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Florida State Seminoles

Rapid Recap- Noles fight hard still come up short at Clemson

Jamil King

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Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports
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Say this for Florida State, when a lot of observers and even there own fans, thought they would be blown out at #4 Clemson, they instead hung in and had chances in a 31-14 loss Saturday night.

The first half was dominated by the Tigers as they raced into halftime up 17-0. The Noles could have been down by more, but instead they had chances to keep It closer.

Brian Burns forced a fumble at the goal line recovered by FSU. On the ensuing possession, QB James Blackman got stripped on 3rd down recovered by FSU leading to a punt and keeping them scoreless at the break.

Florida State came out of the locker room looking to make it a game. The Noles drove down the field into Clemson territory, but rather than kicking what looked to be a 46-47 yard field goal with Ricky Aguayo, the Noles went for it. Blackman missed Auden Tate by a fingertip and the Noles turned it over, again, on downs.

Florida State would finally strike at the end of the third with a drive consisting of two defensive pass interference calls leading to a 39-yard connection of Blackman to Nyqwan Murray. Jacques Patrick took in from three yards out and trimming the lead to 10.

The defense continued to get off the field and Blackman and Murray almost connected again but Blackman just missed the wide open Murray, which would have been a long touchdown. ‘

After another big stop, the Seminoles struck back on a reverse to a Flea Flicker which resulted in Ryan Izzo being wide open for a 60-yard score and suddenly, the game was 17-14.

The Noles would then force their third fumble off the game and take control in Tigers territory. Having the ball and clearly momentum on their side, FSU looked to strike immediately.

But, on the very next play, however, Blackman would be picked off leading to a Clemson touchdown by Travis Etienne to push the lead back to 24-14. Blackman finished 13-32 for 208 yards 1 TD 1 Int.

After a turnover on downs, the Tigers would add their final score with 35 seconds left. when Adam Choice scored from 10 yards out.

The Noles fall to 3-6 on the season and host Delaware State next week a home.

With three winnable games left including the ULM game they added back this week, the Noles can still go bowling this season and keep the streak alive.

 

Jamil King is a young draft pick working his way up the depth chart on the F.F.I. roster, who enjoys watching and writing about all of Florida’s football teams.

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Florida State Seminoles

FSU RB Akers announced Saturday he’s turning pro

Florida Football Insiders

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Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports
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FSU running back Cam Akers has played his final game for the Noles. The talented junior running back announced on social media Saturday afternoon that he will not play in the upcoming Sun Bowl matchup with Arizona State. He will instead prepare starting now for the NFL Draft:

“These last three years have been incredible, and I am so appreciative that the FSU family welcomed a kid from Mississippi with open arms….. I have decided to enter the 2020 NFL draft and will not play in the Sun Bowl,” Akers post stated, in part.

Florida State was back on the practice field Saturday afternoon in Tallahassee after exam week concluded. Interim coach Odell Haggins is still overseeing the practice with newly hired head coach Mike Norvell out recruiting throughout the South.

Back to Akers, he came to the Seminoles of the highly-touted running back out of Clinton, MS, who ran for 8,000 yards in his career. However he suffered behind poor offensive line play each of the last two seasons, but still Acres finished 2019 with just over 1,100 yards rushing 14 TDs. A year ago those numbers were worse at just over 700 yards and six scores.

Originally recruited by Jimbo Fisher staff, Akers endured three offensive coordinators in three seasons, when new coach Willie Taggart took over for 2018 and hired Walt Bell for the 2018 campaign. Then Bell left to be the head coach at UMass after last season and Taggart hired Kendal Briles for this season.

The offense sputtered throughout the early season and Taggart was fired on November 3rd with three games remaining. Had Akers chosen to stay for Norvell, he’s already hired Kenny Dillingham (his former Memphis OC), which would have been a fourth coordinator.

It’s believed that Akers would likely be a possible second round pick, but he may slip to the third round or beyond because of the shaky productivity of FSU’s offense the last couple of years.

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Florida State Seminoles

Taggart’s FAU contract details released

Florida Football Insiders

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Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports
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Former FSU head coach Willie Taggart was officially introduced as Florida Atlantic University’s new head coach on Thursday afternoon. Along with the announcement, were the details to his new contract with the Owls.

According to USA Today and the Associated Press, Taggart is receiving $750,000 a year in base pay for five years with a $3 million buyout if Taggart leaves before December of 2022.

The Palm Beach Post broke down his full contract details that includes performance bonuses and perks. 

— Taggart will make $750,000 per year for five years. For comparison, FAU’s last head coach, Lane Kiffin, made a $950,000 base salary per year. Kiffin’s earnings went over $1 million when a home loan, given to him by FAU, was factored in.

— Taggart owes FAU $3 million if he leaves the school or is fired before Dec. 1, 2022. The buyout drops to $1 million if he leaves before Dec. 1, 2023 and $500,000 between Dec. 2, 2023-Dec. 31, 2024.

— Taggart will receive a $25,000 retention bonus every Jan. 15.

— Incentives for Taggart include $100,000 for making a New Year’s Six Bowl or a top-10 finish. Taggart earns $50,000 for a Top 25 finish or for being named the National Coach of the Year.

— Taggart receives $20,000 for making the Conference USA Championship Game and $40,000 for winning it. FAU has won two league titles in the past three years.

— Taggart earns an extra $30,000 for making a bowl game. Winning the national championship nets Taggart $500,000.

— Taggart’s buyout is offset by his base salary at FAU. FSU will save around $3 million on Taggart’s $18 million buyout.

In addition to his salary, the University is offering perks such as a car allowance, a membership at the Boca Raton Resort and Club, and the option for family to travel on team charter.

Taggart, who was fired in November, halfway into his second season at Florida State, will be replacing Lane Kiffin, who departed for Ole Miss after Saturday’s Conference USA championship game win over UAB.

The reason Florida State fans have to be so enthusiastic is the Taggart was reportedly owed over $17 million on his buyout with four years left on his deal. However, that amount has to be lessened some, if not significantly, since he’s going to immediately take another head coaching job. It’s still not clear how much FSU will still be paying Taggart.

Taggart went just 9-12 in his season and a half with the Noles, which included Florida State suffering their first losing season in over forty years in 2018, when they went 5 – 7. When 2019 began with a collapsing loss at home to Boise State and then a near loss-OT victory over UL-Monroe, it seemed the handwriting was on the wall.

The final blow in Tallahassee came when Taggart’s team looked lifeless and undisciplined in their 27-10 loss to ACC instate rival Miami Novemeber 2nd. He was dismissed the next afternoon.

Taggart came to FSU from Oregon, where he spent one year and went 7-5 before jumping, again, in December of 2017 to take the Noles job. He previously was the coach at USF for four seasons, where after starting 2-10 year one, he reversed that number in his final year (2016) to 10 – 2.

Now that his contract is signed, he’ll be fully a go to pick up recruiting in the state where he’s well known in from his previous tenures in state programs.

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