The Daily Nole

Taggart Files: History vs. 2018 FSU Opponents

Mike Olivella/FSU athletics

Florida State head coach Willie Taggart is less than seven months from making his head coaching debut for the Seminoles as they take the Doak Campbell Stadium field on Labor Day, Sept. 3 against Virginia Tech.

The slate for Taggart in his first campaign with the Seminoles won’t be an easy one. We decided to look at the new head coach’s history against each of the scheduled FSU opponents in 2018:

Virginia Tech, Sept. 3
Record vs.: 0-0
The Labor Day opener in Tallahassee will be Taggart’s first-ever game against the Hokies. It should be noted however, that against current Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente, Taggart is 0-3. All three of the previous match-ups came while Taggart was at South Florida and Fuente at Memphis.

Samford, Sept. 8
Record vs.: 0-0
Taggart’s first non-conference game as FSU head coach will come against Samford. Taggart is 5-2 in his career against FCS opponents. It should be noted that his predecessor, Jimbo Fisher, also spent his first in-season Saturday on the sidelines as Florida State head coach against Samford.

at Syracuse, Sept. 15
Record vs.: 2-0
Taggart has some familiarity against Syracuse and is 2-0 against the Orange in his career. As head coach of South Florida, Taggart’s team beat Syracuse 45-24 in 2015 and 45-20 in 2016. Current Syracuse head coach Dino Babers had just arrived in 2016.

Northern Illinois, Sept. 22
Record vs.: 1-0
As head coach at South Florida in 2016, Taggart coached the Bulls easily past Northern Illinois, 48-17. Rod Carey was and remains the Northern Illinois head coach.

at Louisville, Sept. 29
Record vs.: 0-1
In his only previous contest against Louisville, Taggart’s USF team was blasted 34-3 in 2013. Interestingly enough, Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino was Taggart’s successor at Western Kentucky after Taggart left for Tampa following the 2012 campaign.

at Miami, Oct. 6
Record vs.: 0-1
In his only previous match-up against Miami, Taggart’s South Florida team was beaten pretty good in 2013, 49-21. It was Taggart’s first time facing an ACC school as a head coach.

Wake Forest, Oct. 20
Record vs.: 0-0
Taggart has never coached against Wake Forest. Against teams from the state of North Carolina, he’s 3-2.

Clemson, Oct. 27
Record vs.: 0-0
Willie Taggart has never faced Clemson or any school from the state of South Carolina. The only FSU head coach to lose his first match-up with Clemson was the legendary Bobby Bowden in 1976.

at N.C. State, Nov. 3
Record vs.: 0-1
Taggart’s only prior match-up with N.C. State came in 2014 as his South Florida Bulls were handled at home, 49-17.

at Notre Dame, Nov. 10
Record vs.: 0-0
Taggart has never faced Notre Dame, but he is 0-2 against teams from the state of Indiana. That includes an embarrassing 44-16 loss to Indiana State while at Western Kentucky in 2011.

Boston College, Nov. 17
Record vs.: 0-0
Taggart has never faced Boston College as a head coach or any team from the state of Massachusetts.

Florida, Nov. 24
Record vs.: 0-0
Taggart has never faced rival Florida. It should be noted that during his time at South Florida and Oregon, he was 3-2 against in-state rivals.

Against teams he’ll face in 2018, Taggart is just 3-3 with two of those wins coming against Syracuse. Of course, in all prior occasions, Taggart didn’t have nearly the talent he’ll have at FSU. Interesting enough, each of the six meetings with teams he’ll face in 2018 came while Taggart was the head coach at South Florida. As a head coach, Taggart is just 47-50 overall, but 25-12 over his last three seasons.

Mike Ferguson is the editor of The Daily Nole. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson

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