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USF Postgame Quotes: Coach Taggart


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USF Quotes Head Coach Willie Taggart

On the game
“It was a good win for our guys. It wasn’t a pretty victory, I thought we had a lot of sloppy plays but it was good to see our guys fight through the sloppy plays and make the plays that we needed in order to win that ball game. Overall I’m really proud of how our guys fought through and came out and executed, which lead to the W. Three wins, we call that a streak.”

On Quinton Flowers
“Quinton is happy right now. He got the W. He went airborne, got hit in the thigh and has a contusion there. Other than that, I think Quinton is really happy with his play and he will be sore for a while but he will be fine.”

With Mack being out was the game plan to give Flowers more carries?
“No, I think part of the game plan was to run Quinton, you just watch SMU and they struggle with running quarterbacks and that was a part of our offensive game plan. Some of those plays, he was scrambling. They weren’t called run plays. Like the touchdown at the end, it was a pass play and he scrambled at the end and got in the end zone. That’s what he does, sometime when you don’t have a throw he can get a first down with his feet. It was good for Quinton to go out and play that way.”

Was it unusual to see the amount of drop passes you had tonight?
“Yeah, that’s what I mean about sloppy play. It was just sloppy all over, especially in the passing game. We had a lot of nice passes that we should have completed. It was nice that other guys stepped up and made the plays that we needed to win.”

Were you prepared to play Mack if you needed too?
“Yeah if we needed too, we had Mack come out and work in pre-game and told Marlon to be honest with me about exactly how he feels and if he can’t go out and be the Marlon Mack that we know then we were going to it him out. He felt a little tightness in his hamstring and we didn’t want to make it worse than what it was so we decided not to go with him. He could have played if we wanted him too.”

Was the strategy to get after the quarterback?
“Yes it was. We are a good football team when we pressure quarterbacks, you watch whenever we pressure the quarterback good things happen for our defense. Our guys did a good job not only pressuring the quarterback but containing. He’s a talented quarterback that gets out and makes things happen with his feet or even scrambling which we call explosive plays and our guys limited those tonight and that was good to see. It was also good for the guys to shut down number 16 their star receiver.”

Could you talk about the dimension Quinton gives you running?
“Well, he’s just a phenomenal athlete, we have been saying that from day one he just getting better every week and he growing up. It’s hard to prepare for him, there’s 11 guys not 10. You also have to be able to cover because he can throw the ball as well.  He’s getting better at that. It’s tough, it puts a lot of pressure on the defense to try and cover every guy. Then when you have a guy that can make someone miss that’s coming on a free blitz, that’s tough. Thank god we have Quinton Flowers on our side.”

Can you talk about his instincts, especially on his last play?
“That’s Quinton. He’s a competitor. Sometimes you like to have him slide and not take hits but that’s Quinton Flowers, he highly competitive. He loves playing the game and he loves doing whatever it takes to help this team win.”  Was there any thought of keeping Flowers out because of the lead? “No, we were planning on doing exactly what we did. Unfortunately he got hit on that play. Again, it wasn’t a play that we called run on, it was a pass play and he scrambled and he got a touchdown for it, but we weren’t planning on taking him out.”  

On Tajee Fullwood
“It was big. It’s funny because we told him all week, you’re going to have a big return and we told Hamilton that he was going to get a fumble recovery in this game and sure enough they got it. I give a lot of credit to coach Woody and the special teams coach. On punt return we needed to do a better job of holding people up so he could get a return. It was too often that we had to fair catch because we didn’t hold a guy up. Our guys did a great job with that tonight. We also did a great job on our coverage team and that was a big time improvement for our team and it was big for us in this game.”  

What went across you mind when you saw the Sean Hill interception?
“Wow, big man got up. That was impressive. We need to call a play on offense for him. It was fun to see a guy like Sean make a play because of how hard he works and how he goes out and competes. He is one of those guys that just does his job. It was great to see a defensive lineman ump up and make a nice catch. He didn’t bobble the ball or anything, it stuck like glue.” 

On the celebration penalty
“I was a little disappointed that we got a flag. We just celebrated to long. We talked to our guys about that too. We just can’t have those kinds of penalties, but we love the energy and our guys feed off that. We can’t celebrate too long we have to move on, we can do that after the game.” 

What does it say about your team when Mack doesn’t play and you win by 24 points?
“It think they are just growing up and getting better every week. We consistently talk about getting one percent better and tonight we did that. You find that guys are growing up in different areas and different ways as the season goes on. Again, you lose a guy and no one is worried about it. We had a great week of practice, but they are just growing up, and that shows. Young guys are growing up and learning how to win in different ways and that’s great, the biggest thing is that we have a team not afraid of adversity.”  

What does it mean for your program to do what you guys have done the past three weeks?
“It means all the hard work and all the bad days and seeing it through. Staying the course makes you appreciate it that much more. If you work really hard, you will reap the benefits of all your hard work and I’m really happy for our guys. They worked the hardest and been through the most and I said it form the beginning this is a different football team and I really believe that. This is a winning football team and guys have the right attitude. We just have to continue to do it one day at a time. 

With the team winning three in a row, were you disappointed in the attendance?
Nope, not at all. I was happy with the people there. If we keep winning they will come back, that’s what they say right? We just need to keep doing our job and we will get people there. We really appreciate the ones that are here, but he ones who are not, you are missing out, this is a fun team to watch. We will be back in two weeks, so you have time to make sure you are here at Ray Jay and help our football team out.”

Is this what you thought the team would be when you first came to USF?
“I felt like we would eventually turn a corner and again it was just staying the course. It takes time to change the culture and it takes time especially with young guys. We have young guys in key positions and they will continue to grow up. Its three games but I bet you four will feel so much better. So we just

Edited by Brad
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