TAMPA — As he prepares to face what might be the nation's most pass-friendly offense, coach Willie Taggart re-stated his belief in the one he's trying to implement in Tampa.
The Bulls (2-7, 2-3 AAC), who host SMU Saturday night, are ranked 120th nationally in total offense (263.7 yards per game) with eight touchdowns all season.
Yet in an era of spreads, pistol formations and zone reads, Taggart's still committed to his power-based offense that employs the run to set up the play-action pass. What's more, he believes the philosophy will attract top-tier recruits.
"It's worked everywhere I've been; we've been able to get the kids to execute it," said Taggart, who'll face a Mustangs team ranked fifth nationally in pass offense (380.1).
"And we'll be able to get 'em here as well. I think what you're seeing with us is trying to operate with kids that were recruited for something else. And those kids will be better as we continue to move forward. But it's not hard to recruit those guys."
KLOSS MISS INEVITABLE: Taggart suggested that the Bulls rolled the dice far too often with PK Marvin Kloss, who converted 13 consecutive field goals — nine of 40 or more yards — before missing two long tries in Saturday's loss to Memphis.
"He wanted to do his part and continue to have the success he was having kicking the football," Taggart said.
"But we've got to do a better job of putting Marvin in better situations. Eventually he's going to miss one of those 50-yard field goals, but a lot had to do with the snap on those holds."
FSU: Football, that's it
TALLAHASSEE — No. 2 Florida State is in the midst of preparation for Idaho. That's all.
While the sexual assault investigation of QB Jameis Winston remains a cloud over the program, the Seminoles have begun their normal week of practice. And university officials reminded reporters that coach Jimbo Fisher would respond only to football-related questions during his weekly news conference.
"You always address everything," Fisher said. "Kids know what's going on no matter what the situations are. That's an important part of being a good team is being able to focus and control things that you can control. And deal with the other issues when it's time to deal with them."
Fisher had a cold and jokingly threatened to sneeze on reporters who broke the football-questions-only policy.
UM: DC under fire
MIAMI — For the second straight year, Miami coach Al Golden has to defend the performance of his defensive coordinator, Mark D'Onofrio.
During a three-game skid, the Hurricanes have given up 1,609 yards. That hasn't gone over well with fans, who have taken to social media clamoring for D'Onofrio's ouster.
"I really don't pay attention to it," Golden said of the criticism. "I know Mark is working his tail off to get it fixed. The defensive staff is working their tails off to get it fixed. The players want to improve. There's no question."
DORSETT RETURNING: WR Phillip Dorsett, who has been out with a partially torn MCL since Oct. 17, is expected to return to the field Saturday.