Published: Wed, December 27, 2017
Sport | By Cameron Gross

Independence Bowl 2017: FSU vs

Independence Bowl 2017: FSU vs

Tuesday, on the eve of Florida State's matchup with Southern Miss at Independence Stadium, Haggins relayed the same message at the final pregame media gathering.

Questions about whether the Seminoles had indeed reached six countable wins were raised by Reddit users who analyzed data on Delaware State's athletic scholarships.

USM defensive coordinator Tony Pecoraro, who spent five seasons in Tallahassee, Fla., over two stints as a graduate coach and then quality control coach with the Seminoles, said any thought that Wednesday's game might not have the Seminoles full attention was bunk.

Haggins was named Florida State's interim head coach on December 1, 2017, and the next day led the Seminoles to a 42-10 victory over ULM that clinched bowl eligibility for the 36th straight year.

"It's not about me running the show", he said at the Team Announcement Party. The kids went out and played with a lot of excitement and enthusiasm, and we got the results that we needed in the last game we played. Florida State's defense is going to play one of its best games of the year and spoil a almost flawless season, turnover-wise, for the junior from Southern Miss.

While FSU standouts like Derwin James and Josh Sweat are not playing in the bowl game to get an early start on National Football League draft preparations, Nnadi - who can be an early to mid-round pick - did not think of sitting out.

And just like the Seminoles, the Golden Eagles wrapped up the regular season with three consecutive wins-including a 66-21 romp past Charlotte on November 18.

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Ricky Aguayo said, "That's their decision if they want to pass up a bowl game and go to the NFL". The circumstances we had this year, and everything that we've overcome, it's made us a better team. "A win like this for him would mean the most for him. That's how much he loves this organization".

Haggins began his career as a tight ends/offensive line coach in 1994 with the Seminoles and took over the interior defensive line duties in 1996. He also hopes to be part of FSU's future as Taggart continues to add assistant coaches to his coaching staff. I'm not expecting anything special.

"We just kind of do what we do (to prepare for Florida State). He genuinely cares about those kids, and they know it", Andrews said. It's too late to do anything now, they'll still play in the game.

Florida State will be without the services of some of its top players in this game.

The following week, FSU announced the hiring of Oregon University's Willie Taggart as its new head coach, though Haggins would remain at the helm during bowl preparations and would lead the team during the game.

FSU wide receiver Nyqwan Murray discusses Willie Taggart's hiring and how the Seminoles are preparing the Independence Bowl against Southern Miss on December 27, while speaking to media on Tuesday.

And they did just that - despite rumors swirling the whole time head coach Jimbo Fisher was looking elsewhere after this season.

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