Florida State center addresses conditioning issues after Willie Taggart cites dehydration for Boise State loss

The excuses are flying around Tallahassee following Florida State’s 36-31 loss to No. 24 Boise State on Saturday afternoon. The latest comes from an offensive lineman who feels that his team wasn’t prepared to compete in a four-quarter battle in the heat and humidity of the panhandle.

“Conditioning wasn’t our strong suit,” offensive lineman Baveon Johnson said, “That is what we plan to work on and plan to improve this week … I feel like it was just conditioning overall. That is what we need to get better at.”

This comes one day after coach Willie Taggart’s comments about hydration concerns went viral.

“I think after going through last weekend and seeing our guys going down and cramping, one thing we talked about with our medical staff is our guys got to hydrate,” Taggart said on his weekly call-in show, according to the Tallahassee Democrat. That can’t be on Friday, that can’t be on Thursday, they need to start hydrating early in the week and take care of their bodies. We can’t leave it up to our players just to do it. We’ve got to force them to hydrate and take care of themselves. I don’t know if we did a good job of that last weekend. One of those situations where you live and learn, and we’ll make sure that we help our guys when it comes to that.”

One would believe that a coach who has led two different programs in the state of Florida (Florida State and South Florida) would understand the need to hydrate in a state that is notoriously hot and humid. But, apparently not. 

The loss to Boise State and subsequent excuses are just the latest incidents in what has been a rough start to Taggart’s Florida State career. The Seminoles lost Taggart’s home opener to Virginia Tech 24-3 in 2018, struggled with Samford the following week and then lost to Syracuse in Week 3. His first season in Tallahassee ended with a 5-7 record, and the program missed a bowl game for the first time since 1982.

Florida State will host Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday at 5 p.m. ET.

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