Why did Willie Taggart start Deondre Francois against Notre Dame?

Willie Taggart made the wrong decision to start Deondre Francois against Notre Dame Saturday night.

Willie Taggart made a decision in August that has yet to make sense to me. The decision to start Deondre Francois at quarterback over James Blackman and Bailey Hockman.

The best I can make of things is Willie Taggart decided to hand the reigns over to Francois as that was the best chance he had at keeping two scholarship quarterbacks on the roster.

He handed the team over to a guy that missed the entire spring and some summer, who has questionable leadership ability while also alienating a lot of teammates last season.

His performances this season outside of the Wake Forest game (who has one of the worst defenses in the nation) have been largely abysmal.

He always struggles against good defenses and continues to make the same mistakes over and over and over.

So when the opportunity to start James Blackman against NC State last week because Francois was apparently injured seemed to breath new life into the offense.

Blackman garnered ACC Player of the Week honors in a losing effort against NC State, but the loss was squarely on the FSU defense as they gave up 47 points.

The differences in the offense with Blackman at the helm were noticeably different. Players seemed to know where to lineup, there were less timeouts called due to confusion and frankly they moved the ball very well at the tune of seven yards per play.

Granted, Notre Dame does possess a better defense, but I find it hard to believe Blackman would not have performed better.

The FSU defense is still operating like swiss cheese, so it’s unlikely the Noles would have pulled off the upset. However, the game reps against a good defense would have been valuable going into the upcoming games against Boston College and Florida.

There is talk Taggart wants to redshirt James Blackman, but the single most important thing is winning two more games this season to become bowl eligible and James Blackman gives FSU the best opportunity for that to happen.

Who’s to say Blackman would even be the starter in 2020 if he were to redshirt this year? FSU becoming bowl eligible would take some heat off Willie Taggart and it would give the team a much-needed 15 extra practices moving forward.

It would also give the coaching staff a great idea of what they could expect from Blackman next year.

So why start Deondre Francois against Notre Dame? It makes absolutely NO sense and Taggart’s decision to start Francois has likely cost this team and legitimate shot at keeping their bowl streak alive.

What happened to the best players will play mantra? I thought if a player was in the game and continued to make the same mistakes they’d give another guy that was working hard the opportunity to shine?

That doesn’t seem to be the case with James Blackman and it’s a shame as it sends the wrong message to players on the roster working hard just like Blackman.

That’s a great way to keep the selfish culture that’s currently hindering this team there for a long time.