Florida State absorbed the worst home loss in school history Saturday, and following a 59-10 drubbing against No. 2 Clemson, coach Willie Taggart accused some players of quitting.
“That can’t be tolerated,” Taggart said. “One thing you can’t do, you can’t quit. You quit, you don’t play. So, we’ve got to do a great job of making sure we’ve got the right guys. Didn’t play well at all. That’s on me and our coaches and our players and everybody that’s here, and we’ve got to find a way to get that right.”
The 49-point margin of defeat also tied the worst loss in school history and continued a steep decline for Florida State, which won 10 games two seasons ago.
On Saturday, Clemson held a 28-0 lead by halftime.
Florida State matched the second-most allowed, equaling a loss in 2014 to Oregon and a loss to Auburn in 1985.
The Seminoles entered the Clemson game with three wins in four games. On Saturday, they allowed 524 yards of offense to Clemson, which became the first ACC opponent to win four straight games over Florida State.
Florida State made a myriad of miscues, including a botched snap that sailed over quarterback Deondre Francois’ head. The Seminoles piled up 16 penalties for 134 yards, including a roughing the kicker penalty that negated a Clemson missed field goal.
Two players also were ejected for throwing punches
“The effort level wasn’t there,” Florida State defensive end Brian Burns said. “Ever since the penalty on the blocked field goal, everybody went down after that. There were a lot of calls against us, so it was everything in those two drives where it started to go down.”
The Seminoles avoided getting blanked when Ricky Aguayo kicked a 35-yard field goal with 4:35 left in the third. By then, Florida State trailed 45-3.
Florida State lost by double digits to Virginia Tech and Syracuse before winning three of four. After their ugly loss, Florida State closes out the season against three ranked teams (North Carolina State, Notre Dame and Florida) in the final four weeks.
“We’ve got some issues we need to correct,” Taggart said. “Get those corrected, I think you’ll see a big change in our entire program. I don’t think it’s that far away. We’ve got to keep climbing and keep working and keep recruiting, and that’s the only way you’re going to get to where we all want us to be.”