4 Downs: Northern Illinois vs. Florida State

Seminoles off to 1-2 start under Taggart


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Slow starts are nothing new for Florida State coach Willie Taggart. He has just one win in his first three games in Tallahassee. Taggart went 2-10 in his first seasons at Western Kentucky (2010) and South Florida (2013).  And while he started last year 4-1 in his only season at Oregon, the Ducks finished the regular season 7-5.

"We all want things better right now, including myself," Taggart said. "But I think we all got to understand that sometimes they don't come our way, but we got to find answers and stay the course."

Taggart remains focused on the road ahead.

1ST Down: The Details
Matchup: Northern Illinois (1-2) at Florida State (1-2) 
When: 3:30 on Saturday
Where: Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee, Florida
TV/radio: ESPNU| WZNZ-AM 1600

2ND Down: Protecting Francois 

Through three games the Florida State offensive line has allowed 10 sacks. It’s been rare that Quarterback Deondre Francois has had time to sit back in the pocket and find an open receiver. 
Not helping matters, the Seminoles will be without their top linemen, Landon Dickerson and Derrick Kelly, on Saturday when they host Northern Illinois. 

The offensive line has been one of several offensive issues but Taggart feels they will improve. 

"I know at South Florida with our new offense, it took time because guys wasn't accustomed to going fast, they wasn't accustomed to no-huddle, those type of things," Taggart said. "Going out to Oregon, it was a little different because they had been doing those things. Coming to Florida State, you see how some of those things we're still getting acclimated, getting better at each and every week."

3rd Down: NIU can’t be slept on

NIU is facing Florida State for a $1.6 million guarantee. Administrators have used the paydays to help fund football and athletics at the school while players have embraced a tradition of not just playing Power 5 teams but often beating them.

The Huskies have made a habit of upsetting Power 5 opponents, pulling off six road wins since 2009 - including a 21-17 win at Nebraska in 2017.

4th Down: Facts and Figures

-FSU has scored 10 points total in eight quarters against Football Bowl Subdivision opponents (Virginia Tech, Syracuse).

- The Huskies and Seminoles are two of the worst offenses in the FBS, with NIU having the lowest total offense (130th at 241 yards per game) and ranking 128th in scoring offense (12.3 points). Florida State is 111th in total offense (340.3 yards) and 123rd in scoring (15.3 points per game).

- The Seminoles have won 14 straight non-conference home games, the 3rd-longest active streak in the ACC.

-FSU’s next home game isn’t until Oct. 20 against Wake Forest.