able to put it together for a full four quarters.

“I think a big part of it is playing a cleaner football game,” Taggart said. “We can’t turn it over like we did. We had it on the ground too often and we threw interceptions that shouldn’t have happened. We have to take care of the football better and play a cleaner ballgame. Against a really good football team, you aren’t going to win games the way we played today.”

Willie Taggart Press Conference: Northern Illinois

Head Coach Willie Taggart talks to the media following Florida State's win against Northern Illinois.

Posted by on Saturday, September 22, 2018