Coach Willie Taggart noncommittal on FSU’s starting QB vs. Notre Dame

Willie Taggart isn’t saying who will be the starting quarterback for Florida State when it takes on No. 3 Notre Dame Saturday.

The Seminoles coach said even though the team didn’t get the win last Saturday in their 47-28 loss to N.C. State, he was impressed with how backup James Blackman fared.

“I thought James did well,” Taggart said, via the Tallahassee Democrat. “I told you all at the beginning of the week I had no doubt that James would do a good job when he went in there. I’m sure there are some plays that he would love to take back, but he’s such a great competitor. I thought he did a good job of distributing the ball to a lot of different teammates. I thought he did a good job.”

Blackman, who has served as Deondre Francois’ backup for most of the season, finished the game with 421 yards passing, four touchdowns and one interception.

He took over the starting role in Week 9 after a rib injury kept Francois sidelined against the Wolfpack. With Blackman performing well, Taggart will have a tough decision on his hands on who should be under center with the Goliath task of taking down unbeaten Notre Dame.

Originally, Francois won the quarterback battle in the preseason, but now he will have to fight this week to keep his starting position.

“We’ll see on Saturday,” Taggart said. “We’ve got to go through the week and see how Deondre’s doing and see how those guys are practicing throughout the week. We’ll see on Saturday. We’ll make that decision later in the week.”

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Another shakeup with the Seminoles this week will be with the offensive playcalling. Taggart gave those duties to offensive coordinator Walt Bell against N.C. State and said Bell will call the shots again against Notre Dame.

“I thought Walt did a good job of calling plays,” Taggart said, via ESPN. “Obviously, we didn’t get the win, but I thought him doing that was good, and allowing me to see and be a part of other things within our program. I thought I was able to interact with our players a lot better, a lot more on the sidelines when I needed to.”

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