WKU’s Taggart after FAU loss: “Right now, I think we’ve got a soft football team”

Filled in for BGDN writer Chad Bishop today to cover WKU football, which lost 37-28 to Florida Atlantic at Houchens-Smith Stadium.

The lost was WKU’s third in a row at home and second straight since becoming bowl eligible.

On the WKU side, we only heard from WKU coach Willie Taggart, who opted to not make players available because the loss was “all on him.”

Here is some of what Taggart had to say:

WILLIE TAGGART

On what went wrong: “Everything went wrong. We didn’t do anything well – offensively, defensively or special teams. If you don’t do anything well in any of those phases, you lose.”

On no players being available: “I put this one on me. I didn’t do a good job of coaching our coaches and players to put us in a position to win.”

On differences from early in the year: “We’re just not executing. We didn’t turn the ball over as much earlier in the year, and we didn’t give up a lot of big plays. Now we’re doing totally the opposite from that.”

On giving opponent the ball in good position: “We understand that when we do those things, it’s not good. It’s frustrating to let those things happen. Right now, we have to play like a veteran football team that’s been through all of the adversities in the game. When things get tough, we’re panicking.”

On recent struggles: “We started the season off talking about starting fast, and we need to finish fast. We’re not playing the way we were earlier in the year, and I have to make sure we get back to doing that in the next two ballgames.”

On players dealing with pressure: “I really do believe not going to a bowl game last year is getting to our guys when things get tough. They want to get there, and they know we have to have these games. But we went in saying we’re not going to make excuses. Sitting back and making excuses is for losers. We’ve got to get back to playing football and taking care of business.”

Is WKU a bowl team? “No, not right now. You lose two in a row, especially at home. That’s what’s more disappointing than anything, the way we’re playing at home. It’s unacceptable, and again, I put that back on me.”

On attendance: “We’ve got to play better ball if we want to pack Houchens-L.T. Smith Stadium. We’re not playing good ball here at home. …It’s not our fans. We had plenty of fans here to help us win that ballgame.”

On FAU: “They had a couple big plays and a couple missed tackles that killed us. We can’t miss tackles, and you can’t have penalties that continue drives.”

On running game :“Right now, I think we’ve got a soft football team. At the beginning of the year, we weren’t soft. We have to get back to being physical.”

Going forward: “All of them are must-win. Our kids are trying to get seven. We’ve got to find a way to get seven – whatever it takes.”

On players possibly being distracted by Taggart’s name popping up in coaching job rumors: “Nobody’s brought up anything to me. … We’ve lost two in a row. I don’t think that’s getting to our guys. We’re not executing, and we’re not playing all-out like our lives depend on it.”

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