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Matt Baker’s takeaways from Florida State vs. Boise State

It’s hard to see Willie Taggart’s job in major jeopardy yet, but how does he come back from this?
Florida State Seminoles defensive back Isaiah Bolden (29) celebrates an interception with his teammates during the Florida State Seminoles game against the Boise State Broncos at Doak Campbell Stadium on August 31, 2019 in Tallahassee, Florida.  [MONICA HERNDON  |  Tampa Bay Times]
Florida State Seminoles defensive back Isaiah Bolden (29) celebrates an interception with his teammates during the Florida State Seminoles game against the Boise State Broncos at Doak Campbell Stadium on August 31, 2019 in Tallahassee, Florida. [MONICA HERNDON | Tampa Bay Times]
Published Aug. 31, 2019
Updated Aug. 31, 2019

Willie Taggart’s first recruiting class was FSU’s biggest Tampa Bay haul in three decades, and it’s starting to pay off. Receiver Warren Thompson (Armwood High) had his first career catch, a 51-yarder in the first half. On the next series, defensive back Isaiah Bolden (Wesley Chapel High) snagged his first career interception.

RELATED: Florida State blows a pair of 18-point leads in 36-31 loss to Boise State

Florida State Seminoles linebacker Amari Gainer (33) blocks a pass intended for Boise State Broncos running back George Holani. The crowd is sparse as expected for game originally set to be played in Jacksonville. [MONICA HERNDON | Tampa Bay Times]

There was a weird but understandable lack of pregame buzz around the stadium for a matchup of two successful, big-name programs. The announced attendance (50,917) was a solid showing for a game that, 48 hours beforehand, was going to be played in Jacksonville before moving to Tallahassee because of the threat of Hurricane Dorian.

Florida State Seminoles head coach Willie Taggart shakes hands with Boise State Broncos head coach Bryan Harsin after the game. [MONICA HERNDON | Tampa Bay Times]

Taggart’s end-of-season buyout would be about $17 million for a cash-strapped program, so I still don’t think his job is in major jeopardy yet. But I don’t know how you come back from a loss like this.

Florida State defensive back Brendan Gant (44) and punter Logan Tyler (21) celebrate Gant's stop during a first-half return. [MONICA HERNDON | Tampa Bay Times]

The most stunning line after the game was defensive back Levonta Taylor saying, repeatedly, that FSU was “supposed to blow them out.” After what happened last year (and the year before that), why would the Seminoles think that? What possible justification is there for that hubris?

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    FSU forces 24 turnovers and storms back from a nine-point deficit for its ninth consecutive victory.
  2. Earlier today• Florida State Seminoles
    Florida State forward Malik Osborne dances with his teammates during player introductions before their game against Virginia on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020, in Tallahassee. [MARK WALLHEISER  |  AP]
    Florida State, in a three-way tie atop the ACC standings, goes on the road Saturday in search of its ninth straight victory.
  3. Miami LB Shaquille Quarterman (55) during drills for the East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field on Monday. [DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    “They don’t yet have the mentality of a Miami Hurricane,” the linebacker says during the days leading up to the East-West Shrine Game.
  4. Former Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops was considered the front-runner for the Florida State job after Willie Taggart was fired. Instead, Stoops stayed with the XFL. [TONY GUTIERREZ  |  AP]
    “The emails...it’s amazing," Seminoles AD David Coburn said of fan reactions. We read the emails. They are amazing.
  5. Florida State guard Anthony Polite and Virginia guard Braxton Key react to Polite's 3-point shot during the second half of their game Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020, in Tallahassee. [MARK WALLHEISER  |  AP]
    FSU forces 18 turnovers in a stellar defensive effort to take down the defending national champion.
  6. Memphis linebacker Bryce Huff gets fired up after a play during a game against SMU at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas, Texas. [KYLE OKITA  |  ZUMAPRESS.com]
    Plus more East-West Shrine Game nuggets, including former Navy star quarterback Malcolm Perry practicing at receiver
  7. Florida Gators quarterback Feleipe Franks (13) gets emotional after scoring a touchdown during the fourth quarter against Miami in the season opener. [ALLIE GOULDING  |  Times]
    The Florida Gators finished about where I thought. But about Willie Taggart’s job security ...
  8. LSU coach Ed Orgeron, left, and Clemson coach Dabo Swinney shake hands on Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, near the national championship trophy after a news conference for the College Football Playoff title game. [CHRIS CARLSON  |  AP]
    Goodbye, task-master ways. The duo leading their teams into the CFP national title game are all about a very personal, aw-shucks, family approach.
  9. This Dec. 30, 2019, file photo shows more empty seats than fans before the start of the First Responder Bowl between Western Michigan and Western Kentucky in Dallas. [ROGER STEINMAN  |  AP]
    Despite six bowl games this season having their smallest crowds ever, bowl games will increase next season from 39 to 42. And forget about attendance being a factor.
  10. Florida State tight end Tre' McKitty (6) gets stopped by Miami defensive back Jaquan Johnson (4) and defensive lineman Joe Jackson (99) during a 2018 game. [Times]
    The former three-star recruit started 19 games over the last two seasons for the Seminoles.
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