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Florida State has obvious issues on defense

Willie TaggartFlorida State came into the 2019 season needing to fix things on defense.

Mission: not accomplished.

The Seminoles were historically bad, for FSU football, anyway, in 2018, giving up 31.5 points and 417.3 yards per game.

Through two games, a 36-31 loss to Boise State, and a 45-44 overtime win over Louisiana-Monroe, the stats are actually uglier.

Try: 40 points per game, 520 yards per game.

Yeah, wow.

The way reporters are, one asked coach Willie Taggart at his weekly presser on Monday if he was happy with the way his defense played after watching film of the win over Louisiana-Monroe.

Dumb question.

“No, I wasn’t happy with the way our defense played. I don’t think anyone was happy. I don’t think our defense was happy or anyone associated with Florida State football was happy with the way our defense played. We have to play better. We have to find ways to make sure we fix the problems and make sure we put our guys in the best position to make plays,” Taggart said.

You can feel him staring through the screen at you right now.

Next question: is the issue because Florida State has switched from a 4-3 defensive front to a 3-4?

Another one leading to red ass.

“No, I don’t want to put this on just 3-4 or the schematic of things. If you really paid attention to the game last week, we didn’t run a lot of 3-4. It was — we ran a lot of four down. I haven’t necessarily seen them struggle in what we’re doing because a lot of plays we got beat in, we were in four down,” Taggart said.

Next question: and this one was a pretty good one. Any personnel or staff adjustments forthcoming?

“Well, you’re always evaluating your team,” Taggart said. “You’ve got to always evaluate them and make sure you got the right guys in there. If guys continue to make mistakes, shame on you if you allow them to continue to play. But you’re always evaluating your roster and making sure that you do the right thing for your team that will put you in the best position to win.”

So, the two-deep could be changing.

Staff, probably not, not now, anyway.

Final one on the defense: basically, are you not practicing right, or just not playing right?

“I think it’s a little bit of both,” Taggart said. “We’ve got to find a way to make sure we correct those things, of getting things that we did in practice or corrections that we made on the sideline, making sure that we get it corrected, and in the game when we’re actually playing. So, I think it’s a little bit of both. I think not carrying over from practice and not carrying over from the correction that we made on the field, and then, again, making sure that we have the right people in the right place and doing the right things. So, it takes a little bit of everything.”

Story by Chris Graham