Much was made about FSU’s effort in last year’s loss to Clemson—and for good reason. The ’Noles suffered their worst home loss in history to the Tigers and FSU head coach Willie Taggart said some players flat out quit.
This afternoon in Death Valley the Seminoles fell to Clemson 45-14, but the effort this year was much different. There are no moral victories, especially not in a blowout loss to a rival, but there has been a shift in the culture of this team according to Taggart.
“I thought our guys fought until the end and I was pleased to see that,” Taggart said. “Our guys kept fighting and kept trying to make plays and that’s what you want to see out of your football team.”
Taggart continued, “We didn’t quit. You won’t see this football team quit. You’ll see this football team fight in every single game. Yeah, we didn’t play well, but our guys didn’t quit—they fought until the end.”
FSU wide receiver Keyshawn Helton is a player you can point to as evidence of a culture shift. The sophomore was carted off the field in the second quarter in an air cast, but could be seen telling teammates, “Don’t quit.”
Taggart revealed that Helton would likely miss the remainder of the season with a knee injury.
With a disheartening result and another player lost for the season, Taggart’s message to the team was simple. Don’t let Clemson beat you twice.
“I told our guys afterwards, I love the way they fought through the game and we can’t let this one game cause us to lose two games—we got to get back to work. I know they will. I know they’ll fight back and get back next week.”