Florida State coach Willie Taggart has clarified previous remarks about his team's readiness ahead of games. Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Taggart said his comments about his players' hydration was actually in regards to the Seminoles' upcoming Week 2 game against Louisiana-Monroe with hot and humid conditions expected in Tallahassee again.
Taggart added that his hydration comments were not meant as an excuse for FSU's Week 1 loss to No. 24 Boise State, when the Broncos rallied from 18 points down to win 36-31.
Florida State's hydration brouhaha came to light after one of the team's offensive lineman, Baveon Johnson, felt that his team wasn't prepared to compete in a four-quarter battle in the heat and humidity of the panhandle.
"Conditioning wasn't our strong suit," Johnson said, "That is what we plan to work on and plan to improve this week ... I feel like it was just conditioning overall. That is what we need to get better at."
Taggart's comments on Monday, which went viral, were as follows:
"I think after going through last weekend and seeing our guys going down and cramping, one thing we talked about with our medical staff is our guys got to hydrate," Taggart said on his weekly call-in show, according to the Tallahassee Democrat. That can't be on Friday, that can't be on Thursday, they need to start hydrating early in the week and take care of their bodies. We can't leave it up to our players just to do it. We've got to force them to hydrate and take care of themselves. I don't know if we did a good job of that last weekend. One of those situations where you live and learn, and we'll make sure that we help our guys when it comes to that."
One would believe that a coach who has led two different programs in the state of Florida (Florida State and South Florida) would understand the need to hydrate in a state that is notoriously hot and humid. But, apparently not.
The loss to Boise State and subsequent excuses are just the latest incidents in what has been a rough start to Taggart's Florida State career. The Seminoles lost Taggart's home opener to Virginia Tech 24-3 in 2018, struggled with Samford the following week and then lost to Syracuse in Week 3. His first season in Tallahassee ended with a 5-7 record, and the program missed a bowl game for the first time since 1982.
Florida State will host Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday at 5 p.m. ET.