Willie Taggart’s Florida State tenure got off to a poor start, as a Labor Day night game, with a national audience tuning in on multiple ESPN platforms and the once-exiled Bobby Bowden in attendance saw the ‘Noles lose to Virginia Tech, 24-3.
The Seminoles actually out-gained the Hokies, 327 yards to 319, but were undone by a number of critical mistakes, not the least of which were five (5!) turnovers to Virginia Tech’s none.
But on an ACC teleconference Wednesday, Taggart offered an additional reason. He told reporters that he believed Virginia Tech was faking injuries to slow down Florida State’s tempo attack.
“Well, it is what it is. I guess it’s part of football now,” Taggart said. “That’s all I can say.”
Taggart wasn’t the only person in garnet and gold to think notice Hokies defenders seemed to remain on the turf after big plays; a number of fans at Doak Campbell Stadium booed when play stopped so trainers could attend to injured Hokies.
“I mean, it is what it is,” Taggart said when asked if he thought the injuries were intentionally faked. “It happened too often, so it’s hard not to. It happened too often.”
Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente said he and his staff were concerned about the Hokies’ ability to adapt to the humid Tallahassee climate on Monday night, but did not say Virginia Tech intentionally faked injuries.
“My answer is that we had numerous issues with cramping and guys battling through bumps and bruises and nicks and things that they were fighting through,” he said.