Florida State coach Willie Taggart says he believes Virginia Tech players faked injuries to slow down tempo

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Florida State coach Willie Taggart said Wednesday he believes Virginia Tech intentionally faked injuries to slow down its tempo on Monday night.

On several different occasions after big plays, Virginia Tech defensive players were slow to get up. Florida State fans booed loudly each time it happened. Asked on the ACC coaches call whether he thought the injuries were intentional, Taggart said, “It happened too often so it’s hard not to.”

Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente said the heat and humidity in Florida had an effect on his players. The Seminoles lost 24-3 to the Hokies in the season-opener in Tallahassee.

“Going into the game we were severely concerned about our ability to handle the humidity and the weather, just coming from our climate,” Fuente said. “We had some issues with it throughout the game. At halftime numerous guys getting IVs and getting treatment so they could finish out the game.”

Asked whether his players deliberately faked injuries, Fuente said, “My answer is we had numerous issues with cramping and guys battling through bumps and bruises and nicks and things they were fighting through.”

Teams that run up-tempo offenses have complained over the years about defenses faking injuries in order to slow them down. In fact, NC State coach Dave Doeren accused Florida State of the same thing in 2014, when Jimbo Fisher was the Seminoles’ coach. Doeren later apologized.

“Well it is what it is, I guess it’s part of football now,” Taggart said. “That’s all I can say.”

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